The Pacific Islands face serious risk from climate change through increased storm surges, rising sea levels, flooding and erosion, coral bleaching, decreased rainfall and more. We believe that Pacific Islanders must lead all adaptation strategies, and that the knowledge and creativity to do so exists in Pacific Island communities today.
“Know that across the villages and the communities in the Pacific, everybody is feeling the same way. They share the same psychological concerns. What we should be doing as Pacific Islanders is keep searching for new ways. Our ancestors went searching in different places to find ideas that helped us survive. We have managed to survive by ourselves in the middle of the ocean for over a thousand years and I believe that we as a people can still find a way to help ourselves. We have to keep telling our stories to people. We have to let the world know that climate change is real.”
– Selwyn Toa, Pentecost Vanuatu
How are Pacific Islanders being impacted by climate change?
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are internationally recognized as being disproportionately impacted by climate change. Climate change is manifested through diverse and abnormal weather events, including:
Storm surges: Sea rise caused by strong wind or storm events, resulting in the destruction and flooding of Islander communities;
Rising sea levels: Sea level rise varies across the Pacific, with the highest level of rise occurring in the Western Pacific. This results in the destruction and erosion of coastal communities and resources, as well as the forced migration of coastal Island communities.
Flooding and erosion: Unpredictable weather patterns, storm surges and rising sea levels have contributed to the erosion of coastal ecosystems, agriculture and infrastructure.
Coral bleaching: Coral bleaching and disease, caused by fluctuations in surface temperature, have lead to habitat loss for sea life in the Pacific. Coral reefs are vital to Pacific Islander food security, and weather stability.
Decreased rainfall: Many islanders rely on rainfall for drinking water. Moreover, freshwater supplies are dependent on consistent and stable rainfall patterns. Many smaller and low-lying islands are especially vulnerable due to their size and limited resources.
How to Help
- Donate to our Pacific Resilience Fund today;
- Contact PPP for information about speaking tours and educational opportunities;
- Attend or volunteer at a PPP event or seminar focused on the effects of climate change in the Pacific;
- Pacific Islanders or North-Pacific Indigenous communities are welcome to contact PPP for opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking opportunities around climate change adaptation.