Vanuatu Climate Variability and Adaptation

The Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazards Department in partnership
with the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,
SPC-GIZ and Australian Bureau of Meteorology are currently engaged in
a national-wide research project to document the links between climate
variability, adaptation, traditional forecasting, traditional
adaptation and planting calendars.

This project page outlines general objectives:

Some interesting information on traditional planting calendars and
climate change are included in this 2012 summit report:

Report on climate change policy

Climate change policy, conflict and transformative governance
Melissa Nursey-Bray – Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre (IPGRC)
11 February 2013

Climate change is the behemoth of our age. It defies description, is too large
to comprehend, and what we do understand about it is often terrifying. This is
for many, a good reason to stop thinking about it or, like Scarlett O’Hara,
decide to “think about it tomorrow”. Thinking about the role of conflict in
climate change policy is an even more challenging exercise, but one that this
paper tries to address. Briefly I propose that climate change governance could
productively utilise conflict as a transformative agent for decision making,
rather than try and avoid it, or ‘solve it’ by embedding conflict resolution
mechanisms within those governance frameworks.

There are many points at which governance and climate change intersect, there
are multiple entry and exit points, and policies need embedding from local to
international levels to work. At the heart of the problem however is conflict:
between states and territories, between cultures, between the ideas of rights
and responsibility and between the environment and economics. But as with
Scarlett O’Hara, our society is fundamentally incapable of dealing with
conflict. We seek answers based on win-win solutions, and ways of engaging with
each other that are diplomatic, and politically correct.

Conflict as such, is feared as the blunt stone that will bludgeon and ruin
negotiations and damage already fragile egos, societies and potential
environmental outcomes. When societies cannot or will not change, or when the
changes required necessitate unacceptable cultural compromise, disjuncture
between them can develop into forums of conflict. Conflicts arising are partly
explained by the fact that worldviews, perceptions of the problem, and ideas
about solutions differ.

I argue for the transformative potential of conflict to facilitate adaptive
governance and policy around climate change and climate change adaptation.

Key Points:

Climate change governance could productively utilise conflict as a
transformative agent for decision making, rather than try and avoid it, or
‘solve it’ by embedding conflict resolution mechanisms within governance
Climate governance frameworks should enable the conflict to become the
conflict resolution process itself. This means identifying likely conflicts up
front and then using them as the basis on which decisions about the most
appropriate policies and planning are made, ensuring that such decisions are
cognisant of and provide forums for effective ways around conflict in
This process might take longer to negotiate, but will mean less likelihood
of climate related policies stalling in implementation due to intractable
One way of operationalising this model is to employ a three-dimensional
local adaptive conflict governance framework comprising: (i) adaptive management
(which includes anticipatory adaptation/foresight), (ii) communications, and
(iii) reflexive practice.

Publication Type : Discussion paper
Publisher Type : Academic research centre
Coverage : Worldwide
Copyright : Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre (IPGRC)
Permanent URL :

Read the report


Call for Papers – Emerging Pacific nations

Call for Papers – Emerging Pacific nations – July 10th and 11th 2013

Concurrent symposia with the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress
At University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji – July 8-12, 2013

This is an opportunity to speak to a Pacific audience and engage with colleagues
on the theme “Emerging Pacific nations”, which may seem redundant when USP is
supported by 12 regional nations, but clearly decolonization is both a recent
phenomenon and unfinished business in the Pacific. The theme is wide open –
women’s organizations, disruptive bishops, resource exploitation, West Papua,
Rapanui and other territories, squatter settlements, commerce – nominate your
favourite topic.

The “Emerging Pacific Nations” panel will take place all day on Thursday 11th
July, with each speaker allocated 30-40 minutes and there will be time for
plenary reviews and discussions. Places are limited as we are restricted to one
full day. So far we have confirmation from Dr Paul D’Arcy, Prof Grant McCall, Dr
Harald Werber, Ms Samantha Rose, Ms Kirstie Barry, and Dr Max Quanchi.

Send your topic, abstract (100 words) and a bio (150 words) to

This activity is organized as part of the Culture and Gender Theme, of the 12th
Pacific Science Inter-Congress. Your registration in the “Emerging Pacific
Nations” panel will also be a full registration for the PSI Inter-Congress. The
Convener of the “Emerging Pacific Nations” panel is Dr. Max Quanchi, History
Discipline, School of Social Sciences, USP.

Abstract Deadline: March 31

Additional Information:

Report on alternative futures for climate change adaptation

Past, present and future landscapes: Understanding alternative futures for climate change adaptation of coastal settlements and communities

Authors: Philip Morley, Jamie Trammell, Ian Reeve, Judith McNeill, David Brunckhorst and Scott Bassett

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

4 February 2013

Though shaped by past elements, history demonstrates that future landscapes will be very different from those of the present. This is particularly so in coastal areas of rapid urban growth. The effects of climate change in the future will therefore be impacting on these quite different landscapes, not on those we see today.

To gauge the severity of these impacts we must understand the future settlement patterns likely to emerge. This project examines the past and present drivers of landscape change in the Northern Rivers region of north-eastern New South Wales, and then models several scenarios for the future, based on land use planning decisions that might be taken. For example, the two extremes are a scenario of ‘deregulated’ growth, and one which takes a high degree of precaution, a ‘high climate adapted’ scenario. The effects of these ‘alternative futures’ can be visualised, and the area of land, and number of people affected by climate change impacts, quantified. The approach enables important elements of the landscape to be integrated. Also, by enabling alternative futures to be visualised, the method may also be used to engage the community to have a say in their preferred pathway.

  • Publication Type : Report
  • Publisher Type : Academic research centre
  • Coverage : Australia, New South Wales
  • Copyright : Institute for Rural Futures and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
  • Permanent URL :
  • Read the report

Report on barriers to climate change adaptation

Cross-scale barriers to climate change adaptation in local government, Australia

Authors: Pierre Mukheibir, Natasha Kuruppu, Anna Gero, Jade Herriman

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

4 February 2013

This report documents a study aimed at identifying cross-scale barriers to planned adaptation within the context of local government in Australia, and the development of enabling actions to overcome these barriers. Many of the impacts of climate change and variability have been, or will be, experienced at the local level. As a result, local governments in Australia (and overseas) have initiated plans to adapt to these impacts. However, the pathway to planning and implementation of adaptation is not a barrier-free process. Local governments are embedded in a larger governance context that has the potential to limit the effectiveness of planned adaptation initiatives on the ground. Identifying barriers or constraints to adaptation is an important process in supporting successful adaptation planning, particularly where reworking the path-dependent institutional structures, organisational cultures and policy-making procedures is required.

The report outlines the theoretical and conceptual framework underpinning the research, and explains the methodology and activities undertaken to gather data throughout the project. The study used a mixed-methods social research approach, drawing on interviews, case examples and stakeholder workshops, and including participants from within local government and also located in other government agencies and industry groups. A literature review provides background to the regulatory context as well as the types of adaptation funds and programs that have supported local government in adaptation planning to date in Australia. The common barriers to adaptation within the local government context in Australia and internationally are synthesised.

The research revealed that the cross-scale barriers faced by local government in relation to climate change adaptation are not unique to the field of climate change adaptation in Australia. It also showed that many of the barriers are faced by councils around Australia, and can be considered to fall into four main thematic areas: (1) poor understanding of the risks of limited access to and the uncertainty of climate change impact-related information; (2) inconsistent governance structures, coordination, communications and leadership between the vertical tiers and horizontal levels of government; (3) inconsistent problem definition and appropriate climate change adaptation frameworks to use for planning; and (4) competing priorities in planning and implementing responses due to limited operational resourcing, in areas such as staffing and funding.

  • Publication Type: Report
  • Publisher Type: Academic research centre
  • Coverage: Australia
  • Copyright: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
  • Permanent URL :
  • Read the report

Modelling for policy analysis of climate change adaptation

Integrated whole-farm modelling: an application for policy analysis of climate change adaptation

Oscar Cacho, Chris Chan, Rukman Wimalasuriya – Department of Primary Industries

7 February 2012

This paper describes an integrated modelling approach suitable for analysing a wide range of policy, economic and environmental issues where spatial heterogeneity is important.The approach involves overlaying whole-farm models onto GIS map layers of land use, soil, climate and topographic information. The integration is implemented through a Matlab® platform connected to a suite of Excel® based farm models. This approach enables flexible, efficient data processing and scenario analysis. The integrated modelling platform can be used to assess Victoria-wide and regional farm-level impacts of climate and weather changes, policies, market developments and new technologies. It supports comparative assessments of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenarios, but not the identification of farm adjustment paths over time. To demonstrate its functionality, we present an application that evaluates possible consequences of technological adaptation under a common climate change scenario in affecting farming systems and land-use patterns in Victoria.