SPC Assists Tonga in Adapting to Climate Change

SPC16 March 2012: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has announced that it is providing assistance to the Government of Tonga on adapting to climate change. The project, part of the Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program (PASAP), aims to assess the vulnerability and adaptation to sea level rise in Lifuka, Tonga.  

According to SPC, Lifuka, in the Ha'apai island group, has already experienced sea level rise, a result of an earthquake in May 2006, which caused 23cm subsidence on the western side of the island and has led to significant coastal erosion. It is envisaged that lessons learned in Lifuka will help other communities to better plan for climate change adaptation.

The PASAP aims to develop an adaptation strategy to predicted sea level rise and other climate change impacts. The objective of the project is to equip Lifuka islanders will sufficient skills, as well as the basic equipment necessary to conduct their own vulnerability assessments, allowing them to make their own decisions on ways to adapt to sea level rise.

PASAP is an Australian Government-funded programme that aims to enhance country capacity to assess vulnerability to climate change and develop evidence-based adaptation strategies in partner countries in the Pacific and East Timor. [SPC Press Release]