Dreams from Kiribati: Maintaining identity and social resilience post-migration
Climate change is widely regarded as a factor that contributes to migration through sea level rise and consequently Kiribati is expected to become uninhabitable and require mass migration. The question around how to resettle Kiribati’s population is without an answer. This thesis sought how the people of Kiribati envision their society will look, function and feel post-migration. This thesis used the strength based methodology Appreciative Inquiry to frame migration in a positive way to help get participants beyond the frightening idea of migrating and rather explore dreams for making migration work for the people of Kiribati. Fieldwork in Kiribati found participants’ dreams cover a wide array of needs such as identity, community connectedness, liveable income, recognised education and the ability to celebrate their culture. These dreams correlate strongly with the components of social resilience which indicates holistic adaptation planning is likely to be the most effective approach. Of all resilience influencing components, the relationship between culture and identity appears the most integral and if the I-Kiribati are able to reproduce their culture in ways that are less dependent on location, the migrating population will likely be more socially resilient when their location of residence changes.