Adapting to climate change in the Pacific: Knowledge is power

The wealth of knowledge gathered over the past five years under the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project is now being shared through a range of newly launched resources. .

The regional project is the first major adaptation initiative covering three components including mainstreaming climate change, a demonstration project and the development and communication of knowledge products. Fourteen Pacific island countries are participant to the project, which targets food production and security, water resource and management as well as coastal management.

All that was learnt over the past five years in carrying out this project, both at national and regional level, is now being made available so future projects can build on these.

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Pictured above: Mr Paul Maoate, Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Ms Lizbeth Cullity and Ms Ilisapeci Masivesi at the launch of new resources developed under the PACC Project.

"Australia sees the experiences and knowledge gained from the PACC project as a major body of new knowledge for the region" stated Ms. Ilisapeci Masivesi at the launch of the products. She is the Program Manager Environment and Development of Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade - Suva Post, Government of Australia.

"Climate change adaptation will continue to be an ongoing challenge and therefore the knowledge management products are important to ensure that the lessons learnt are remembered and used in the years to come."

The products are being shared in two key areas. The first is a PACC Technical Report Series, which capture the technical aspects of the project such as cost benefit analysis, gender and vulnerability and adaptation assessments.

The second is the PACC Experience Series, which converts the technical information into easier to understand language and will appeal to policy makers and others who want to quickly grasp the issues and new ideas promoted by PACC.

"While it is important to communicate results of PACC through success story articles, photo essays, videos, web forums and so forth, it is also key to document and share how it happened, the techniques and know-how of assessment, design, implementation and monitoring processes," said Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau during the launch.

"We also need to look at the application of traditional knowledge and develop innovative approaches. We need to tell the story of what has worked well and what not, in order to do it better next time."

The publications provide specific details of the projects' experiences using various tools. This information will be useful to other climate change practitioners in the region, especially those developing new projects.

"Five years in, we have learned a great deal about building resilience, especially in our focus areas of food security, water resources management and coastal infrastructure," said PACC Project Officer, Mr. Peniamina Leavai, of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).'

"We're now rising to the challenge of capturing and sharing this knowledge so that future projects can build on it."

The PACC programme is funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Australian Government with support from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Climate Change Capacity Development (C3D+). The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is the implementing agency, with technical and implementing support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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