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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 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.

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.

An attainable global vision for conservation and human well-being

A hopeful vision of the future is a world in which both people and nature thrive, but there is little evidence to support the feasibility of such a vision.

Atolls of the Tropical Pacific Ocean: Wetlands Under Threat

Atolls are small, geographically isolated, resource-poor islands scattered over vast expanses of ocean.

Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change

This volume brings together rich insights of how biological diversity matters to people and their physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being, particularly in the context of a changing climate.

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.

Changing geo‐ecological functions of coral reefs in the Anthropocene

The ecology of many coral reefs has changed markedly over recent decades in response to various combinations of local and global stressors.

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, Coral Loss, and the Curious Case of the Parrotfish Paradigm: Why Don’t Marine Protected Areas Improve Reef Resilience?

Scientists have advocated for local interventions, such as creating marine protected areas and implementing fishery restrictions, as ways to mitigate local stressors to limit the effects of climate change on reef-building corals.

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.

Deep reefs of the Great Barrier Reef offer limited thermal refuge during mass coral bleaching

Our rapidly warming climate is threatening coral reefs as thermal anomalies trigger mass coral bleaching events. Deep (or “mesophotic”) coral reefs are hypothesised to act as major ecological refuges from mass bleaching, but empirical assessments are limited.

Field Note - Discovery of a recovering climax Acropora community in Kanton Lagoon in the remote Phoenix Islands Protected Area

An expedition in 2002 to the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the Republic of Kiribati documented an extensive and delicate community of staghorn and tabular Acropora colonies...

First Quadrennial Pacific Sustainable Development : Executive Summary 2018

This Pacific Sustainable Development Report 2018 (PSDR) is the first quadrennial Pacific progress report on sustainable development. The report outlines high level trends on progress to date, as well as baseline information.

How to Live a Green Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are plenty of ways we can all positively impact the environment. If we want to stop climate change, we all need to take steps to make our lives environmentally-friendly. The following practices are an easy introduction to green living.

IN DEEP WATER - The emerging threat of deep sea mining

The oceans are facing more threats now than at any time in history. Yet a nascent industry is ramping up to exert yet more pressure on marine life: deep sea mining.

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

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

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

Marine conservation in Oceania: Past, present, and future

In this article, I explore the knowledge and values that allowed the people of Oceania to develop sustainable use of their marine resources, followed by the demise of these systems after western colonization and the breakdown of traditional societies.

MIT Climate CoLab

MIT Climate CoLab ( is an online crowdsourcing platform of over

Ocean acidification and interactive stressors - from challenges to actions

The ocean has been experiencing substantial changes in marine physics, chemistry and biology including ocean acidification, rising seawater temperature, ocean deoxygenation and sea level rise.

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change

Building Resilience to Climate Change in Pacific Communities

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, habit

Proceedings & Findings of the 1st National Environment Symposium, August 2016

Demonstrating the remarkable power of collaboration and big thinking that Palau so often exhibits, in 2016 a diverse partnership produced the nation’s 1st National Environment Symposium.

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

Reef Rehabilitation Manual

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

Risk-sensitive planning for conserving coral reefs under rapid climate change

Coral reef ecosystems are seriously threatened by changing conditions in the ocean. Although many factors are implicated, climate change has emerged as a dominant and
rapidly growing threat.
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