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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-158

The New State of Nature: Rising Sea-levels, Climate Justice, and Community-based Adaptation in Papua New Guinea (2003-2011)

Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Correspondence Address:
David Lipset
Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.115726

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If a legal 'vacuum' exists at the international level, and no domestic or national remedy can be found, and (non-government organisations) NGOs have not taken up their cause, then where may climate vulnerable people look to find adaptation strategies and remedies for the equity and justice issues contained within them? With the goal of investigating one kind of answer to this question, this case study examines local-level discourse about the prospect of internal resettlement in Papua New Guinea, where slow-onset, coastal erosion has been going on since 2003. Among the several points illustrated, an institutional absence is revealed-the postcolonial state. In response to its ineffective initiative, villagers express ambivalences about, and attachments to, place, as well as fears about resettlement. They have also begun to devise and debate community-based adaptations. The latter offer a temporary solution and an illusion of local agency, but no justice.

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