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Tikopia: A climate smart, sustainable and multifunctional island

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Tikopia: A climate smart, sustainable and multifunctional island

  1. 1. Tikopia: A climate smart, sustainable and multifunctional island Thilde Bech Bruun University of Copenhagen
  2. 2. Triple win in multifunctional landscapes - Climate smart, sustainable and profitable - is it possible? Climate smart • Increasing agricultural productivity • Improving adaptation to climate change • Contributing to mitigation of climate change Sustainable Profitable
  3. 3. Tikopia Famous for being hit by one of the worst tropical cyclones ever recorded – without any casualties Used by IPCC WG II as an example of autonomous adaptation to climate change Included as a prime example in Jared Diamond’s popular science bestseller ‘Collapse - How societies chose to fail or succeed’ Studied by anthropologist Raymond Firth in the 1920’s and 1960’s (‘We – The Tikopia’) and by archeologists Patrick Kirch and Douglas Yen in the 1980’s (‘Tikopia: The Prehistory and Ecology of a Polynesian Outlier’)
  4. 4. Sustainable resource use or imminent collapse? Climate, Livelihoods and Production in the Southwest Pacific (CLIP) • Have the changes in subsistence production system, resource use and livelihoods improved or worsened the prospects for sustainable development, and what have been the main drivers of these changes? (Timeframe 30-50 years) • How do the predicted changes in climate, sea level and economic globalisation processes affect production, resource use and livelihoods and how have communities adapted to change in the past?
  5. 5. Sustainable resource use or imminent collapse? Climate, Livelihoods and Production in the Southwest Pacific (CLIP) 1. Livelihood strategies 2. Land use change, farming systems analysis, food security 3. Soil resources – impact of land use on soil properties 4. Use of marine and terrestrial resources, assessment of sustainability of resource use 5. Adaptation to climate change – local perception of climate change and its impact
  6. 6. Solomon Islands
  7. 7. Tikopia: Extinct volcano Max elevation 360 m Area: 4.6 km2 (Volcanic clay) Distance to Honiara: 1200 km
  8. 8. Tropical cyclone Zoë – December 2002 2002 3rd most powerful tropical cyclone 340 km/hour 1 min sustained 285km/hour 3 days No official warning
  9. 9. The journey to Tikopia
  10. 10. Tikopia
  11. 11. Demography Population: 1200 • Stable since 1965, but 4800 Tikopians are living outside the island
  12. 12. Institut for Geografi og Geologi Agriculture Almost 100% of the island is cultivated • Agroforestry with permanent fields • Fallow systems with mulching • Oven gardens around houses
  13. 13. Agroforestry with permanent fields • Giant taro • Taro • Yam • Bananas • Breadfruit • Sago • Coconuts • Tobacco • Fruit trees
  14. 14. Institut for Geografi og Geologi Agroforestry systems Betelnut Giant taro Sago Banana Breadfruit
  15. 15. Fallow systems with mulching • Cassava • Sweet potatoes • Taro
  16. 16. No burning No external inputs No mechanization No signs of soil degradation!
  17. 17. Institut for Geografi og Geologi Fishing All households consume fish every day 90 % mention fishing as the primary livelihood activity • Deep sea fishing • Trolling from canoes (barracudas, tuna) • Flying fish fishing • Large nets outside the reef • Small nets on the reef • Speargun hunting on reef • Shark fishing
  18. 18. Institut for Geografi og Geologi Fishing
  19. 19. Institut for Geografi og Geologi Import and income sources No import of food! • Limited import of Fishing equipment Kerosene Machetes Clothes • Income sources Remittances Selling of handicraft to tourists (2 ships per year) State officials (7)
  20. 20. The Cyclones Cyclone timeline: in 1952, 1985, 1991 and 2002 (+ 2015) Effects of cyclones • Damage on buildings, equipment, tools • Gardens heavily damaged • No trees left for canoe building • Sea breakthrough into crater lake
  21. 21. Perceptions of change Problem ranking: Increased intensity and/or frequency of cyclones is rated highest: A very serious matter in Tikopia Perceptions: Cyclones are increasing in number and intensity IPCC 5AR: Climate Change Scenario for 2050: Intensity of cyclones projected to increase by 20 %
  22. 22. Adaptation of the agricultural production system Well adapted system and little long-term effect of cyclone Zoe on farming
  23. 23. Crop diversification and multiple plots
  24. 24. Location of farmers’ fields: Exploitation of ecological niches and risk minimization 3
  25. 25. Short-term coping after cyclones (Food supply) • Emergency food supplies • Use of traditional preservation techniques: Fermentation of damaged crops
  26. 26. Short-term coping after cyclones (Food supply) • Emphasis on short cycle crops • ‘Oven gardens’ around houses • Emphasis on fishing
  27. 27. Multifunctional Landscape Climate smart Sustainable Profitable Triple win in multifunctional landscapes – Climate smart, sustainable and profitable
  28. 28. Thanks

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