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Climate Change Resilience

27 November 2023, Apia, Samoa - The Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) hosted at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Programme (SPREP) continues to close the knowledge gap in the Pacific region around the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and why it matters for Pacific communities.

One of the ways this is being done was during a Pacific pre-COP28 event with the IPCC Chair, Professor Jim Skea from the United Kingdom, which focussed on Strengthening Pacific Engagement in the IPCC Assessment Reporting Cycles and Process.  The event engaged key decision makers including policymakers, experts, and the public. 

It also provided by the most up-to-date synthesis of relevant climate change information to diverse Pacific Island audiences for climate programme implementation and policymakers in preparation for COP28.

Professor Jim Skea presented on the Synthesis Report Narrative on current status and trends, long term climate and development futures and near-term responses in a changing climate.  He also presented on the IPCC governance structure and report processes.  As Chair his vision is for the IPCC to be the scientific basis with an interdisciplinary approach, to include other international frameworks e.g., the framework on biodiversity and to be inclusive for wider regions with a gender focus. He encouraged Pacific representation to IPCC meetings and to ensure that authors are nominated for reports.

The PCCC through its research function and science to services thematic area and in partnership with the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions of the Australian National University has conducted three Pacific webinars on the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). 

The webinars were designed to close the knowledge gap in the Pacific region around the work of the IPCC and to provide the most up-to-date synthesis of relevant climate change information to diverse Pacific Island audiences. Fifteen factsheets designed to convey and communicate the key findings of the latest IPCC have been developed.  

A regional dialogue on IPCC engagement was conducted in May 2023 to capture perspectives from a diverse range of stakeholders on options to enhance engagement with the IPCC and improve accessibility of IPCC data for Pacific audiences.  

According to Professor Mark Howden, one of the main recommendations from the regional dialogue included support for the establishment of a regional mechanism to coordinate National IPCC Focal Points and regional priorities and support the development of an IPCC capacity-building program.

Mr Bipen Prakash, the Director for Fiji Meteorological Service and current Chair of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) said the summary of the IPCC Pacific regional dialogue was presented to the PMC in August 2023. This was reflected in the outcomes of the PMC that recommended SPREP, through the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC), provide support to strengthen Pacific regional coordination and engagement with the IPCC and related processes in collaboration with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHs) and other national regional partners and agencies. It also encouraged nomination of national IPCC focal points and an alternative IPCC focal point.  

Mr Arona Ngari, the Director of Cook Islands Meteorological Office and a Senior Meteorologist from the Pacific encouraged Pacific IPCC focal points and representatives to be proactive and follow the IPCC meetings and events. He said this is how and where the Pacific engagement will be enhanced and the representatives to pave the way for the pacific vulnerable communities.

Ms Ofa Kaisamy, Manager of the PCCC, emphasised the importance of enhancing climate science in the region and the role of the PCCC in coordinating climate science through the IPCC pacific regional mechanism as demonstrated with the partnership with Australia National University.  

She said the development and ongoing management of partnerships are critical for the effectiveness and sustainability of the PCCC. 

The PCCC Sustainability Plan for its Capacity Building function and the Partnership Frameworks for Knowledge Brokerage, Research, and Innovation are essential for implementation of its key functions and the sustainability of the Centre. 

Through the PCCC Partnership framework for Research SPREP through the PCCC is working to Strengthening Pacific Engagement on the IPCC Assessment and Reporting Cycles and process.  This will improve the flow of practical information between met services, climate practitioners, policy makers, researchers, scientists, and those implementing policies and programmes. 

She acknowledged the presence of the Chair of the IPCC Professor Jim Skea from UK for the Pacific Pre COP event, the panellist Mr. Arona Ngari and Professor Mark Howden and also contributions from Pacific Author Morgan Wainui.  

She also acknowledged the partnerships with Pacific Governments, applied research institutions, donors, (Government of New Zealand, Australia and the Government of Japan and Samoa) civil society, the private sector and our pacific communities and informed that the PCCC will continue to work on enhanced Pacific Engagement, Coordination, and resource mobilisation of IPCC and science at upcoming national, regional and international events including COP28 which be key a milestone for this advocacy work.

For further information on the IPCC Pacific engagement delivered through this PCCC, please contact  [email protected].