Navigating slow-onset risks through foresight and flexibility in Fiji: emerging recommendations for the planned relocation of climate-vulnerable communities

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Lund D.
The multifaceted relationships that exist between communities and the environment in Fiji are increasingly threatened by the cross-temporal impacts of climate change. Recent literature on the relocation of vulnerable communities as a means to avoid slow-onset climate change impacts in Fiji highlights the complexity of these relationships and the range of considerations that must be factored in when assessing relocation options and strategies. A review of prominent case studies conducted in Fiji suggests there is agreement on the importance of ensuring wide stakeholder participation and empowering community agency when designing strategies to address slow onset events and risks. Recent literature on community-driven adaptive management practices suggests there is significant value that can be derived from structured collaborative conversations about the future. Such conversations and exercises can help to identify community preferences, uncover key concerns and motivations and help guide the design of adaptation options. Ultimately, structured community engagement approaches can help replace or supplement efforts to pre-determine a standard approach to the assessment of adaptation options. This review concludes that participatory scenario-building exercises may be particularly well-suited as a means and platform for communities to self-navigate relocation issues.