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Re-framing island nations as champions of resilience in the face of climate change and disaster risk.

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R.M De Souza
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This paper is part of a set of working papers that resulted from the Resilience Academy 2013-2014. The United Nations University Institute of Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) publishes these papers as part of its UNU-EHS Working Paper series.
It presents several multi-scale case studies from islands around the world to offer a historically informed review of the cultural, environmental, political and economic systems and influences on island resilience.
The discussion then shifts to the current state of vulnerable island populations, ecosystems and livelihoods, and opportunities for restoring and enhancing resilience through traditional and local knowledge and institutionalizing a long-term agenda to rebuild social and environmental justice. In doing so, this article demonstrates how small island communities can become inspiring champions of livelihood resilience to global environmental change.
The conclusions highlight best practices at the local, national and regional scales for addressing these challenges through education, women’s empowerment, health, intergenerational knowledge sharing, food security and innovative livelihood strategies such as varied mobility tactics.