Pacific futures

Our Pacific futures research explores the various dimensions of environmental, social, cultural and political challenges confronting Pacific nations.

Aerial shot of Kiribati, image by Government of Kiribati
Kiribati, image by Government of Kiribati

As the largest ocean basin in the world, the Pacific is host to a unique range of marine and terrestrial environments. Overlaying this biophysical template the inhabited island nations of the mid-Pacific and landmasses of the Pacific Rim possess a diverse range of cultural, social and political systems.

The Pacific is undergoing an immense environmental and geopolitical change that threatens the traditional pattern of life in many small island nations. Contemporary issues include defining the threats of climate change, resolving the impact of natural hazards, understanding the dimensions of physical and social vulnerability, exploring transformations in governance, identifying the challenges of development and sustainable livelihoods and evaluating the pressures of migration and urban expansion.

Confronting these challenges requires robust research to inform future decision-making in the Pacific. We have a tradition of research knowledge on Pacific issues. We maintain active research projects in Pacific communities and provide leadership in exploring these contemporary research questions.

Our research topics

  • Coastal and reef island change
  • Atoll island formation and evolution
  • Coral reef health
  • Coastal processes
  • Island vulnerability
  • Population change and migration dynamics
  • Urban development
  • Development and livelihoods
  • Diasporic Pasifika populations
  • Impacts of tourism and ecotourism
  • Disaster risk assessment and risk reduction
  • Participatory tools for livelihood assessment and environmental management
  • Participant action research

Our researchers