Climate change and the intersection with development and security : as evidenced by global, regional and local responses in Kiribati : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University
This thesis will analyse the evolution and the impact of global, regional and local responses to climate change in Pacific Small Island Developing States. This examination will take place through the lens of the United Nations and Pacific regional powers' involvement in Kiribati and within the greater context of the security-development nexus. There are arguably three major actors in the policy realm – intergovernmental organizations /non-governmental organizations, regional powers and local governments. By analysing the United Nations (as the intergovernmental organization), New Zealand (as one of the regional powers) and Kiribati (as the local government of the affected country) we can gain a better understanding of how these three entities engage in dialogue and facilitate change on the ground. Kiribati is an exemplar for the security-development interrelationship in the face of climate change. This status is manifest by virtue of the Kiribati high level of responsiveness to international initiatives, direct overtures to regional powers (in regards to increased aid for adaptation, mitigation and relocation measures), and implementation of numerous national policies related to issues arising from climate change. This thesis details the current policy landscape with respect to climate change and Pacific Small Island Developing States and will examine the evolution of international, regional and national policy responses in the climate change context. The objective is to provide an empirical basis for understanding policy responses with respect to climate change in Pacific Small Island Developing States. In service of this objective, this thesis will analyse existing policy, proposed policy and hypothetical/academic policy using discourse analysis and document content analysis. An understanding of the constitution and evolution of these discursive categories (as evidenced by thematic debate, policy discourse, and media coverage) are utilised in an attempt to provide insight on the complexities of climate change governance and how actors can be best equipped to respond.