Home Institution

Colgate University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change


Climate change remains a prevalent problem for today’s international community, particularly for Pacific Island countries. This study examines the current influence of climate change on Samoa by looking at the three tenets of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. These aspects of climatic change correlate and build off one another, ultimately elucidating the basic vulnerability of any given region. It also analyzes how environmentally secure Samoa is and will be, using Thomas Homer- Dixon’s theory on climate change and conflict. Finally, this paper seeks to outline the current system of adaptation awareness that exists between government, community and foreign aid components, and propose future strategies. Quantitative data collected from Samoan government resources, international databases, and non-governmental organizations explained the basic environmental impacts while articles and interviews highlighted the anthropogenic reaction. Analysis proved high exposure, medium-high sensitivity, and medium-high (improving) adaptive capacity. Additionally, Homer-Dixon’s theory illuminated an environmentally secure nation where an adaptation awareness system exists but lacks depth, remaining a work-in-progress. Collectively, this research illuminated a viable foundation for positive adaptation and comprehensive mitigation of climate change in Samoa.


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Policy | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Sustainability


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