Ocean Acidification Report for the Pacific islands

The vulnerability of Pacific islands to Ocean Acidification has been assessed for which the results are now available in the very first report of its kind.

The Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Vulnerability Assessment provides Pacific island communities insight into the future changes in ocean chemistry due to acidification caused by oceans absorbing the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Ocean acidification poses a direct threat to the marine resources such as coral reefs and sea shells. It will also have direct and indirect impacts on Pacific island coastal and pelagic ecosystems. In the Pacific islands, coastal fisheries accounts for USD 200 million in subsistence value and another USD 165 million in commercial value, and the Pacific island region industrial tuna fisheries estimated at USD 6 billion.

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This new assessment report will help Pacific islands with planning for the future in the face of this emerging environment issue.

"This report highlights the key vulnerabilities of coastal communities and ecosystems in the Pacific islands to ocean acidification, and will hopefully serve as a guide for future action," said Dr. Tommy Moore, Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification project manager of SPREP.

The Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Vulnerability Assessment is an outcome of the Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification project, coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the Pacific Community and the University of the South Pacific, with support from the Government of New Zealand and the Principality of Monaco.

The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification stems from an official two day side event at the Third United Nations Small Islands Developing States Conference in Apia, Samoa in 2014, co-hosted by the United States and New Zealand, in partnership with SPREP.
OA1 copyBleached Coral. Photo | Edna Allen 

It identified the need for more local research and monitoring as well as capacity building and coordination at national and regional level as well as the need for an integrated approach to monitoring, resilience building strategies, and practical adaptation strategies. These findings were subsequently recorded in the "Samoa Pathway" SIDS Conference outcome document and have now led to this action based partnership.

The Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Vulnerability Assessment was developed by Johanna Johnson, Johann Bell, and Alex Sen Gupta (C2O Consulting) and is now available at: www.sprep.org/attachments/Publications/CC/ocean-acidification.pdf
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