Resilience and climate change adaptation


In the area of climate change adaptation and enhancing natural hazard resilienceIn the area of climate change adaptation and enhancing natural hazard resilience

The Pacific OCTs are affected by climate change in similar ways to their island neighbours in the region. Mitigation and risk reduction measures are already being taken and encouraged in various programmes. However, there is currently no functional climate change adaptation strategy in the OCTs, often due to a lack of sufficiently detailed data to identify climate change risks on a relevant scale. Both the cause and the result of this situation are that the OCTs are too under-represented in regional dynamics on the subject.

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This activity therefore aimed to :

  • Improve the OCTs' integration into regional dynamics on climate change adaptation by giving them the means to play a proactive role, share their know-how and benefit from the region's innovations and experiences.
  • Support the implementation of appropriate, relevant and evolving strategies at OCT level, both through feedback from experience on the ground (at pilot site level), lessons learned from regional examples, support for improving knowledge of the effects of climate change at local level, public awareness actions, etc.
  • Strengthen the resilience of ecosystems to the effects of climate change or natural disasters in the broad sense: through the implementation of integrated coastal zone management at pilot sites and the introduction of these themes into discussions at the local level and their inclusion in integrated management plans under preparation.

At the regional level, the theme of climate change adaptation was identified as a priority by the OCTs from the beginning of the project. However, no concrete activity suggestions emerged following the requests of the coordination team. Several approaches were suggested, such as the development of an educational kit on climate change, a training workshop on "taking climate change into account in fisheries and aquaculture management" and training to help administrations and political institutions better understand the institutional implications of climate change. These proposals have not been implemented.

However, as mentioned in the logical framework, INTEGRE was able to propose to the OCTs to participate in regional workshops and conferences on climate change and biodiversity (weather, fisheries, emblematic species, etc). The territories have invested in this theme at local and territorial level. Thus, actions aiming at adaptation to climate change are supported by INTEGRE and the idea is to develop them and disseminate their lessons on a regional scale.

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Thus, OCT participation in these conferences and training enables them to better integrate into regional networks, learn what is being done in the region and showcase their experience and know-how. We can quote in particular :

  • Training of OCT and ACP representatives on environmental assessment principles during 2 days by the "ARO" workshop organised in Fiji at the beginning of December 2016 (collaboration with the RESCCUE project and SPREP) ;
  • The training, from July 15 to 18, 2016, of a French technical weather officer based in Wallis and Futuna in the Cook Islands, organized by SPREP and APCC, a Korean organization supporting climate predictions to help prepare for climate events ;
  • Financing the participation of the French OCTs in the regional Whale Conference organised by SPREP in Tonga in April 2017 ;
  • Funding for OCT participation in the SPC Fisheries Conference in Nouméa in March 2017 ;
  • Funding for OCT participation in the Bora Bora environmental conference in September 2017.

Conf Env Bora 2017

INTEGRE aimed to strengthen the integration of OCTs into regional networks by offering them financial or technical opportunities to participate in the networks, either by facilitating their access to the networks or by organising specific sessions so that they could meet, exchange and share their experiences with their counterparts, or finally by financing bilingual studies on subjects of common interest to the OCTs or the ACP. However, the integration of the OCTs into regional networks cannot be decreed, it is built on the basis of meetings, interests, wills and even personalities who promote cooperation or seek to see how things work elsewhere. Thus, depending on the themes, the dynamics have been more or less strong.

The climate change issue is interesting as OCTs have struggled to bring up cooperation needs, perhaps because the issue is difficult to grasp, regional networks are being set up and the OCTs are rather absent because of their inequality with funds from the major donors in the region on the issue. However, it is recognised that integrated coastal zone management, which is at the heart of the INTEGRE project's work in the territories, is a response to the phenomena induced by climate change, in particular by its response to three issues identified as essential by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - a global and systemic approach to territorial approaches, a long-term approach, and taking into account local specificities (Rochette et al, in « Le développement durable dans l’espace méditerranée, 2010).

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