Climate Change Headlines

Change in mindset for Vanuatu as it becomes ‘climate smart’

"With the accelerating rates of these slow onset disasters due to global warming, there is a strong need for a complete change in the mindset towards standardised and appropriate use of science-based climate information at different levels for resilient development." – Hon Ham Lini Vanuaroroa

In 2015 Vanuatu was labelled the world's most 'at risk' country to natural hazards in the world. According to the World Risk Report 2015, on average, natural disasters affect over a third of the population each year.

Now a change in mindset in Vanuatu residents has been called for by the Minister for Climate Change as Vanuatu copes with the impacts of climate change – to change "the way people use climate information to shape their daily lives".

Helping to bring about this change in mindset is a new four year, USD 20.5M project for Vanuatu which mainstreams climate change into the agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure, tourism and, water sectors for Vanuatu at both national, provincial and community levels.

Launched in February this year, the Climate Information Services for Resilient Development in Vanuatu Project (CISRDP), is funded by the Green Climate Fund, and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and jointly executed with the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department.

"Vanuatu is one of the countries on earth that is not only vulnerable to quick onset disasters as earthquakes, tsunami and tropical cyclones, it is also more vulnerable to Climate related natural disasters that are slow onset events such as ENSO events, sea level rise and ocean acidification," presented Hon Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, Minister for Climate Change, Vanuatu as he officially launched the CISRDP..

"With the accelerating rates of these slow onset disasters due to global warming, there is a strong need for a complete change in the mindset towards standardised and appropriate use of science-based climate information at different levels for resilient development."

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SPREP's Meteorology and Climate Officer, Mr Salesa Nihmei, participating in discussions during the inception workshop. Photo: SPREP/P.Malsale

"It is important to improve science and delivery of climate services that are appropriate and timely that can help decision making in all level. This project will go a long way in addressing these issues."

Without timely and tailored information about the impacts of climate change, development sectors, governments and communities alike risk massive losses and development due to drought; heatwaves; cyclone flooding; ocean acidification and other short and long term climate change pressures.

Through a range of activities over the next four years, and with the support of project delivery partners the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and APEC Climate Centre (APCC), the CISRDP will build capacity to mainstream climate information across the five sectors to help informed and improved decision making.

"This US$20.5 million Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Project is an important project because it will support Vanuatu to mainstream climate change into five key development sectors," said Mr Stuart Chape, Acting Deputy Director General – Strategic Policy and Technical Programmes of SPREP.

"In doing so it will help ensure that policy, programming and operational decision-making across a spectrum of stakeholders is 'climate smart'. Climate smart is about anticipating the impacts of climate change; avoiding losses and minimising the setbacks to economic, social and environmentally sustainable development."

The CISRDP will invest in meteorological equipment installing a new weather radar and automated weather station, develop new climate information services and products tailored to end users as well as capacity development and training and it will make practical investments across the five key sectors and within the community to support them to use climate information for resilience development.

The CISRDP was officially launched by the Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change on 22 February 2018 in Port Vila with a special inception workshop.

The Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Project (CISDRP) spans four years from 2018 to 2021 with a total budget of USD 20.5M including a grant from the Green Climate Fund of USD 18.1M. The CISDRP is executed by the VMGD and SPREP, with the delivery partners, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), APEC Climate Centre (APCC) and the Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
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