Thursday, August 11, 2011

[pima.nius] Environment News from SPREP

12:14 PM |

via pac journos


The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

W: www.sprep.org<http://www.sprep.org>

T: +685 21929

E: sprep@sprep.org<mailto:sprep@sprep.org>

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC) W: www.sprep.org/climate_change/pacc<http://www.sprep.org/climate_change/pacc>





Headlines:

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14th Meeting of the Pacific Met Service Directors
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Coastal Protection complete for Samoa Communities
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Yale University Professor talks to PACC member countries
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Media Release from The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, A partnerwhip between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology: New tools provide insight into the Pacific's changing climate




14th Meeting of the Pacific Met Service Directors



10 August 2011, Majuro Marshall Islands - Regional Meteorological Directors from around the Pacific came together in Majuro this week, to discuss proposals for enhancing national meteorological services.



The fourteenth meeting of the Regional Meteorological Services Directors (RMSD) was opened on Tuesday 9th of August, in the International Conference Centre, with a key note address from Honourable Ruben Zackhras, the Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands.



The Minister noted that the Pacific is a major driver of the global climate system while on the other hand the Pacific Islands are also the smallest and most vulnerable to climate change.  He also stressed the importance of the role of the meteorological services in providing advice and assistance to policy and decision makers.



Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, Manager of the Pacific Futures Programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) spoke on behalf of the SPREP Director at the opening.  She noted that the RMSD was launching a new era in the field of meteorology in the region, through a number of new initiatives such as a new draft strategic plan and partnerships, which will provide much needed assistance to the national meteorological services.



Meteorological Offices around the region provide us with services that are vital to many aspects of our national development.  For example, rainfall data allows us to better predict floods and droughts and take actions to build the resilience of vital food crops.  The tourism industry also depends upon these services, as flights coming into the islands would not be possible without data from meteorological services.  Added to this is the need to provide information on climate change, so that policy makers can better monitor the impacts that climate change is having on our region and make informed decisions on how to better adapt to such impacts.



The meeting is currently in progress, and expects to formalise its outcomes on Friday, 12 August.


ENDS -


Coastal Protection complete for Samoa Communities

10 August 2011, Port Vila, Vanuatu - Under the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project Samoa, three communities have built rock seawalls for the Tafitoala Safata, Lalomalava and Lefagaoalii, which address climate change impacts such as coastal erosion, flooding, storm surges and salt water inundation.

These coastal protection measures were completed in June and are now being monitored to evaluat their resilience against the impacts of climate change.

Samoa is one of the countries that focuses on coastal zone management in the PACC, a 13 million dollar regional project that helps coordinate national 'on the ground' activities in 13 island countries to help them adapt to climate change in three main areas – food security and production, coastal management and water resources management.

The regional PACC project is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as an implementing partner. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

A natural form of coastal protection measure is a replanting programme also known as 'bio-shields' where plants are planted by the coast to protect the communities from coastal erosion. The three communities of Tafitoala Safata, Lalomalava and Lefagaoalii, were provided with appropriate coastal plant species such as Beach Hibiscus, Pacific Rosewood, Tahitian Chestnut, Coconut trees and Tropical Almond.  They communities were also provided with information on the maintenance of these plants to ensure their survival and effectiveness in protecting the coastal areas.

PACC Samoa National Coordinator Moira Faletutulu said, "Threats imposed by the impact of advancing coastal erosion and rising sea level were identified through the community Vulnerability and Adaptation assessments and the Socio-economic assessments, this assisted the PACC project's intervention to help these communities adapt to the impacts of climate change."

With the rock seawalls completed, these communities will continue to sustain the life of the PACC Project by continuing the replanting initiative with assistance from the National Forestry Division who will continue to supply plant seedlings to greening the coastal areas.

The next step for these communities under the project is a full scale communication and awareness program for all villages targeting school children and the community as a whole

"With the hope that the message spread through the work of the project will hit home and encourage the communities to continue the work initiated by the project, so that they will be well prepared to adapt to the continuous threats of the impacts of climate change," said Faletutulu.



Yale University Professor talks to PACC member countries

10 August 2011, Port Vila, Vanuatu - Professor Robert Mendelsohn, an American environmental economist, is a major figure in the economics of global warming. He is the Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, New York.

Currently new to the Pacific, he is part of the Multipartite Review Meeting for the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project currently underway this week in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

His most recent work values the impacts of greenhouse gases, including the effects of climate change on agriculture, forests, water resources and coasts. This research carefully integrates adaptation into impact assessment and has recently been extended to developing countries around the world.

Prof Mendelsohn said, "Listening to what the countries are already doing and seeing the reaction of the participants, they're already motivated. One of the things I was not sure of was whether they were thinking about climate change itself or just the current climate change, and it looks like the people are thinking about adaptation to what the current conditions are."

He hopes his presentation on the 'Economic Impacts of Climate Change' will make countries do economic analysis of climate change adaptation so they can start gathering key information that shows why spending money in the Pacific is a good investment.

"I am very new to the pacific and am very delighted to be here, people are very good natured, they all seem to want to do the right thing and I am looking forward to having new partners in the Pacific."

The PACC is a 13 million dollar regional project that helps coordinate national 'on the ground' activities in 13 island countries to help them adapt to climate change in three main areas – food security and production, coastal management and water resources management.

The regional project is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as an implementing partner. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).




Media Release from The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, A partnerwhip between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology


10 August 2011

New tools provide insight into the
Pacific's changing climate

The understanding of how the Pacific climate has changed and the effects of past tropical cyclones will be enhanced by three new tools being launched today at the 14th meeting of Regional Meteorological Services Directors in the Marshall Islands.

The three computer-based tools have been developed by the Australian Government's Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP) in collaboration with the National Meteorological Services of 14 Pacific island nations and East Timor.

"The aim has been to improve access to historical climate information and support the role of National Meteorological Services in building understanding of climate change and assisting plans for adaptation," said Dr David Jones from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The Pacific Climate Change Data Portal and the Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data Portal are freely available websites that provide a historical perspective of the climate of the Pacific. The third tool being launched is CliDE (Climate Data for the Environment), which is a custom-designed database management system to be used in National Meteorological Services in 15 countries for managing historical climate data.

"The Pacific Climate Change Data Portal is the largest web-based data source in the Pacific region. This user-friendly tool provides access to climate trends and basic climate information from more than 90 individual observation sites across the Pacific islands and East Timor," said Mr Simon McGree from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

"The Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data Portal can be used to plot tracks of cyclones in the South Pacific between 1969 and 2010. It can be used, for example, to analyse the tracks of past tropical cyclones and relate them to the impact on lives and infrastructure," said Dr Jones.

"Through the data in these portals, we can see that the climate of the Pacific has been warming significantly with the past decade being the warmest on record across the region. In contrast, we find little change in tropical cyclones which continue to be dominated by year to year variability," said Dr Jones.

PCCSP scientists, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), have been researching past climate trends and natural variability, as well as developing climate projections for 14 Pacific nations and East Timor. The full results of this comprehensive climate assessment will be issued in November 2011.

The PCCSP is part of the Australian Government's $328 million, five-year International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, which commenced in 2008 and aims to help vulnerable countries, particularly small island developing states and least developed countries, adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The Initiative is funded through the Australian aid program and jointly managed by AusAID and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.



Pacific Climate Change Data Portal: www.bom.gov.au/climate/pccsp<https://www.sprep.org/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK8B/www.bom.gov.au/climate/pccsp>

Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data Portal: www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/tracks<https://www.sprep.org/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK8B/www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/tracks>




Media Assistance:

Gillian Cook  Tel: +61 3 96694529  or +61 459 843 638  Email:Gillian.Cook@bom.gov.au

David Jones is available in Australia to comment on:+61 400 132 764

Simon McGree and Gillian Cambers are available in the Marshall Islands on  +692 455 3162

www.pacificclimatechangescience.org<http://www.pacificclimatechangescience.org/>


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