Fieldwork in Solomon Islands

by Sophie Webber (UBC Geography)

I just returned from five weeks of dissertation fieldwork in Solomon Islands. My friends and family are always jealous of my research trips, thinking they look something like this photo.

Of course it does; Solomon Islands has wonderful snorkeling and beaches. But I spent my time in Honiara the capital, interviewing Solomon Islands Government officials and representatives of development partners including bilateral donors, regional organizations, and large, international non-governmental organizations.

I was interviewing these personnel with a couple of objectives. First, I am interested in understanding the differences – in theory, and in practice – between putative Development interventions, and Adaptation ones. I am trying to understand why it matters to certain development actors whether a project is called climate change adaptation, or, say, an education investment. And second, I asked questions about how these climate change adaptation, resilience, and risk management programs incorporated scientific information – including projections, scenarios, and short-term forecasts. In particular, I am trying to figure out how uncertainty around precise future climate change impacts are worked around and incorporated.

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