The workshop participants.
Climate Change Resilience

4 June 2024, Port Vila, Vanuatu – Fifteen local trainers in Vanuatu are in a better position to build capacity of others to use the ClimateWatch (CW) App following a four-day train-the-trainers training in Port Vila, from 28-31 May 2024.
ClimateWatch is the first mobile app in Vanuatu’s Bislama language, and is the first citizen science app in the Pacific Islands region. It targets citizen scientists, enabling anyone in Vanuatu with a smartphone and an internet connection to go out and 'spot' traditional climate knowledge indicator species.
The workshop was co-hosted by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Earthwatch Australia, and with funding support from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
It was facilitated by Earthwatch Australia and was attended by representatives from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD), Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP), World Vision Vanuatu, Department of Environment Protection and Conservation, Department of Climate Change (DoCC), and SPREP.
The workshop covered an introduction to the app, its functionalities, and the validation of traditional knowledge data collected by citizen scientists. Additionally, participants reviewed and updated the CW Manager Handbook for use by VMGD staff who will perform administration responsibilities in the day-to-day management of the App.
“This training is very timely and improves our understanding - I have learned more options about the app that I can used as well as share with those in the communities that are already using it,” said Mr Williams Bae Worwor, Acting Manager, Weather Observations Division, VMGD. 
“I have had climate information services outreach programs to our islands communities not only to increase awareness of the VMGD products and services but also introduced this CW app to the communities.”
Participants had the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills in the field by identifying relevant indicator species for Vanuatu. 
Twenty Vanuatu indicator species have been added to the App and are categorised into three groups: Group 1: Plants: (1). Breakfruit, (2). Mango (3). Banana (4). Nakavika, (5). Mangrove, (6). Namambe, (7). Nandau, (8). Naus (9). Naval tree (10). Naviso plant, (11). Orange, (12). Wild Cane, (13). Mandarin tree, (14). Banyan tree, (15) Burao tree; Group 2: Birds: (16) Emarald Dove and Group 3: Marine Animals: (17). Green turtle, (18). Hawksbill turtle, (19). Leatherback turtle and (20) Palolo worm. 
VMGD and local CW stakeholders went further by introducing the CW App to the community of Pango village near Port Vila. 
“The ClimateWatch app enables the collection of forecast-related traditional knowledge (TK) in Vanuatu” said Ms Moirah Matou, VanKIRAP Project Manager, VMGD. 
“It is a powerful tool that enables every Ni-Vanuatu especially the Vanuatu Klaemet Infomesen blong redy, adapt mo protekt (VanKIRAP) citizen science and the VanKIRAP Community Climate Centres network to be involved in collecting and recording data that will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change.”
The ClimateWatch app can be freely downloaded from the Google Play (Android) or iTunes (iOS) stores. The app (and ClimateWatch website: come with species guides to assist users in identifying the species of interest. These guides also provide information on what to observe, e.g. flower or fruiting, and when to look for these. Similar resources would be developed for species monitored in the Pacific. Link:

Climate Watch, VanKIRAP, Vanuatu, climate action