Journal articles and book chapters

2024. By: MIHAERE, S; HOLMAN-WHAREHOKA, M.; MATAROA, J.; KIDDLE, G.L.; PEDERSEN ZARI, M.;  BLASCHKE, P.; BLOOMFIELD, S.
In: Frontiers in Environmental Science Vol 12, https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2024.1278235.

Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer significant potential for climate change adaptation and resilience. NbS strengthen biodiversity and ecosystems, and premise approaches that centre human wellbeing. But understandings and models of wellbeing differ and continue to evolve. This paper reviews wellbeing models and thinking from Aotearoa New Zealand, with focus on Te Ao Māori (the Māori world and worldview) as well as other Indigenous models of wellbeing from wider Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Oceania. We highlight how holistic understandings of human-ecology-climate connections are fundamental for the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Oceania and that they should underpin NbS approaches in the region. We profile case study experience from Aotearoa New Zealand and the Cook Islands emerging out of the Nature-based Urban design for Wellbeing and Adaptation in Oceania (NUWAO) research project, that aims to develop nature-based urban design solutions, rooted in Indigenous knowledges that support climate change adaptation and wellbeing. We show that there is great potential for nature-based urban adaptation agendas to be more effective if linked closely to Indigenous ecological knowledge and understandings of wellbeing.

Design for a Community Centre in Rarotonga derived through Te Aorangi framework (Source: Mataroa, 2023).

Traditional Nature-based Architecture and Landscape Design: Lessons from Samoa and Wider Oceania

2022. By: LATAI-NIUSULU, A; TAUA’A S.; KIDDLE, G.L.; PEDERSEN ZARI, M.;  BLASCHKE, P.; CHANSE, V.
In: Creating Resilient Landscapes in an Era of Climate Change, Eds: A. Rastandeh and M. Jarchow, Routledge: Oxon. Chapter 13, pgs. 194-216.

Abstract: The islands of Oceania, scattered across the vast Pacific Ocean, are dynamic and complex systems. Pacific Island communities, who first in-habited these places more than 3,000 years ago, have adapted ways of surviving amid these tropical environments and the waves of foreign influences that continuously bring change to their shores. In this chapter, Pacific Island architecture and landscape designs (ALDs) embody Pacific worldviews and a close connection with the environment. They have evolved over centuries and vary from island to island within Oceania. Pacific Island cultures recognize that islands are deeply interconnected socio-ecological systems, in and among themselves, and also in relation to other parts of the world. This knowledge is crucial to the development of nature-based solutions which call for integrated approaches to address climate change, biodiversity loss and other sustainable development challenges. This chapter argues that the evolution and continued existence of Pacific Island traditional architecture and the historical designs and structure of their villages, in spite of pressures, demonstrates the resilience of Pacific Island peoples and cultural knowledge. This knowledge is crucial and must be front and centre in the development of current and future urban ALD strategies that result in both ecological and human well-being benefits. This chapter employs a place-based and Indigenous-centric approach to exploring nature-based ALD in Oceania using Samoa as a case study.

Village settlement and physical features of Saleimoa village.

Regenerative living cities and the urban climate–biodiversity–wellbeing nexus

2022. By: PEDERSEN ZARI, M; MACKINNON, M.; VARSHNEY, K.; and BAKSHI, N.
In: Nature Climate Change. Online https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01390-w

Extract: Understanding this urban climate– biodiversity–wellbeing nexus reveals an urgent need for cities to evolve at a systemic level and suggests a holistic, nature-based approach to urban climate change mitigation and adaptation. Reversing the current feedback loop between cities, climate change and biodiversity loss will require optimizing this nexus of relationships through the strategic design, construction and retrofit of increased green (relating to living vegetation and soil) and blue (relating to water) infrastructure, as well as increased building-integrated vegetation. This would increase urban biomass while producing measurable biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and wellbeing co-benefits


An Oceania Urban Design Agenda Linking Ecosystem Services, Nature-Based Solutions, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wellbeing

2021. By: KIDDLE, G.L.; PEDERSEN ZARI, M.;  BLASCHKE, P.; CHANSE, V.; KIDDLE, R.
In: Sustainability. Special Issue: Responding to Climate Emergency: Design, Planning and Assessment of the Built Environment

Abstract: Many coastal peri-urban and urban populations in Oceania are heavily reliant on terrestrial and marine ecosystem services for subsistence and wellbeing. However, climate change and urbanisation have put significant pressure on ecosystems and compelled nations and territories in Oceania to urgently adapt. This article, with a focus on Pacific Island Oceania but some insight from Aotearoa New Zealand, reviews key literature focused on ecosystem health and human health and wellbeing in Oceania and the important potential contribution of nature-based solutions to limiting the negative impacts of climate change and urbanisation. The inextricable link between human wellbeing and provision of ecosystem services is well established. However, given the uniqueness of Oceania, rich in cultural and biological diversity and traditional ecological knowledge, these links require further examination leading potentially to a new conceptualisation of wellbeing frameworks in relation to human/nature relationships. Rapidly urbanising Oceania has a growing body of rural, peri-urban and urban nature-based solutions experience to draw from. However, important gaps in knowledge and practice remain. Pertinently, there is a need, potential—and therefore opportunity—to define an urban design agenda positioned within an urban ecosystem services framework, focused on human wellbeing and informed by traditional ecological knowledge, determined by and relevant for those living in the islands of Oceania as a means to work towards effective urban climate change adaptation.


Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Wellbeing: Evidence and Opportunities From Kiribati, Samoa, and Vanuatu

2021. By: KIDDLE, G.L.; BAKINETI, T.; LATAI-NIUSULU, A.; MISSACK, W; PEDERSEN ZARI, M; KIDDLE, R; CHANSE, V; BLASCHKE, P; and LOUBSER, D.
In: Frontiers in Environmental Science. Special Issue: Nature-based Solutions for Natural Hazards and Climate Change, online.

Abstract: Climate change and urbanisation in combination put great pressure on terrestrial and ocean ecosystems, vital for subsistence and wellbeing in both rural and urban areas of Pacific islands. Adaptation is urgently required. Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer great potential, with the region increasingly implementing NbS and linked approaches like ecosystem-based adaptation in response. This paper utilises three Pacific island nation case-studies, Kiribati, Samoa and Vanuatu, to review current NbS approaches to adapt and mitigate the converging resilience challenges of climate change and urbanisation. We look at associated government policies, current NbS experience, and offer insights into opportunities for future work with focus on urban areas. These three Pacific island case-studies showcase their rich cultural and biological diversity and, importantly, the role of traditional ecological knowledge in shaping localised, place-based, NbS for climate change adaptation and enhanced wellbeing. But gaps in knowledge, policy, and practice remain. There is great potential for a nature-based urban design agenda positioned within an urban ecosystems framework linked closely to Indigenous understandings of wellbeing.