Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning program

The Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) program ($32 million, 2011-2013) is helping communities across the Pacific region better understand and respond to climate change impacts, particularly in relation to infrastructure, coastal zone management and cross-sectoral planning.

A small island in Gizo in the Solomon Islands, with trees and a few houses

A small island in Gizo in the Solomon Islands, with trees and a few houses

The climate change science and adaptation program aims to:

  1. Improve scientific understanding of climate change in the Pacific
  2. Increase awareness of climate science, impacts and adaptation options
  3. Better adaptation planning to build resilience to climate change impacts.

Climate change science activities are also occurring in East Timor under the East Timor Climate Change Science Program  ($1.075 million, 2011-2013).

Activities and achievements of the program

Many of the program activities build on the earlier science and adaptation programs: the Pacific Climate Change Science Program  and the Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program.  Achievements so far include:

  • Experts in many different climate change and coastal disciplines were brought together for a workshop to identify and prioritise coastal vulnerabilities and associated climate change impacts for Pacific Island countries.  The report  provides a systems perspective of the issues and an understanding of the options and priorities for further activity.
  • Regional media training workshop have been held in the Cook Islands with people who disseminate climate change information in the Pacific, such as news reporters and NGO workers.  Attendees noted an improved understanding of climate change issues and increased confidence in accessing information and reporting on climate change following the workshop.

Activities such as the following are still underway:

  • Internships and mentoring arrangements between Pacific and Australian scientists are addressing the high demand from partner countries for stronger research collaboration and longer term capacity building activities.
  • The potential financial impact of climate change-affected cyclones in the Pacific is being assessed by integrating climate hazard models developed by the Pacific Catastrophe and Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) with Geoscience Australia’s Tropical Cyclone Wind Risk Model.
  • Paper records of weather data are being located and converted to digital format. This addresses the lack of historical weather data in digital format in the Pacific which is a major limitation to understanding past and future climate change in each country.
  • The scientific basis is being developed to provide improved seasonal predictions for sea-level, tropical cyclones and extreme ocean temperatures – which lead to coral bleaching – in the Pacific.
  • An educational toolkit using Pacific-relevant illustrations will improve the capacity of teachers to deliver up-to-date skills and knowledge to their students on adaptation options in the Pacific.

Who is involved?

Map showing Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning program partner countries

Pacific island countries involved in the PACCSAP are:

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Partner countries and regional organisations have been closely involved in the development and implementation of the program.

Further information can be found through the Australian agencies assisting in the delivery of these the program: