Climate and disaster resilience

Climate and disaster resilience

The Pacific region is known to be one of the most exposed to natural hazards and climate change in the world. Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are exposed to a wide variety of natural hazards , including cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, electrical storms, extreme winds, floods, landslides, storm surges, tsunami and volcanic eruptions . Some of these hazards will be exacerbated by climate change. Average ocean and land temperatures are increasing, and the seasonality and duration of rainfall is changing. Over the coming decades, tropical cyclones are expected to increase in intensity, though not necessarily in frequency, and to move closer to the equator . Because of higher ocean temperature and ice sheet melt, sea level is risin g, thereby worsening coastal erosion and saline intrusion and increasing the severity of storm surges. All these impacts adversely affects agriculture, fisheries, coastal zones, water resources, health, and ecosystems and thus threaten entire communities a nd economies. The mere existence of low -lying atoll island nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and RMI is threatened by sea level rise and storm surges , since they are only 1 -3m above sea level.

This report hightlights that:

  • people and economies in the Pacific are particularly vulnerable to hazard and climate change impacts because of geographical remoteness and isolation, dispersion across a large area in the Pacific Ocean, economic and social challenges and the degradation of natural resources
  • despite a consensus that PICs will be disproportionately impacted by climate change, assessing the future cost of climate-change impacts in the Pacific Region is challenging
  • despite these challenges, it is possible to design resilient development strategies using new decision frameworks

 

 

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