An anthropological approach of flood management through three case studies in Fiji Islands (Melanesia)
Drawing from extensive fieldwork in the Fiji Islands, Nolet is examining traditional systems of preparedness, the socioeconomic impacts of floods and the social representations of risk. Nolet emphasizes how the perception and management of “catastrophic” events are, in fact, framed by a complex network of social dynamics and values. She thus shows the importance of the cultural aspect in the perception of risk and risk assessment.
As other insular groups of the Western Pacific, Fiji is exposed to a range of natural hazards including tropical cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, and floods. The global warming and the expansion of towns and squatter settlements in floodable areas, are some factors which contribute today to worsen the impact of floods. My research project investigates the issue of chronic floods management by local communities in three areas of Fiji. It falls within the domain of “disaster anthropology” and explores issues such as the perception and neglect of flooding risks by communities, traditional systems of preparedness, and rebuilding processes in affected areas.
Université de Provence
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