Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning programme
The Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) programme supported 14 Pacific Island countries to build resilience to current and future climate risks through improved science and data, increased awareness of climate change and its impacts, and better adaptation planning.
A small island in Gizo in the Solomon Islands, with trees and a few houses
PACCSAP was delivered in partnership with the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology and ran from 2011 to 2015.
The programme responded to the serious and immediate challenges Pacific Islands face from the impacts of climate change, and the need for climate data and information in the Pacific region. It built on the success of earlier programmes: the East Timor Climate Change Science Program; the Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program; and the Pacific Climate Change Science Program.
Key achievements from the PACCSAP programme
PACCSAP built the climate science knowledge base in the Pacific by:
- updating the national climate projections to inform decision-making for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the region ( See: Climate Variability, Extremes and Change in the Western Tropical Pacific: New Science and Updated Country Reports 2014
- developing core climate change science and seasonal forecasting capability in Pacific countries’ national meteorological services (Communication and capacity building), and
- developing a range of climate education and support materials to help schools, local communities, and Pacific meteorological services better understand and communicate climate change science.
PACCSAP informed water planning and investment at national and regional scales by:
- partnering with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Government of Kiribati to better understand the impacts of climate change and inundation events on the Kiribati’s major groundwater supply, and
- using economic (cost benefit) analysis to develop a portfolio of cost-effective options to enhance water security in Tuvalu.
Climate resilient infrastructure
In collaboration with the governments of several nations, PACCSAP worked to safeguard new and existing investments in infrastructure by:
- developing design standards, guidance, tools and training to improve the climate resilience, safety and accessibility of road and transport infrastructure in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and
- using high-resolution coastal elevation data and storm-surge modelling to inform building design standards and reduce climate risk to the iconic $10 million Australian aid-funded Samoan Parliament House upgrade.
Climate resilient settlements
PACCSAP worked to reduce the impacts of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters in settlements across the Pacific, by:
- developing a master plan for the new provincial capital in Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands, and a strategy to guide the relocation from the current capital, based on climate hazard analysis and extensive community engagement, and
- undertaking a hazard analysis of coastal erosion, flood and groundwater risks in Lifuka, Tonga. This work has assisted World Bank recovery efforts following Tropical Cyclone Ian.
Spatial data and modelling
PACCSAP has developed and supported improved access to spatial data sets across the Pacific through:
- collecting high resolution elevation data for four Pacific Island countries, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga, and in-country education and training to support local technical staff undertake their own coastal inundation modelling using GIS software (Pacific Island Coastal Inundation Capacity Building), and
- making aerial imaging and modelling outputs available online through the Vanuatu Globe and Tropical Cyclone Pam Crisis Map.
PACCSAP’s regional assessments examined the:
- vulnerability of Pacific Island groundwater resources to future climatic conditions (sea-level rise and low rainfall periods), and
- coastal susceptibility of islands in the Pacific based on physical characteristics and their susceptibility to present and projected changes in climate and ocean processes.
Selected PACCSAP publications are available in Publications and resources.
Email us if you would like more information about the PACCSAP programme - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pacific countries involved in PACCSAP were the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The Australian Government continues to make major contributions to address the effects of climate change, including through national direct action and international engagement, including our aid programme. Consistent with Australia’s commitment to play our part in the global response to climate change, the Government has pledged $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which provides support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Government continues to support our Pacific Island neighbours to adapt to the impacts of climate change, by providing tools and information about climate, oceans and tides through the Bureau of Meteorology’s Climate Oceans and Support Program in the Pacific, and through its aid programme.