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A Changing Climate

The Pacific Islands are extremely vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.  However, incorporating climate change components into protected area planning is a relatively new field and for some practitioners, has not been considered in management planning or implementation.  The resources in this section are intended to assist practitioners with monitoring, managing and adapting for climate change within a protected areas framework.  

Both staghorn coral and an uninhabited island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. (Photograph by Andre Seale/Marine Photobank)

 

pacific climate change portal

 

For further information on climate change in the Pacific, visit the Pacific Climate Change Portal which aims to ensure that climate change‐related information and tools held by regional and national institutions in the Pacific Islands are readily accessible in a coordinated and user-friendly manner.
 
 

 

 

A guide to Community Vulnerability and Adaptation assessment and action

A Management and Adaptation Planning Guide for Natural Resource Managers

A Management and Adaptation Planning Guide for Natural Resource Managers. 2006. Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) document.

This document was developed for the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) to provide a step by step guide for Marine Managed Area (MMA) management planning. However, given more recent interest in incorporating climate change adaptation concepts into existing planning processes, this guidance has been updated to include guidance on understanding climate change impacts and including adaptation in the planning process.


A Reef Managers Guide to Coral Bleaching

Marshall, P. and Schuttenberg, H. 2006. A Reef Managers Guide to Coral Bleaching. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Australia.


Carbon Emissions from Forest Loss in Protected Areas.

Janishevski, L. and Gidda, S.B. 2010.  Carbon Emissions from Forest Loss in Protected Areas. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and UNEP; Issue Paper No. 6.

This study combines the best available data on carbon stocks and deforestation with protected area data to estimate the area of forest loss within the protected area network of the humid tropical forest biome during 2000-2005. Regions where protected areas are simultaneously rich in carbon and under pressure from land cover change are identified.

The authors report high carbon density in Papua New Guinea and recommend enhancing management of forested protected areas in this area (along with Australasia).


Cleaner Pacific 2025 - Implementation Plan

Cleaner Pacific 2025 - Implementation Plan

Cleaner Pacific 2025 is a comprehensive long-term strategy for integrated and sustainable waste management and pollution prevention and control in the Pacific islands region over the next decade (2016–2025). Cleaner Pacific 2025 provides a strategic management framework to address waste, chemicals and pollutants (WCP) that will reduce the associated threats to sustainable development of the region (Table 1).


Climate, Carbon and Coral Reefs

Climate Change Adaptation for Natural World Heritage Sites: A Practical Guide

Perry, J and C. Falzon. 2014.  Climate Change Adaptation for Natural World Heritage Sites: a Practical Guide.  World Heritage Papers 37.

This guide is intended primarily to:


Climate Change and Ocean Circulation

Climate Change and Ocean Circulation

Scientists are closely monitoring a key current in the North Atlantic to see if rising sea temperatures and increased freshwater from melting ice are altering the “ocean conveyor belt” — a vast oceanic stream that plays a major role in the global climate system.


Climate Change in the Pacific: Scientific Assessment and New Research

Climate Prediction for Small Island Nations: Managing risks, maximizing opportunities

Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation

 Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation

In this guide The U.S. Department of the Interior presents a broad synthesis of scenario planning concepts and approaches, focused on applications in natural resource management and conservation. The guide is intended to help natural resource and conservation professionals, including managers, planners, and researchers to:


Coral Reef Resilience and Resistance to Bleaching

Grimsditch, G.D., and Salm, R. V.  2006. Coral Reef Resilience and Resistance to Bleaching.  IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

This IUCN publication has information on the factors affecting tolerance of corals to increased temperatures and mechanisms by which corals can avoid bleaching during periods of warmer temperatures (e.g. ocean currents and upwellings).

The second section of this technical document provides information on ecological and spatial factors affecting resilience of corals. The third section discusses management for coral bleaching (e.g. coral transplanting, MPAs etc.) but does not go into detail. There is a useful table of management handbooks on page 27 for those wanting more details on management.


Designing Marine Protected Area Networks to Achieve Fisheries Biodiversity and Climate Change Objectives in Tropical Ecosystems: A Practitioners Guide

Green, A., White, A., Kilarski, S. (Eds.) 2013. Designing Marine Protected Area Networks to Achieve Fisheries Biodiversity and Climate Change Objectives in Tropical Ecosystems: A Practitioners Guide. The Nature Conservancy, and the USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership, Cebu City, Philippines.

This guide provides a set of biophysical principles to help practitioners design networks of marine protected areas to achieve fisheries sustainability, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience in the face of climate change.


Explaining Ocean Warming

Fiji - Nakauvadra community based reforestation project - PDD (2013)

The Nakauvadra Community Based Reforestation Project in Fiji has been developed by Conservation International (CI), and funded through the support of FIJI Water. The project is located on the northern tip of Viti Levu in the Province of Ra. It is comprised of 1,135 ha of reforestation plots along the Southern and Northern slopes of the Nakauvadra Range, a 11,387 ha forest refuge that has been designated as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and is earmarked as a priority site in Fiji’s proposed protected area network.


Global Climate Change Alliance

Global Climate Change Alliance

The GCCA was established by the European Union (EU) in 2007 to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).


Green Climate Fund

Green Climate Fund

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. The human impact on our planet is unprecedented. Long-term changes in the earth’s climate system are significant. The Green Climate Fund was established with a mission to advance the goal of keeping the temperature increase on our home planet below 2 degrees Celsius. 


Information and Knowledge Management for Climate Change (IKM4CC) Guidelines: complete set

Information and Knowledge Management for Climate Change (IKM4CC) Guidelines: complete set

The five IKM4CC Guidelines provide detailed advice on a range of information management topics and practices.  The guidelines are relevant to information managers, information officers and any other people involved in collecting, storing, describing or sharing climate change-related information.

The guidelines include theory and practice and provide practical resources and examples from the Pacific.  Topics covered by the guidelines include:


Islands of the Future: Building resilience in a changing world

Islands of the Future: Building resilience in a changing world

Twenty years down the road from the Barbados Programme of Action (1994) and ten years after the Mauritius Strategy (2004), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are in Apia, Samoa to take stock and define future priorities at the Third International Conference on SIDS, from 1 to 4 September.


Learning About Climate Change the Pacific Way: a Guide for Pacific Teachers

Learning About Climate Change the Pacific Way: a Guide for Pacific Teachers

A picture based education resource for students, teachers and facilitators.

It introduces Pasifika as an imaginary island that is nowhere but everywhere. Pacific learners and explorers can find local buildings, plants, animals, people and geographical features they can relate to. The guides have been produced for Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu in close partnership with these countries. The information is also relevant to all Pacific Island countries and territories.


Legal Frameworks for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in the Pacific Islands

Lifou Declaration

The Lifou Declaration (3rd Oceania 21 Summit, Loyalty islands, New Caledonia, 30 April 2015)


Managing Mangroves for Resilience to Climate Change

McLeod, E and Salm, R.V. 2006. Managing Mangroves for Resilience to Climate Change. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland

This report provides information for managers regarding the potential impacts of climate change to mangrove forests (e.g. impacts of changes in temperature, CO2, rainfall, storms frequency, sea level rise).

Ten strategies are provided for managers to apply in order to promote resilience in mangrove locations. The guidelines inform managers how to assess mangrove vulnerability to sea level rise. This information is of the utmost importance to managers in all Pacific Islands. The authors provide both low-tech and high-tech solutions.


MIT Climate CoLab

MIT Climate CoLab (www.climatecolab.org) is an online crowdsourcing platform of over 58,000 members from around the world, sourcing innovative proposals on addressing climate change.  Topic areas include land use, agriculture, and forestry, reducing emissions from the buildings and industrial sectors, creating sustainable ground and air transportation systems, smart zero-carbon cities, and many more.


Ocean Acidification - a Crash Course

Ocean Acidification in the Pacific Islands Region

Ocean Acidification in the Pacific Islands Region

•CO2 is an acid gas (it produces acid when combined with water)

Each of us adds 4 kg CO2 per day to the ocean (increasing acidity, reducing pH)


Opportunities for improving access to Climate Change Finance

Opportunities for improving access to Climate Change Finance

Climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific. This was reaffirmed last year when Pacific Island Forum Leaders identified climate change as one of the top five regional priorities under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and at the same time issued the Declaration on Climate Change Action for the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris. The declaration built upon other high level declarations issued by the region prior to COP21.


Our Changing Oceans: The Challenges Ahead

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change

Building Resilience to Climate Change in Pacific Communities

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Programme is the first major climate change adaptation initiative in the Pacific region.  Since it began in 2009 the Programme has been laying the groundwork for more resilient Pacific communities that are better able to cope with climate variability today and climate change tomorrow. The Programme approaches this from two directions: it is working to enhance adaptive capacity on the ground, and it is driving the mainstreaming of climate risks into national development planning and activities.


Pacific Climate Change Portal

Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC)

Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative

The Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), headquartered in Honolulu, but working across the Pacific, integrates local climate models with models of climate-change responses by species, habitats, and ecosystems.  The PICCC was established in 2010 to assist those who manage native species, island ecosystems, and key cultural resources in adapting their management to climate change for the continuing benefit of the people of the Pacific Islands.


Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006-2015

Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Vulnerability Assessment

Performing “A New Song”: Suggested Considerations for Drafting Effective Coastal Fisheries Legislation Under Climate Change

A New Song for Coastal Fisheries, a strategy and roadmap produced through a participatory workshop facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, calls upon Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) to ensure strong and up-to-date management policy, legislation, and planning for coastal fisheries. While climate change is not a core focus of the roadmap, the call of A New Song presents a unique opportunity to draft new or revised fishery legislation with climate principles in mind.


Protected Areas and Climate Change

Janishevski, L. and Gidda, S.B. 2010. Protected Areas and Climate Change. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and UNEP; Issue Paper No. 6

This four page issue paper discusses the importance of protected areas, which while under threat from climate change, provide a natural and economical means of mitigating and adapting to its effects. It describes the need to strengthen protected areas (e.g. in respect of management and governance), and to expand and ensure their connectivity in order to improve the global response to climate change.


Reef Rehabilitation Manual

Edwards, A.J. (ed.) 2010. Reef Rehabilitation Manual. Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management Program: St Lucia, Australia.

This manual captures the learnings of worldwide research into reef rehabilitation and seeks to reduce the proportion of reef rehabilitation projects that fail.

It provides detailed hands-on advice, based on lessons-learnt from previous experience, on how to carry out coral reef rehabilitation in a responsible and cost-effective manner. Methods described include: constructing and managing nurseries for asexual rearing of corals; rearing coral larvae for reef rehabilitation and methods of coral transplantation.


Rising to the Urgent Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change

Solomon Islands - Choiseul Integrated Climate Change Programme

State of the Climate in 2015

Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change

The PACC Programme

The Role of Protected Areas in Storing Carbon and Reducing Emissions

Campbell, A., Dickson, B., Gibbs, H., Hansen, M., Kapos, V., Lysenko, I., Miles, L. Scharlemann, J. 2009. The Role of Protected Areas in Storing Carbon and Reducing Emissions. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 6.

In this abstract for a presentation, the authors combine the best available data sources for carbon in vegetation, soil, protected areas and deforestation, to estimate the amount of carbon stored within protected areas.. They go on to provide an estimate of emissions from deforestation within protected areas of the humid tropical biome in the years 2000-2005.


Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to Climate Change

Traditional Knowledge Adapting to Climate Change: Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Pacific


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Conservation in a Changing Climate

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Conservation in a Changing Climate

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a number of documents related to climate change and the management of the national wildlife refuge system whose refuges extend from the arctic to Pacific islands.

USFWS Climate Change Principles:

Priority-Setting.  We will continually evaluate our priorities and approaches, make difficult choices, take calculated risks and adapt to climate change.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty In Natural Resource Conservation

Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty In Natural Resource Conservation

Conservation professionals face unprecedented challenges arising from changes in land use, invasive species, biodiversity, climate, and more. These changes interact in complex ways, introducing an array of uncertainties that confound natural resource decision-making. While uncertainty is not new to natural resource management, limitations in our ability to confidently predict the direction, rate, and nature of the effects of climate and other drivers of change on natural and human systems has reinforced the need for tools to cope with the associated uncertainties.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Planning for Climate Change on the National Wildlife Refuge System

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Rising to the Urgent Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change

Rising to the Urgent Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change

Over the 21s t century, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior envision a North American continent continuing to be altered by accelerating climate change, but managed to sustain diverse, distributed, and abundant populations of fish and wildlife through conservation of healthy habitats in a network of interconnected, ecologically functioningc landscapes. 


US Forest Service - Office of the Climate Change Advisor

 

US Forest Service  - Office of the Climate Change Advisor

National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change


U.S. National Park Service and Climate Change

Climate Change and Your National Parks

Today's rapid climate change challenges national parks in ways we've never seen before. Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate, increasingly destructive storms threaten cultural resources and park facilities, habitat is disrupted—the list goes on. Discover how climate change is affecting our nation's treasures, what the National Park Service is doing about it, and how you can help.

The site has numerous resources and links to many national parks explaining how each is addressing climate change.