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Climate change in the Pacific island region

A fisherman near the island of Bunaken

Because they are small in size and low-lying, the Pacific island states are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The region is heavily dependent on its natural resources. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (hurricanes, floods and droughts) and the predicted rise in sea levels is therefore a major threat to its development.

Its infrastructure, settlements, farmland and freshwater resources are at particular risk. Rising temperatures and a lack of rainfall are having a direct impact on agricultural yields, public health and biodiversity. This severe climatic impact, combined with the region's limited capacity for adaptation, is threatening its sustainable development.

The BMZ has a programme "Climate change in the Pacific island region" to support the Pacific island states. Under this programme, German experts have, since 2009, been successfully advising 15 Pacific island states, including Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Support is also being provided to various regional organisations: the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. They are being helped to improve the information, advice and training they provide on the topic of climate change.

The aim of the project is to boost the capacity of the member states of the Pacific Community to adapt to current and future climate impacts and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of their sustainable management of land-based natural resources.

The focus is on climate change adaptation, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), climate and education, sustainable energy and climate and tourism. The BMZ's activities also include risk assessment and management projects. This approach being piloted in the Pacific aims to make small island states in the region less vulnerable to damage and loss caused by climate change by practising comprehensive risk management.

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