EU Supports Traditional Knowledge for Adaption of Climate Change

The Fiji Times Online recently published an article about how the European Union (EU) supports Pacific Islands’ traditional knowledge as a solution, adaptation and mitigation measure for climate change.

In an interview with this newspaper, EU Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Jesus Lavina said it was very important that this traditional knowledge is made known to the world as the global community looks for ways to adapt to the growing impact of climate change. Mr Lavina said he supported the idea of traditional knowledge being presented at COP23 in Germany later this year.

After the conclusion of the two-day Climate Action Pacific Partnership event in Suva, Mr Lavina is convinced that traditional knowledge should be taken into consideration. “I was part of one of the working groups and we were talking about adaptations. And one of the points that came out of the discussion is how we can and why we have to combine the traditional knowledge with the new technology and with the science,” he said.


Coastline on the lagoon side, Funafuti, Tuvalu

Mr. Lavina also added, “Traditional knowledge is very good, but in order to replicate, collate or make the best use of the traditional knowledge, you must have to incorporate it with scientific knowledge and combine it with techniques that are already available in the Pacific. It is something we have already discussed and we have talked about how we can better share the knowledge and absolutely we will share this during COP 23.”

Crop production and extension co-ordinator for the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Siosiua Halavatau, said he had found the best adaptation measure for food security. Dr Halavatau said it was traditional knowledge that had the ability of maintaining global temperatures below 2°C.

An article published by this newspaper last month revealed how maritime islands had found an ancient solution to rising sea level and the natural restoration of the shoreline. According to villages in Gau and Kadavu, the stone breakwater was a traditional knowledge which was passed down by their grandfathers that had the natural ability of restoring lost shorelines and protection from rising sea level.

The University of the South Pacific’s Associate Professor for Marine Studies, Dr Joeli Veitayaki said according to their research, breakwater was the best solution to saving islands from the impact of climate change.


Funafuti, Tuvalu


About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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