In this chapter, we look at the central Pacific atoll state of Kiribati, which is con-sidered particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change but is also characterized by its citizens’ emphasis of their potential for resilience. We argue that the inhabitants’ cultural conception of land and imaginations of the future influence how citizens and policymakers deal with adaptation and the question of migration. We show that in the past two decades, when Kiribati was confronted with scientific projections on the likely effects of climate change, two successive governments pursued different politics of hope. In turning to discourses of Kiriba-ti’s citizens, we trace their express will to adapt and their responses to the question of migration. Most of Kiribati’s citizens have articulated this will by staying on the land, while a minority have considered the option of future collective relocation when the former Kiribati government bought a large piece of land in the state of Fiji. We conclude that the cultural conception of land and imaginations of the future significantly influence the directions that adaptation and/or migration might take, whether government policies and local discourses envisage staying in Kiribati or seeking a home outside the state territory.
Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf (2019):
Adaptation and the Question of Migration: Directions in Dealing with Climate Change in Kiribati.
In: Carola Klöck and Michael Fink (eds.): Dealing with Climate Change on Small Islands: Towards Effective and Sustainable Adaptation? Göttingen: University Press, pp. 293–312.