Oral Presentation AMOS Annual Meeting and International Conference on Tropical Meteorology and Oceanography

Navigating protocols and partnerships for community engagement in the collection and use of traditional weather and climate knowledge (#29)

Lynda E. Chambers 1 , Philip Malsale 2 , Siosinamele Lui 2 , Noel Sanau 3 , Tile Tofaeono 4 , Zarn Kavisi 5 , Albert Willy 6 , Rossylynn Pulehetoa-Mitiepo 7 , Roan D. Plotz 8
  1. Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. SPREP, Apia, Samoa
  3. Solomon Islands Meteorology Services, Honiara, Solomon Islands
  4. Samoa Meteorology Division, Apia, Samoa
  5. Tāoga Niue, Alofi, Niue
  6. Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department, Port Vila, Vanuatu
  7. Niue Meteorological Service, Alofi, Niue
  8. Institute of Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

The process of successfully engaging Pacific communities to collect and document traditional knowledge (TK) on weather and climate can be complex. Community engagement is a process of inclusive participation, where the lines of existing cultural practices and protocols are often blurred and difficult to navigate. For the Traditional Knowledge on Weather and Climate Project under the Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) Program, collecting and documenting TK in the four original pilot countries was not a straight forward process.

In this presentation we illustrate an approach that can be used by any organisation or individual interested in engaging Pacific communities to collect and document traditional knowledge.  The paper highlights the similarities and differences between cultural groups, recognises cultural sensitivities and ensures custodian rights are protected within a process that is respectful, acceptable and meets community and national needs. Furthermore, this paper provides guidance for those interested in collecting and documenting TK and a process that can be replicated elsewhere.