Climate Change, Belonging and Migration in Oceania

This project is studying how the projected consequences of climate change influence the cultural constituting of belonging and the decision to migrate. First, it is being clarified how the inhabitants of islands and coastal areas experience changes occurring in nature, environment, and climate. Second, I ask how belonging is culturally constituted – vis-à-vis different local groups, the home island (or country or nation), and (in the event) transnational communities. Third, I clarify how Pacific Islanders relate to the option of migration. Also, in this nexus of concerns, I focus on the role of emotions in fostering a sense of belonging and in the decision whether or not to migrate. Research has thus far been focused on Kiribati, an atoll state in the Central Pacific, which, according to recent projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is particularly vulnerable.

Publications

2020.
Elfriede Hermann:
Climate Change, Emotions and Religion: Imagining the Future in Central Oceania.
In: Elodie Fache, Hannah Fair und Wolfgang Kempf (eds.): Higher Powers. Negotiating Climate Change, Religion and Future in Oceania. Special Issue of Anthropological Forum 30 (3), 274–291. [DOI]

2019.
Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf:
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. [DOI]

2018.
Elfriede Hermann:
Social Capital in the Face of Climate Change: Voices of Emotional Belonging from Kiribati. GISCA Occasional Paper Series 18. [DOI]

2018.
Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf:
“Prophecy from the Past”: Climate Change Discourse, Song Culture and Emotions in Kiribati.
In: Tony Crook and Peter Rudiak-Gould (eds.): Pacific Climate Cultures. Warsaw: De Gruyter Open, 21–33, 160–175 (Bibliography). [DOI] [OPAC]

2017.
Elfriede Hermann:
Climate Change and Worries over Land: Articulations in the Atoll State of Kiribati.
In: Eveline Dürr and Arno Pascht (eds.): Environmental Transformations and Cultural Responses: Ontologies, Discourses, and Practices in Oceania. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 49–73. [DOI] [OPAC]

2017.
Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf:
Climate Change and the Imagining of Migration: Emerging Discourses on Kiribati's Land Purchase in Fiji.
In: The Contemporary Pacific 29 (2), pp. 231–263.

2014.
Wolfgang Kempf and Elfriede Hermann:
Epilogue. Uncertain Futures of Belonging: Consequences of Climate Change and Sea-level Rise in Oceania.
In: Elfriede Hermann, Wolfgang Kempf and Toon van Meijl (eds.): Belonging in Oceania: Movement, Place-Making and Multiple Identifications. New York: Berghahn, pp. 189–213. [OPAC]