Adapting to climate change in the Pacific
FRI 31 AUGUST 2012
Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs
Pacific island countries will receive assistance to become more resilient to climate change and to help save lives when disasters strike, under an announcement made today at the Pacific Islands Forum.
Low-lying Pacific countries are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
This assistance will help Pacific nations to be better prepared for natural disasters and extreme weather conditions.
The Gillard Government will fund a $58 million package in the Pacific:
• $32 million over four years for climate monitoring to plan for unusual and extreme weather;
• $16 million over four years for disaster resilience projects in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga; and
• $10 million over two years to NGOs to help local communities in the region to become more resilient to climate change. This will focus on the creation of community action plans, and improvements to food and water security.
This funding will help Pacific countries with the production of clear response plans for natural disasters.
Pacific countries will be able to use local weather, climate and sea level data to plan for unusual weather conditions. This will help farmers, fishers and climate-sensitive industries such as tourism, healthcare and water management make better-informed decisions about their resources.
These plans will also help governments, communities and industries prepare for droughts and outbreaks of weather-related diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever.
Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga are extremely susceptible to severe disasters due to their geographic location. This funding will help their governments to better manage these risks and respond more effectively in an emergency.