Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Model

The integrated, mixed methods approach, allowed the construction of this “impact and adaptation model” in a single study. This model is divided into five main categories: mitigation policies, modulating factors, impact, impact on livelihoods, health and well-being and climate change adaptation. Each category is mandated to prepare these communities for a better future (see Fig. 5.3). Firstly, in mitigation policies, this paper addressed human-induced activities and natural variability influences climate for these communities by focussing on reducing carbon footprint, reducing deforestation, forest preservation, improving waste management, renewable energy use and improving energy efficiency, and air pollution control. Secondly, in modulation factors, issues related to the contributing factors that would make these communities more vulnerable and highly at risk to be affected by climate change impact factors were addressed. By addressing these modulating influences that affect these communities, is possible to ascertain the key factors that make adaptation behaviours and activities more sustainable for them in the future.

These modulating factors include, but are not limited to the climate change impact, pre-existing livelihood, health and well-being conditions and care available, country infrastructure, the rate of deforestation, access to renewable energy and energy efficiency, environmental pollution and population growth and density.

Impact and adaptation model

Fig. 5.3 Impact and adaptation model

Thirdly, for the climate change impact, this paper focussed particularly on sea level rise, temperature rise, EWEs, drought, rainfall pattern variations and seasonal shift. Furthermore, these six impacts were used to measure the effects of climate change on livelihoods, health and well-being. For livelihood impacts, different sectors affected negatively by climate change in these communities were identified as: livestock, women group activities (e.g. weaving & koka’anga (tapa making), traditional textiles), agriculture, employment, coastal erosion, sand mining, small-scale businesses, deforestation, education, remittances and fisheries.

For the impacts on health the model identifies a myriad of perceived climate-change related diseases: STIs, typhoid fever, boils, heart condition, general malaise, depression, anxiety, cancer, diabetes, cough, folliculitis, common cold, measles, filariasis, epilepsy, skeletal pain, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, abdominal pain, anaphylaxis, leptospirosis, menorrhagia, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, migraine, influenza, shortness of breath, emesis, urticaria, fever, rhinorrhoea, poliomyelitis, back pain, sore throat, CVA (cerebral vascular accident), CVD (cerebral vascular disease), cramps, pruritus, hypertension, conjunctivitis and tinea. The well-being impacts, cover mental, physical and spiritual impacts. The mental impacts correspond to, health impact, communication impact and increasing the level of worry. The physical impacts include, livelihoods impact, governmental impact, hygienic impact, injuries, dying (e.g. the end of life and transition to death—semi-conscious to completely unconscious) and death. Then disruption of the church services and religious activities accounted for the spiritual impact.

The last category of the model was the climate change adaptation. The adaptation was divided into 3 main parts: livelihood adaptation, health adaptation and well-being adaptation. The additional feature of adaptation is the policy proposal.

Based on the sample, for the livelihood adaptation the following were recommended, but may not be limited to:

  • • Continue supporting of the community-based policing programme
  • • Ensure food maintenance of crop and vegetable based adaptation
  • • Establishment of a community-based multipurpose centre hall
  • • Improve community sanitation adaptation programme
  • • Improve road map to cater for communities during evacuation and emergency
  • • Initiate proposal for beach resorts with hotels and motels
  • • Initiate a proposal for national park adaptation programme
  • • Increase marine-based conservation special management area (SMA)
  • • Increase information sharing and public awareness
  • • Installation of cyclone and tsunami warning siren
  • • Link waste management act to climate change adaptation
  • • Locate community-based high point spot for relocation in advanced
  • • Maintenance and repairing of main road
  • • Nationalise building and maintenance of seawall programme
  • • Proposal for community-based landfill and reclamation programme
  • • Reinforce policy on prevention and control burning of rubbish
  • • Reinforce policy on national environmental protection
  • • Reinforce policy on illegal fishing
  • • Reinforce policy on illegal sand mining
  • • Revisit chemical imported usage protocol for Tonga
  • • Revisit community-based fishing boat and programme
  • • Revisit evacuation and emergency plan to suit community-based needs
  • • Revisit recovery plan to include financial aid for affected communities
  • • Support community-based fund raising initiatives
  • • Community participant in government decision making
  • • Community-based reforestation initiatives programme of mangroves and other plant species
  • • District officer proposal allocated for Tukutonga
  • • Electricity connection proposal for Tukutonga
  • • House repairing codes guidelines reinforcement
  • • Land property ownership right review for Tukutonga and Popua
  • • Large water tank aid programme
  • • Policy proposal on climigration and relocation further inland
  • • Small-scale home farming initiatives.

For the health adaptation the following were recommended but may not be limited to: increase of community-based physical activity programme on public health promotion, encourage people to utilise modern medical facility and use of rain protection while on duty. For the well-being adaptation the following were recommended: nationalise fasting day for worshipping god about climate change, and nationalise message on climate change and adaptation through church. Then, on policy proposal, this paper recommended the following policies:

  • • Establishment of a community-based adaption multipurpose centre
  • • Evacuation plan enhancement—road mapping architecture will improve with emergency disaster kits valid for a day
  • • Initiate a policy for climigration relocation for Tonga
  • • Land ownership review for Tukutonga
  • • Mark the global and national climate change campaign day in Tonga
  • • Nationalise survey on livelihood, health and well-being into the census data
  • • Policy to support community-based initiatives on landfill and reclamation programme
  • • Policy to support community-based seawall construction and maintenance
  • • Policy to support community-based reforestation initiatives of mangroves and other plant species
  • • Reinforcement of policy on illegal sand mining and fishing
  • • Reinforcement of policy on prevention and control burning of rubbish in the community
  • • Review of policy on uninhabited land tenure for Popua according to the government protocol
  • • Strengthening community-based policing programme
  • • Tsunami and cyclone siren installed into the high vulnerable and most at risk communities.

In support of these adaptation approaches, here is a cross-section sample of the transcripts that had guided this paper in this model. A high official from the Ministry of Agriculture in Tonga, with the details about deforestation and reforestation initiatives, stated explicitly: “Another problem is that there are too many deforestations; that is the impact of climate change on commercial agriculture. We don’t have any reforestation programs to address this issue in Tonga.” And another man from Manuka proposed the same policy by stating: “I think the only policy I would like to propose for the people of this community is to ban them from cutting off the trees on the beach.” Then another man from Kanokupolu clearly stated his opinion by saying: “But when we talk about climate change, it is clearly driven by human activities. This means that human destroyed the trees that were support and prevent sea from coming in land and cause coastal erosion. Today, however, we have tried to build seawalls to prevent sea level rise from inundation.”

Then another woman from Kanokupolu backed this up by saying: “And sea level rise is one of the major problems that affect us here in this community. Mainly because the rising of sea level is above the land benchmark in addition to the fact that we are located in the narrowest part of Tongatapu. This impact of sea level rise eroded the land that usually serve the purpose of agriculture in the past. As a result, our land is getting smaller the same way it diminishes our sources of livelihoods, especially the eastern side of Kanokupolu. In the past, these areas have been used for bush allotment (‘api tukuhau) but as sea level rise affected these areas, we now shift to the western side of Kanokupolu to do agriculture to sustain our livelihoods, maintain health and restore well-being.”

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