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"Is it climate change or not ?" ou comment le rapport aux scientifiques influence la perception du changement climatique à Ma’uke et Manihiki (Îles Cook)

Abstract : The current process of implementing climate change adaptation projects in vulnerable territories is handicapped by a lack of localized climate data, particularly in the Pacific Islands. The local knowledge of islanders is increasingly solicited by researchers to fill this information gap and to provide details on current environmental evolution. However, the variety of testimonies collected by scientists from the population reveals a multitude of changes whose logic and contradictions raise questions. Based on ethnographic data collected between 2014 and 2018 on the islands of Ma’uke and Manihiki (Cook Islands), this article aims to examine this process of observing environmental change by asking whether relations with those who bring the discourse on climate change - scientists - play a role in local people’s understanding of it. The hypothesis developed is that the relationship between populations and scientists influences how they describe the environmental changes they observe. Early results show that this is the case, particularly on tumu korero (local environmental experts) describing environmental changes and in their attribution of these changes to climate change. Their observations seem to be in part the result of a quest for legitimacy in the eyes of scientists but also of the rest of the population, in order to maintain their privileged social position. The description by populations threatened by the effects of climate change on the environment therefore depends in part on the relationship they have with those who come to raise their awareness of this issue. It would appear necessary to describe and historicize the relationship between populations and those who carry the climate change discourse in each new attempt to collect local knowledge on the environmental transformations of a territory.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 3:33:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 11, 2022 - 11:31:52 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 7:15:24 PM


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David Glory. "Is it climate change or not ?" ou comment le rapport aux scientifiques influence la perception du changement climatique à Ma’uke et Manihiki (Îles Cook). ethnographiques.org, Association Ethnographiques.org, 2019, ⟨10.25667/ethnographiques/2019-38/007 SMASH⟩. ⟨hal-02472924⟩



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