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Population Resettlement in the Pacific: lessons from a hazardous history?

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For more than a century Pacific Islanders have been resettled away from difficult circumstances arising from population pressures, environmental hazards and political or economic pressures. Past resettlement strategies and practices provide lessons for the future. Resettlement has raised issues of compensation, land tenure, identity, sovereignty, cultural tensions and establishment of livelihoods. Resources have often been too limited to enable adequate infrastructure and access to services. Mismanagement, marginality and local opposition have posed problems. Many involuntary migrants have sought to return home. In post-colonial times resettlement has been unwelcome and rarely inclusive, with poor outcomes for social and economic development. Significant future hazards are likely to require international responses.

Keywords: Environment; hazards; identity; islands; resettlement; return

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geosciences,University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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