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Climate Variability and Change Workshops in the US Pacific Islands. Dr. Cheryl L. Anderson Director, Hazards, Climate & Environment Program University of Hawaii Social Science Research Institute. Workshop Schedule. Tutuila, American Samoa – September 6-8, 2005 Majuro, RMI – April 12-13, 2006

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Climate Variability and Change Workshops in the US Pacific Islands

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Climate Variability and Change Workshopsin the US Pacific Islands

Dr. Cheryl L. Anderson

Director, Hazards, Climate & Environment Program

University of Hawaii Social Science Research Institute


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Workshop Schedule

  • Tutuila, American Samoa – September 6-8, 2005

  • Majuro, RMI – April 12-13, 2006

  • Pohnpei, FSM – April 18-19, 2006

  • Guam – April 24-25, 2006

  • Saipan, CNMI – April 27-28, 2006

  • Koror, Palau – May 1-2, 2006


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Builds on Pacific Initiativeson Climate Variability & Change

  • Pacific ENSO Applications Center

  • Consequences of Climate Variability & Change Workshops

  • Regional & National Workshops on the Impacts of ENSO

  • PEAC 10-year Review

  • Climate and Health in the Pacific

  • Regional Integrated Science and Assessment Project for the Pacific


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Objectives of the Workshops

  • Explore nature and impacts of climate variability and change

  • Understand vulnerability in key sectors

  • Explore opportunities to enhance resilience

  • Identify critical information needs and priorities


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Workshop Overview

  • Overview of present climate

    • Group discussion of impacts and concerns

  • Changing Climate: Why Does it Matter? (Discussion)

  • Consequences of climate variability and change for Pacific Islands

  • Anticipating El Niño: Pacific ENSO Applications Center (PEAC) Experience

  • Table-Top Exercise: Using El Niño forecasts

  • Climate Adaptation & Mainstreaming

  • Role of Marine Protected Areas and Coastal Resource Management

  • Keeping an Eye on the Climate System

    • GEOSS, PI-GCOS, PI-GOOS, PacIOOS

  • Brainstorming on PacIOOS Information Needs

    • Climate vulnerability & adaptation

    • Natural hazards risk management

    • Marine and coastal ecosystems & resources


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General Findings

  • Memory of 1997-98 ENSO Drought – depended on the strength of the event, how much of society the event affected, severity of hardship

  • Drought not discussed w/Flood – even as part of mitigation efforts (FEMA required plans) or need to provide groundwater recharge for water systems

  • Climate Variability & Climate Change – connections not well understood, separate agencies/communities dealing w/these issues

  • Interdisciplinary Interaction – partnerships are necessary

  • Funding Sources needed for projects


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American Samoa

  • Need to think about actions from government and community perspective---be aware of different needs

  • Use an integrated approach

  • Developed an interagency climate change task force


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Marshall Islands

  • Water storage concerns

  • Forecast information very useful for timing in sectors: increased port use, increased risk of diseases, migration & avian flu

  • Disaster Plans consider extreme climate events (drought), but can improve for adaptation

  • Erosion challenges – monitoring dredging and changes in shoreline, wave action

  • Need to ensure good information in communities


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Federated States of Micronesia

  • Activities must be undertaken in partnership with community

  • Wave and Water Level information important

  • Communication challenges – technology limitations, agency interaction, distance

  • Fisheries highly correlated w/SST, and ENSO events

  • Adaptation measures need to be both country and community driven from both levels


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Guam

  • Immigration issues from environmental changes and increased population pressure important to consider

  • Fisheries plans (5-10 year strategies) could benefit from climate information

  • Reef pressures could become greater; needs to be considered in protection plans


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Northern Mariana Islands

  • Climate information needs to be built into the Hazard Mitigation Plan and in local groups already addressing issues, i.e. Watershed Group

  • In addition to agencies, need hotel association involvement

  • Need updated drainage studies and flood mitigation plans

  • Need to make better sense of legal issues for preservation of resources that addresses local needs


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Palau

  • Unique climate-dependent environment is primary resource

  • Water storage is critical

  • Need updated Hazard Mitigation Plan to include climate information

  • Approaches must involve community

  • Invasive species – growing concern for damage to ecosystems

  • Coral Reefs need protection – important to livelihood & economy


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Common Opportunities

  • Education, Public Awareness and Outreach

  • Upreach to Legislators/Leaders/Decision Makers

  • Improving Communication w/in WSO and among network


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