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Security Implications of a Worst-case Scenario of Climate Change in the South-west Pacific

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This paper examines the links between climate change and security in the island states of the South-west Pacific. A worst-case scenario of climate change is presented which suggests that land will be lost or rendered uninhabitable in all Pacific Island states as a result of climate-change impacts. Loss of land is the focus of this paper for two reasons. Firstly, land is interwoven in the lives of many Pacific Islanders; it provides economic, cultural and spiritual security at a number of geographical scales. Secondly, a focus on land demonstrates clearly how an environmental threat such as climate change can undermine economic, societal, political and military security in the island states of the South-west Pacific. Clearly, climate change is an important threat to human security, and should be dealt with accordingly.
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Keywords: CLIMATE CHANGE; GLOBAL WARMING; ISLAND STATES; LAND LOSS AND SOCIETY; LAND-TENURE SYSTEMS; MIGRATION; SECURITY; SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC; WORST-CASE SCENARIOSANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1999

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