One of the world’s smallest countries is facing one of the globe’s biggest threats. Coral bleaching, ocean acidification, rising sea levels and increasing cyclones on Niue will worsen as climate change continues.
The tiny coral atoll island hosted representatives from across the Pacific from September 19-22 to discuss ways to combat climate change and other environmental issues facing the Pacific at the meeting of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
Griffith University presented two new on-line tools at the meeting to help Pacific countries tackle climate change.
Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program said although Australia’s Pacific neighbours contribute only a fraction of the world’s climate changing greenhouse gases, they are one of the hardest hit regions by climate change.
“Climate forecasting is predicting that many Pacific countries will have to cope with more intense cyclones, flooding, coastal erosion, droughts and hotter temperatures. This will place additional stress on countries which are already among the least developed in the world,’’ Professor Mackay said.
“In response to this, major international donors are making funds available for projects that address climate change in the Pacific. The amounts aren’t small. For example, the Green Climate Fund is offering up to US$50 million for smaller scale projects and up to US$250 million for large scale projects”
The Climate Finance Tool will help Pacific governments to negotiate the world of ‘climate finance’, let users know what funds are available, their requirements, and processes.
The Adaptation Planning Tool will help planners to identify new project ideas and guide project planners through the process of developing their initial concept into a fully detailed project proposal.
Development of the tools is being funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The tools will help countries in the region respond to the impact of climate change and natural disasters and find pathways to sustainable economic growth.