June 26, 2017
Maori focus in climate change project
The effect of climate change on Maori traditional cultural practices such as weaving and food gathering will be among the topics canvassed in new University of Waikato research project.
Associate Professor Sandy Morrison and Professors Debashish Munshi and Priya Kuria have won a $270,000 research grant from the Deep South National Science Challenge to engage with a wide range of New Zealanders about how we can all better prepare for the future impacts of climate change.
Associate Professor Sandy Morrison, who is an expert on indigenous development issues, says the team is conscious of the strong interest that Maori have in debates about climate action and looking at environmental issues.
While people need reliable, up-to-date information to be able to make important decisions about their future, many vulnerable businesses and communities in New Zealand are struggling to understand how they should respond to the significant threats that climate change poses to our economy, our social fabric, our cultural traditions and way of life.
The research will include citizen panels with business and community groups such as farmers, small-to-medium business owners, tourism operators, Maori iwi and hapu, and residents living in coastal or low-lying areas, to find out what people already know about climate change and how they might deal with extreme weather, flooding rivers and rising sea levels.
The team will prepare recommendations for local councils and government.
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