At the local level, where the most adaptation to climate impacts takes place, adaptation decision making and planning are closely tied to how people perceive climate risks. In Tuvalu, a low-lying Pacific island nation, ways of perceiving climate risks encompass both understandings about potential hazards wrought by a changing climate as well as culturally informed understandings about appropriate responses to the threats born from those hazards. An analysis of risk perception that combines the Cultural Theory of Risk with an examination of traditional environmental knowledge is used to understand how climate impacts are perceived in Nanumea, Tuvalu. The argument is made that adaptive decisions which reflect community risk priorities and cultural worldviews are more likely to be successful than efforts that may claim community engagement but do not reflect community members' perceptions and worldviews.

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