People of Vanuatu affected by climate change

4 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - "A lot of sectors that shape Vanuatu's economy and the livelihood of people is sensitive to Climate Change."

This is according to the manager of the Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Project Management Unit, of the Department of Meteorology in Vanuatu, Brian Phillips.

He says that any change in the climate will and is already affecting their economy and livelihood especially for the 75 percent of the population that continue to live off the land and sea in a very much traditional manner.
Tegua2007023Photo: by Mark Boe

Attending the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable 2013, Vanuatu is prepared to learn from other countries and to see the programmes that different regional institution are implementing in the Pacific and sharing lessons learnt in their country, and activities on the ground.

Part of addressing climate change in their country is moving towards combining it with Disaster Risk Reduction.

As Vanuatu is within the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an area in the Pacific where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur, it makes them very vulnerable to natural disasters.

Phillips says, that with climate change they expect the impact of disasters to be greater, making it a very important issue to Vanuatu.

With this recognition, the government of Vanuatu has established a new climate change ministry.

Phillips pointed out that climate change being a separate ministry - enables them to make sure that climate change is a significant part of the work that they are doing and to make sure that they also have significant support.

However even under the ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities – they still had the support that they needed – but now they can focus more on their work and getting policy to be approved and endorsed by the decision makers is much easier.

Vanuatu has over 10 projects being implemented, covering Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction.
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