Project Coordinator: Mr Saamu Tui
Although climate change is cited as the most signifigant security threat to he south pacific, its likely effects on security and potential conflict are yet to be widely explored by the international an regional organisations present on the ground. Climate change in the pacific region has the potential for a myriad of cascading fragility and instability risks. These will affect men, women and youth differently, and vary across the region both according to timeframes under consideration and depending on the country context.
There are a range of critical climate fragility risks emerging in the Pacific Region that will require greater examination, monitoring and coordinated action by many stakeholders at the national, regional and international level to prevent potential irrevesible economic, social, cultural and environmental damage with a range of potential security implications and a direct impact on social cohesion. Most critical issues amongst these include:
- Displacement and forced migration due to irreversible degradation of livelihoods, food sources and coastal errosion;
- Increase social tensions linked to access to land and fisheries resources;
- A decrease in national revenues that could affect the ability of these states to mitigate the social impacts of climate change;
- Challenges to the Blue Economy, particularly losses in fisheries and tourism revenue and at the same time the rising costs of responding to disaster and climate change reduces national budgets and impacts on the livelihoods of coastal communities;
- Food security and a decline on health and productivity of Pacific people as local food source degradation exacerbates dependency on unhealthy cheap imports coupled with an existing and growing NCD crisis;
- Reduce coping capacity and vulnerability of at risk populations with successive and stregthened natural disasters; and
- Impacts of sea - level rise on the jurisdictions of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with uncertainty on maritime zones and boundaries.
To avoid reaching critical thresholds for social conflict and exhausting coping capacities, effective responses must be tailored to the unique political, economic, cultural, social, environmental and development circumstances of the region, and must work with and through national systems.
The project responds to this need by providing capacity to Pacific Countries, with a focus on low lying Atoll nations, to assess, better understand and address their critical climate security challenges. This will be achieved through: the application of tailored climate security assessment approaches; inclusive youth and gender - sensitive dialogues; partnerships with the range of stakeholders operating acress the aspects of climate security and supporting the uptake of key findings in relevent national, regional and internation policy and resourcing strategies. These activities will add value through key regional framework and initiatives such as the Boe Declaration and Action Plan. The project is designed as a catalytic intervention to both stregthen capacity for global advocacy as well as capacity to plan and respond to challenges at the community, national and regional level in Pacific SIDS.