Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1491–1503 | Cite as

Communicating climate change for adaptation in rural communities: a Pacific study

  • Rebecca McNaughtEmail author
  • Olivia Warrick
  • Andrew Cooper
Original Article


The academic literature on climate change communications is growing. However, the majority of this literature focuses on the issue of climate change mitigation in a developed country context, and there is little published material regarding communication in a developing country and adaptation context. Similarly, despite community-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction increasing in the Pacific Islands region, there is very limited guidance on how to effectively communicate climate change in a way that enhances people’s resilience. This paper documents the experiences of organisations, including local and international non-government and faith-based organisations, governments, regional technical organisations and donor agencies in communicating climate change for adaptation in the Pacific region. Three key climate change communication challenges are highlighted and suggestions made for overcoming them based on results from interviews, a focus group discussion and an online forum. Finally, recommendations are made for good practice guidance in climate change communication that is empowering and culturally relevant.


Climate change Communication Community-based adaptation Disaster risk reduction Developing countries Pacific 



The authors would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank many individuals and organisations from across the Pacific for their contributions to this paper through interview, group discussion and email responses. In particular, the authors would like to thank (in alphabetical order): William Aalbersberg, Sarah Hemstock, Helene Jacot des Combes and Dan Orcherton, USP; Kirsten Abernethy, WorldFish Centre; Simon Albert, The Nature Conservancy; Glarinda Andre, Live and Learn Environmental Education; Tom Bamforth, Australian Red Cross; Dr. Christoper Bartlett, GIZ/SPC; Jacqui Birrell, Kevin Petrini, Irene Prasad and Floyd Robinson, UNDP; Steven Businger, University of Hawaii; Brian Dawson, SPC; Patrina Dumaru, Independent Consultant; Peter Emberson, Pacific Council of Churches; Monifa Fiu, LajeRotuma Initiative; Terry Hills, Conservation International; Jacinta Isaacs, Communication for Development Pty Ltd; Ma’ake Kiomailevuka, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisations; Jiuta Korovulavula and Roshni Chand, Foundation of the People of the South Pacific; Jyotishma Naicker, Fiji Ministry of Health, Aaron Packard,; Grant Percival, Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Tataua Pese, Tuvalu Red Cross; Ashwini Prahba-Leopold, Communications Specialist; Suresh Pokharel, Plan International; Gisa Futai Purcell, International Telecommunication Union; Tevita Ravumaidama, Partners for Community Development; Espen Ronneberg, SPREP; Tevita Seru, Lomani Gau Approach; Laisa Vereti, Pacific Islands Association of NGOs, Cameron Vudingatulu, Solomon Islands Red Cross; Vanuatu Red Cross staff and volunteers; Julie Webb, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca McNaught
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olivia Warrick
    • 2
  • Andrew Cooper
    • 3
  1. 1.Red Cross Red Crescent Climate CentrePort VilaVanuatu
  2. 2.Independent Climate Adaptation ConsultantHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.La Trobe UniversityVictoriaAustralia

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