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Islandness within climate change narratives of small island developing states (SIDS)

Kelman, I; (2018) Islandness within climate change narratives of small island developing states (SIDS). Island Studies Journal , 13 (1) pp. 149-166. 10.24043/isj.52. Green open access

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Abstract

Small island developing states (SIDS) are portrayed as icons of climate change impacts, with assumed islandness characteristics being used to emphasise vulnerability. Meanwhile, island resilience expressed as the stability of island “paradises” is said to be undermined by climate change. Two dominant counternarratives have been emerging. Physical science demonstrates the limited empirical evidence at the moment for SIDS being destroyed due to climate change. Notwithstanding that such empirical evidence could appear in the future, social science counternarratives are challenging notions of SIDS’ peoples inevitably fleeing their homes as climate refugees. Instead, SIDS’ peoples have strong abilities and desires to make their own mobility decisions, whether due to climate change or other impetuses. Consequently, islandness within SIDS’ climate change narratives is not necessarily problematic, but instead can help islanders address climate change and wider challenges. The counternarratives, even if not entirely contradicting the dominant narratives, provide needed nuances, balance, and contextualisation to provide a full picture of SIDS, islandness, and climate change.

Type: Article
Title: Islandness within climate change narratives of small island developing states (SIDS)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.24043/isj.52
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.24043/isj.52
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 – Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution: No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/).
Keywords: climate change, migration, mobility, refugees, resilience, small island developing states(SIDS), vulnerability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1567002
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