Implementing Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands: Adapting to Present Climate Variability and Extreme Weather Events in Navua (Fiji)

Report / Paper

Implementing Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands: Adapting to Present Climate Variability and Extreme Weather Events in Navua (Fiji)

ORGANISER: Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC)
AUTHORS: Melchior Mataki, Kanayathu Koshy, and Veena Nair,

PUBLISHED DATE

September 2011

RESOURCE

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for the Pacific Island countries (PICs). The impacts of climate variability  and  extreme events (cyclones, floods, droughts, sea level rise, and  other natural disasters) are rapidly  pushing  people beyond  their coping range. The capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change and extreme events is generally beyond  most PICs. The only logical option  for PICs is to  learn  to  adapt to  these changes through  adapting  to  climate variability  and extreme events. This paper presents some of the lessons learned from SIS09 pilot study implemented as part of AIACC initiative aimed at developing a "second-generation" integrated model for climate change vulnerability  and  adaptation assessment incorporating  both  natural and human systems (socioeconomic). The lessons learnt are mainly from the observations and assessments made by the SIS09 team of prevailing physical, socioeconomic, and political conditions, which ultimately affect the ability of Navua residents to autonomously adapt to river flooding triggered by intense and/or prolonged rainfall. The lessons learnt will be used  to  inform and  articulate a possible process of implementing  climate change adaptation in PICs. The rest of the paper highlights some of the challenges pertaining to implementing climate change adaptation in PICs with reference to studies in Navua.