Renee Currenti Thesis Presentation

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Renee Currenti Thesis Presentation

We invite you to attend the Thesis Presentation of Renee Currenti, a Master of Arts candidate within the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: Adaptation to climate change in Nawairuku village, Ra Province, Fiji

Presenter: Renee Currenti

When: Tuesday, 10th April 10-11am

Where: Building D, 1.50

Abstract: This thesis investigates how people in a Nawairuku village in Ra Province, Fiji, are adapting to climate change in the context of recent environmental and societal changes. The thesis expands on previous research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in the Pacific Island region with people living in urban areas in the coastal zone, to contribute experiences of people living in the interior. The research was guided by a vulnerability framework that considers vulnerability as a function of the ways in which a community is exposed and sensitive to changing climatic conditions and the capacity to adapt. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with villagers (n=30), free-listing, participant observation, and analysis of secondary sources. The results indicate that people in Nawairuku are experiencing climatic changes in the context of recent economic changes and shifting cultural norms. Notably, the village is exposed and sensitive to an increase in the intensity of extreme weather events, cyclones and flooding, with negative implications for agriculture, human health and well-being, and infrastructure. Factors and processes affecting adaptation include, rising costs of living, fluctuating market prices for agricultural products, and shifting cultural norms such as increasing isolation of households. Entry points to support adaptation include access to skills training and collaboration with NGOs and government to enhance local capacity to climate-proof infrastructure and agricultural production.

Bio: Renee Currenti is a Master of Arts (Geography) candidate at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Renee graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Sustainability), Bachelor of Arts (Geography) from USC in 2015. Renee’s MA research focused on climate change adaptation in Fiji. Along with her primary supervisor, Dr Tristan Pearce, and other research partners, Renee published an article Adaptation to climate change and freshwater resources in Vusama village, Viti Levu, Fiji and has an additional two articles in review based on her Masters research in Nawairuku village, Fiji. Renee has a keen interest in Indigenous knowledge, community safety and well-being, and sustainable development and is looking forward to applying her research experiences and relationships in her future career.

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We look forward to seeing you there.

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