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Coastal Vulnerability & Adaptation Assessment Process. Pasha Carruthers, Cook Islands National Environment Service Jakarta, Indonesia, March 20 th , 200 6. Cook Islands Experiences & Challenges. Cook Islands. Island micro-state Latitude 9-22°S Longitude 157-166°W

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coastal vulnerability adaptation assessment process

Coastal Vulnerability & Adaptation Assessment Process

Pasha Carruthers,

Cook Islands National Environment Service

Jakarta, Indonesia, March 20th , 2006

Cook Islands Experiences & Challenges

cook islands
Cook Islands
  • Island micro-state
    • Latitude 9-22°S
    • Longitude 157-166°W
    • limited land size (240 sq km)
    • small population size (16,000?)
    • limited natural resources
    • external economic and physical impacts important
    • geographic diversity with both high and low islands- V&A only done on 3 islands

Today’s Presentation:

Background

Experience

Methods

Findings

Future Directions

socio economic elements
Socio-economic elements
  • All live within 5 km of coast
  • Tourism
  • Pearls
  • Commercial and Subsistence Seafood
  • Coastal

Flood Plain Agriculture

background
Signatory to UNFCCC 1992

needed to produce “The Initial National Communication”

PICCAP - Pacific Islands Climate Change Assistance Programme: 1997-2001

Implemented by SPREP (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme)

Assist countries to meet their obligations under the Convention

Provided technical assistance, training, capacity building

Background
  • Country Team Approach
  • USP V&A Course
    • Expected to integrate emphasis on model scenario generation – PACCLIM

Instead focused on:

    • expanding the V&A statement to enhance full representation of the country
    • qualitative baselines
    • public awareness
cook islands inc experience
Cook Islands INC Experience
  • Methods applied limited mainly to analogues, expert judgment, brainstorming
  • Assumptions Not Tested
  • Why so limited?
    • Relevance to scale
    • Capacity and Technology
    • Poor understanding of other methods
models and decisions
Models and Decisions
  • Integrated Assessment Models still more theory than practice
    • MAGICC, IMAGE & others have benefits but time consuming to run meaningful(?) simulations
  • Expensive PACCLIM demonstration tool has had limited applicability
    • not simple, too many errors, closed programs
    • useful application at the decision maker level requires a motivator and a greater level of completeness.
    • Role as a training tool, for identifying cross sectoral considerations
pacclim outputs
PACCLIMOutputs

Where is my island?

example of cook clim inundation simulation
Example of Cook Clim Inundation Simulation

Concerns:

Only for one island

Not visually significant for decision makers

Population & Socio-economic info missing

Time Consuming

observed impacts
Observed Impacts

Coastal Zones - erosion

Exposure of infrastructure and housing to storm surge. Rarotonga - Coconut trees frequently falling over, rock walls, groynes etc

slide11

Observed Impacts cont

  • Coastal Zones and Coral Reefs
    • Coral Bleaching, poor reef health

Tongareva - Exposed coral heads sensitive to temperature increases

observed impacts1
Observed Impacts
  • Storm Surge, Cyclones
water resources salinisation
Water Resources - Salinisation

Observed Impacts

The narrow width of the islands means saltwater intrusion is always a threat to shallow wells such as these. Drought reduces the fresh water level, and risks contamination.

research method information gathering
Research Method – Information Gathering
  • Needed
    • an information paper on V&A objectives for stakeholders
    • consultations with key ministries and consultants
    • Island specific data relevant to the scope of the assessment
    • collated published information
      • physical, social, economic, political
field research
Field Research

Challenges

  • Trust
  • Limited time
  • Presenting complex material
  • Getting relevant input
  • Recording feedback
  • Verifying anecdotes
  • Quantifying observations and uncertainties
  • Focal point established
  • Overview of the island
  • Meetings with government officials, community leaders
  • Informal discussions
  • School and Media Presentations
  • Qualitative observations including anecdotal evidence
island specific mangaia and storm surge
Island Specific:Mangaia and Storm Surge

Housing located on makatea ridge

Coral is porous

Storm surges increase swamp salinity – anecdotal – no baseline

Taro Root Crops Suffer

-major export

-source of nutrition

nature of findings
Nature of Findings
  • Poor linkages between levels of government, departments, and external projects/consultants
  • Data access and storage disjointed
  • Coastal zone as a climate sensitive sector
    • lack of locally relevant scientific assessment tools (although maybe have some now!)
    • insight from locals e.g. salt water intrusion
    • but difficulty remained as to what decisions to make
coastal area adaptation options brainstorming method
Coastal Area Adaptation Options Brainstorming Method
  • Traditional Measures
    • reforestation, housing, windbreaks
  • Technology
    • Coastal protection devices
  • Community
    • Coastal Vegetation Planting
    • Awareness/Education
  • Policy
    • Promote sustainable development - ecotourism
    • Conservation, ICZM
expert judgement use in identifying adaptation options example marine resources in coastal area
Expert Judgement use in identifying adaptation optionsExample: Marine Resources in Coastal Area
  • Areas of concern
    • erosion, coral reef resilience, near shore fisheries, pearl quality
  • Adaptation options - Generalised
    • development away from shoreline
    • integrated coastal management
    • ra’ui, incorporate traditional and modern conservation
    • monitoring, sensitive species and rehabilitation plans
    • education and awareness
    • Reduce sources of sedimentation and eutrophication
current practices new methods more data
Current Practices – new methods, more data
  • Case studies -Site specific and localised assessment,
    • CBDAMPIC, Participatory V&A, Adaptation Option Implementation
    • CLIMAP – Modelling Coastal Inundation & Costs of Adaptation
    • AIACC – Research based – lack of data for modelling impacts
  • Use of technology such as GIS
  • More focus on adaptation option assessment, costs and benefits, socioeconomic and livelihood aspects, integration into policy, promotion of adaptation
lessons learnt
Lessons Learnt
  • Different islands in the Cooks have very different vulnerability profiles and adaptation needs
  • Lack of quantitative assessment tools and data means baselines are difficult to establish
  • Meetings can be hard to arrange – informants feel ‘over consulted’ frustrated by studies and no action
  • Recording everything in a systematic way vital , time consuming
  • Need to Verify facts from all sources as many repeat errors
  • Much awareness can be generated simply through audio-visual resources
  • Incorporation of climate relevant policies into island development plans ongoing issue
future directions
Future Directions
  • Open Structure Models, focused data collection
  • Access to national and international technical expertise
  • Improve results obtained from simple methods, interview skills, checklists
  • Reporting Important, takes time, need benchmarks
    • Risk Management and coping ability
    • Integrated management plans
    • Implementation through policy, National Implementation Strategy
    • Public & Education Awareness
    • Continued lobbying for adaptation assistance
conclusion
Conclusion

Recognising the urgency of these assessments, the time constraints (3 years) in which we have to produce the second national communications, one role for us is to ensure the V&A produces better information and baselines for now and the future so we are further ahead for precautionary approaches.

slide25

Geography

Levels to Cook Islands V&A Assessments

Community

Level 1

Environmental Health

Island Specific

Baseline Data Available

Government

Level 2

Environment Service

Resilience

Country Specific

PICCAP Project

Economic Cost

of Climate Change

Country Team

Suitable Adaptation Options

Level 3

GEF

Island Councils

UNDP

Local Decision Makers

APN

Global

Regional

Research Capacity

SPREP

Tradition

Models

PICCAP

Public Awareness of Climate Issues

SURVAS

National

Communications

Sustainability