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The perception of climate-related coastal risks and environmental changes on the Rangiroa and Tikehau atolls, French Polynesia: The role of sensitive and intellectual drivers

Abstract : French coastal policies have recently put greater emphasis on the need to better inform coastal populations aboutcoastal risks in the context of climate change, in particular in French overseas territories that are nationallyrecognized as hotspots. It is therefore critical to further assess local populations' knowledge and perceptions ofclimate-related coastal risks. In this respect, we ran a social survey among inhabitants of two atolls of FrenchPolynesia in the Pacific Ocean, using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews largely based on images oflandscapes. The results show that (1) coastal risks are not considered as a danger but only as a problem, and that(2) inhabitants have a very clear perception of the changes that have occurred locally over the last 70 years withrespect to weather, climate, corals and beaches. (3) Interviewees generally show some knowledge about thenotion of global climate change and its potential local impacts. (4) However, a multiple correspondence analysisdistinguishes four groups (the ‘informed’, ’poorly informed, ‘uninformed’ and ‘distant’ groups) separated by ageand gender, but also by levels of education and urbanization. The discussion therefore focuses on the mostimportant drivers of climate change perception, showing a disconnection between atolls and generations: ruraland older inhabitants present more sensitive mechanisms of risk perception and urban and younger intervieweesmore intellectual ones. A major challenge consists in bringing these dimensions closer by better integrating, onan intellectual level, local climate-related coastal risks into school programs, and by defining, on a more sensitivelevel, an ambitious cultural and environmental policy to allow young generations to keep contact with theiroriginal living environment. Highlighting the interest of this survey, risk management and adaptation policiesnow support the reactivation of local knowledge and practices.
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https://hal-univ-rochelle.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02142079
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 1:50:10 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:23:06 PM

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Lydie Goeldner-Gianella, Delphine Grancher, Alexandre K. Magnan, Edouard de Belizal, Virginie Duvat. The perception of climate-related coastal risks and environmental changes on the Rangiroa and Tikehau atolls, French Polynesia: The role of sensitive and intellectual drivers. Ocean and Coastal Management, Elsevier, 2019, 172, pp.14-29. ⟨10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.01.018⟩. ⟨hal-02142079⟩

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