The Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) programme supported 14 Pacific Island countries to build resilience to current and future climate risks through improved science and data, increased awareness of climate change and its impacts, and better adaptation planning.
Key achievements from the PACCSAP programme
PACCSAP built the climate science knowledge base in the Pacific by:
I. Climate science:
- updating the national climate projections to inform decision-making for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the region
- developing core climate change science and seasonal forecasting capability in Pacific countries’ national meteorological services and
- developing a range of climate education and support materials to help schools, local communities, and Pacific meteorological services better understand and communicate climate change science.
II. Water security
PACCSAP informed water planning and investment at national and regional scales by:
- partnering with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Government of Kiribati to better understand the impacts of climate change and inundation events on the Kiribati’s major groundwater supply, and
- using economic (cost benefit) analysis to develop a portfolio of cost-effective options to enhance water security in Tuvalu.
III. Climate resilient infrastructure
In collaboration with the governments of several nations, PACCSAP worked to safeguard new and existing investments in infrastructure by:
- developing design standards, guidance, tools and training to improve the climate resilience, safety and accessibility of road and transport infrastructure in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and
- using high-resolution coastal elevation data and storm-surge modelling to inform building design standards and reduce climate risk to the iconic $10 million Australian aid-funded Samoan Parliament House upgrade.
IV. Climate resilient settlements
PACCSAP worked to reduce the impacts of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters in settlements across the Pacific, by:
- developing a master plan for the new provincial capital in Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands, and a strategy to guide the relocation from the current capital, based on climate hazard analysis and extensive community engagement, and
- undertaking a hazard analysis of coastal erosion, flood and groundwater risks in Lifuka, Tonga. This work has assisted World Bank recovery efforts following Tropical Cyclone Ian.
V. Spatial data and modelling
PACCSAP has developed and supported improved access to spatial data sets across the Pacific through:
- collecting high resolution elevation data for four Pacific Island countries, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga, and in-country education and training to support local technical staff undertake their own coastal inundation modelling using GIS software, and
- making aerial imaging and modelling outputs available online.
VI. Regional assessments
PACCSAP’s regional assessments examined the:
- vulnerability of Pacific Island groundwater resources to future climatic conditions (sea-level rise and low rainfall periods), and
- coastal susceptibility of islands in the Pacific based on physical characteristics and their susceptibility to present and projected changes in climate and ocean processes.