In the Pacific Island Countries national level climate change policy has been determined through a variety of instruments and is implemented through different modalities. National level, national climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities are found in climate change policies, strategies and action plans or in national sustainable development plan. In key development sectors climate change risks, for example, are mainstreamed into agriculture, infrastructure or fisheries polices.
Climate change policies are further regulated in relevant legislations and regulations to enforce sustainable development in the context of climate change variability and projecting as well as reducing green house gas emissions.
Some Pacific Island Countries have Climate Change Departments or Ministries, while for others, climate change is a division or section of Ministries of Environment or such other ministries. All Pacific Island Countries have national climate change teams with members from all key development sectors such as environment, planning, meteorology and finance, including NGOs and civil society representatives. These national climate change teams/committees are responsible for advisory and coordination of climate change activities and programmes. Recently, some PICTs have joint national strategies action plan on climate change and disaster risk management.
National communications are an obligation for the Pacific Island Countries under the UNFCCC and are intended to contribute to the overall global view of the state of the atmosphere in terms of emissions, and to allow Pacific Island Countries to present national circumstances and adaptation requirements for financing. They are an important tool for gathering climate change information at the national level and for fostering greater understanding of climate change issues across multiple sectors.
All 1st National Communications can be found here. 2nd National Communications are currently being produced, Samoa having completed theirs in 2010.
In 2005 the Pacific Leaders endorsed the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (PIFACC) 2006 to 2015. The Framework's vision is "Pacific island people, their livelihoods and the environment resilient to the risks and impacts of climate change".
A second edition, launched at the 22nd SPREP Meeting in 2011, maintains the vision and goal of PIFACC but considers advances in understanding of climate change issues, developments in the global and regional climate change architecture, and the experiences of Pacific Island Countries and Territories, Pacific Regional Organisations, donors and other development partners, in implementing climate change programs since endorsement of the original edition of this Framework.
The goal of this Framework is to ensure Pacific island people build their capacity to be resilient to the risks and impacts of climate change with the key objective to deliver on the expected outcomes under the following interlinked themes:
- Implementing tangible, on-ground adaptation measures;
- Governance and decision making;
- Improving understanding of climate change;
- Education, training and awareness;
- Contributing to global greenhouse gas reduction; and
- Partnerships and cooperation.
- raising awareness of climate change issues in the Pacific (for stakeholders within the Pacific and outside the region);
- providing guidance on design and implementation of climate change measures (both national and regional);
- providing guidance on development of policies, whether they be climate change specific policies or sectoral policies; and
- providing a framework to enable measurement of progress of climate change action in the region.
By strengthening climate change action in the region, this Framework will also assist PICTs to secure access to adequate, predictable and sustainable resources to address climate change.