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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Raising the voices of Pacific Island women to inform climate adaptation policies

Arora-Jonsson, Seema; Mcleod, Elisabeth; Masuda, Yuta J.; Bruton-Adams, Mae; Emaurois, Carol O.; Gorong, Berna; Hudlow, C.J.; James, Robyn; Kuhlken, Heather; Masike-Liri, Barbara; Musrasrik-Carl, Emeliana; Otzelberger, Agnes; Relang, Kathryn; Reyuw, Bertha M.; Sigrah, Betty; Stinnett, Christina; Tellei, Julia; Whitford, Laura


Policymakers and natural resource managers are increasingly recognizing the importance of broader geographic and gender participation in assessing climate vulnerability and developing effective adaptation policies. When such participation is limited, climate mitigation and adaptation polices may miss key opportunities to support vulnerable communities, and thus inadvertently reinforce the vulnerability of marginalized groups. This paper reports rich qualitative data from women leaders in conservation, development and climate adaptation projects to support local communities across seven Pacific Island nations. The results indicate the following priorities to support climate adaptation policies in the Pacific: (1) increased recognition for the importance of traditional knowledge; (2) greater support for local women's groups, including strategic planning and training to access climate finance mechanisms; and (3) climate policies that consider alternative metrics for women's empowerment and inclusion, formalize women's land rights, and provide land for climate refugees. Existing evidence is discussed which supports the importance of these priorities in the Pacific. Their input identifies research gaps in climate adaptation and provides important guidance for governments, non-governmental organizations, and development agencies leading climate adaptation efforts.


Climate adaptation; Gender; Indigenous; Traditional knowledge; Pacific Islands

Published in

Marine Policy
2018, volume: 93, pages: 178-185

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Mcleod, Elisabeth
The Nature Conservancy
Masuda, Yuta J.
The Nature Conservancy
Bruton-Adams, Mae
The Nature Conservancy
Emaurois, Carol O.
Palau EU-PacTVET
Gorong, Berna
The Nature Conservancy
Hudlow, C.J.
No organisation
James, Robyn
The Nature Conservancy
Kuhlken, Heather
Families in Nature
Masike-Liri, Barbara
The Nature Conservancy
Musrasrik-Carl, Emeliana
The Micronesia Resource and Research Institute
Otzelberger, Agnes
Families in Nature
Relang, Kathryn
Women United Together
Reyuw, Bertha M.
Yap Community Action Program
Sigrah, Betty
Micronesia Conservation Trust
Stinnett, Christina
Chuuk Women's Council
Tellei, Julia
Palau Resource Institute
Whitford, Laura
The Nature Conservancy

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Anthropology
Human Geography
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)