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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)
The guide is a tool to understanding Pacific communities’ vulnerability to climate change, variability and sea level change; and to determining what action needs to be carried out in order to adapt to these changes.
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.
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 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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
On Saturday February 20, 2016, Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston, an extremely destructive Category 5 cyclone, struck Fiji.
TC Winston was the first Category 5 cyclone to directly impact Fiji and the most intense cyclone on record to affect the
country.1 Fiji’s Eastern Division was the first to be struck, with Koro, Ovalau and Taveuni Islands sustaining severe damage.
The cyclone swept across Fiji’s islands, reaching its peak strength shortly before making landfall on the country’s largest
island, Viti Levu. Maximum average wind speeds reached 233km/hour and wind gusts peaked at around 306km/hour,
making Winston one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.2 In addition to the extreme
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
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:
Interactions between sea-level rise and wave exposure on reef island dynamics in the Solomon Islands
Low-lying reef islands in the Solomon Islands provide a valuable window into the future impacts of
global sea-level rise. Sea-level rise has been predicted to cause widespread erosion and inundation of
low-lying atolls in the central Pacific. However, the limited research on reef islands in the western
Pacific indicates the majority of shoreline changes and inundation to date result from extreme events,
seawalls and inappropriate development rather than sea-level rise alone. Here, we present the first
analysis of coastal dynamics from a sea-level rise hotspot in the Solomon Islands. Using time series
aerial and satellite imagery from 1947 to 2014 of 33 islands, along with historical insight from local
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.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – areas of the ocean set aside for long-term conservation aims – are the only mainstream conservation-focussed, area-based measure to increase the quality and extent of ocean protection. MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and mitigation.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the first of a new series of dialogues from Equilibrium Research, in light of current opportunities and pressures on protected areas, building up to the revision of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s biodiversity targets in 2020, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and wider patterns of economic and social development. The views are those of the authors and represent no other organisation or institution.
Dialogues are not referenced for reasons of space; key sources are available on request. The ideas outlined here build on our research since our founding in 1991, and in conversations and interaction with people throughout the world.
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.
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.
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
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.