Climate Change Resilience

21 June 2024, Melbourne Australia - The Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC), hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the University of Melbourne have once again secured over half a million Australian dollars in funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to improve regional climate resilience and outcomes.

The A$500,434 grant from the Australia Awards Fellowship Initiative, will fund 15 fellows to attend a six-week programme hosted by Melbourne Climate Futures, the University’s climate change research initiative.

“SPREP through the PCCC is pleased to partner with the University of Melbourne on this program, as it will strengthen the PCCC Community of Practice comprising a cohort of climate change practitioners working in government, non-government organisations, and the private sector across the Pacific,” said Ms Ofa Kaisamy, Manager of the PCCC.

“This fellowship program will allow for knowledge-sharing, networking, and partnerships to take place between the fellows, facilitators, and experts, which will build and strengthen relationships across the Indo-Pacific region. The fellowship also aims to strengthen capacities of practitioners working on climate adaptation, resilience and green energy transition in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Professor Jacqueline Peel, Deputy Director, Melbourne Climate Futures and Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne said the Australia Awards Fellowship forms a key component of Melbourne Climate Futures’ partnership with PCCC.  She said it reflects our shared vision of improving regional outcomes in the face of immense challenges arising due to climate change.

“By bringing these fellows together, we aim to create a network of experts across the Indo-Pacific whose existing capabilities are enriched and empowered by new skills, shared goals, and interdisciplinary knowledge and practice,” said Professor Peel.

The University and PCCC will select 15 fellows from across the Indo-Pacific region to complete the program, titled ‘Advancing Climate Adaptation, Resilience and Just Transitions in the Indo-Pacific’. 

The program will deliver comprehensive specialist training on:
• Climate and governance structures for implementing policy, covering the latest evidence on climate, adaptation and resilience and just transitions in the Indo-Pacific region
• Research gaps
• Leadership and advocacy needs
• Policy and program development, including accessing finance
• Research considerations
• Communication and knowledge translation.

The practical program is designed to increase fellows’ expertise, advancing their efforts to alleviate climate impacts upon returning home. During the fellowship, each participant will prepare a research output, such as a policy brief, with the support of a local mentor, and will reconvene with their cohort at a workshop led by PCCC in Samoa three months after the completion of the initial training.

The news of the funding coincides with a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining future project collaboration between SPREP, the PCCC and Melbourne Climate Futures.

The groups are strongly aligned in their strategic priorities to accelerate climate solutions through capacity development, knowledge co-creation, and partnership building, as well as in their vision to nurture current and emerging climate leaders who are working collaboratively across sectors.

In 2023, PCCC, Melbourne Climate Futures and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health provided an earlier iteration of the program, funded by the Australia Awards, focused on capacity development in health and climate outcomes in the Indo-Pacific.

In a video showcasing the 2023 fellows, participants reported feeling bolstered by their learning and the mentorship provided to contribute to better outcomes for populations in their respective countries.

Australia Awards are prestigious, transformational scholarships offered to emerging leaders from across the Indo-Pacific region, which provide the opportunity to showcase Australia’s world-class education sector in a globally competitive marketplace.


The fellowship will:
• Develop the capacity of policy and practice workforces in climate, adaptation, resilience and green energy transition
• Enable stronger legal and governance frameworks within national climate policies and programs to support climate goals and enable access to finance
• Strengthen women’s leadership through specialist training opportunities
• Strengthen the integration of diverse knowledges into policy and practice
• Support knowledge exchange through evidence-based policy design and implementation
• Develop sustained partnerships between the Fellow, as well as Australian and Indo-Pacific partners
• Foster positive collaborations between Australia and the region in the lead up to future international climate change negotiations