Small Islands in Peril?

Small Islands in Peril?

Island Size and Island Lives in Melanesia

Edited by: Colin Filer orcid

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This book explores the idea that small island communities could be regarded as canaries in the coal mine of sustainable development because of scientific and anecdotal evidence of a common link between rapid population growth, degradation of the local resource base, and intensification of disputes over the ownership and use of terrestrial and marine resources. The authors are all anthropologists with a specific interest in the question of whether the economic and social ‘safety valves’ that have previously served to break some of the feedback loops between these trends appear to be losing their efficacy. While much of the debate about economy–society–environment relationships on small islands has been overtaken by a narrow focus on the problem of climate change, the authors show that there are many other factors at work in the transformation of island lives and livelihoods.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2024
Asia-Pacific Environment Monograph 18
ANU Press
Asia-Pacific Environment Monographs
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies; Science: Environmental Sciences
Pacific: Melanesia

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Small Islands in Peril? »

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  1. Introduction (PDF, 157 KB)Colin Filer doi
  2. On the Classification of Small Island Communities in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.2 MB)Colin Filer doi
  3. Livelihood Dilemmas on Some Small Islands in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.6 MB)Simon Foale, Colin Filer, Jeff Kinch and Martha Macintyre doi
  4. Pilot Fish Rock, or, How to Live Large on a Small Island in Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands (PDF, 2 MB)Edvard Hviding doi
  5. Manam Lives in Limbo: Resilience and Adaptation in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 2.8 MB)Nancy Lutkehaus doi
  6. Pressures and Perils in the Stony Bits of Lihir, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 3.2 MB)Nicholas Bainton and Colin Filer doi
  7. Conclusion (PDF, 99 KB)Colin Filer and Simon Foale doi

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