Understanding the Links Between Climate Change and Disaster Management in Pacific Island Countries

  • Pritika BijayEmail author
  • Walter Leal Filho
  • Veronika Schulte
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Small island developing states (SIDS) are especially vulnerable to problems associated with climate change and, of course, with disasters, for two main reasons: (1) Their geographical location, in regions vulnerable to sea level rises; (2) Their limited capacity to adapt, as a result of constraints in respect of access to financial resources and technologies. This chapter discusses how Pacific Island Countries (PICs) address the challenges of climate change in the Pacific region. It shows some of the empirical evidence available and outlines some of the actions currently being taken on climate change and disaster risk management in the Pacific Island states. Finally, it summarises some of the lessons learned from the Pacific region and lists some of the challenges and measures that need to be implemented in order to achieve a better integration of climate change and disaster management in the Pacific Island Countries. This chapter is partly based on the experiences gained through the “Small Developing Island Renewable Energy Knowledge and Technology Transfer Network (DIREKT)”, which is a cooperation scheme involving universities from Germany, Fiji, Mauritius, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. The aim of this project is to strengthen the science and technology capacity, in the field of renewable energy, of a sample of ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) small island developing states, by means of technology transfer, information exchange and networking. The project is funded by the ACP Science and Technology Programme, an EU programme for cooperation between the European Union and the ACP region.


Climate change Disaster management Pacific region Renewable energy Small island developing states 


  1. Australian Government (2009) Engaging our Pacific neighbours on climate change: Australia’s approach. Commonwealth Copyright, Sydney, Australia, pp 1–16. (June 2011)
  2. Bierman F (2007) Earth system governance as a crosscutting theme of global change research. Glob Environ Change 17:326–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. GEF—Global Environment Facility (2008) GEF—Pacific alliance for sustainability—program framework. Geoscience, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  4. Gero A, Meheux K, Dominey-Howes D (2010) Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: the challenge of integration. In: Australian Tsunami Research Centre—Natural Hazards Research Laboratory (ed) Miscellaneous report 4. University of New South Wales, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  5. (n.d.) Natural disasters in Fiji. (Aug 2011)
  6. Hay JE (2009) Institutional and policy analysis of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Pacific Island Countries. United Nations International Strategy for disaster reduction secretariat—Asia and Pacific (UNISDR—AP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), pp 13–22. (June 2011)
  7. IPCC (2007) The physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 996Google Scholar
  8. ISDR (2008) Gender perspectives: integrating disaster risk reduction into climate change adaptation good practices and lessons learned. United Nations, Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  9. Kingdom of Tonga (2010) Joint National action plan on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management 2010–2015. (June 2011)
  10. ONE News (2009) Archived from the original on 02-10-2009. Search continues, as death toll rises. (Aug 2011)
  11. Saili C, Robbins J, BowerM, Olsson B, Chattier P (2011) Solution exchange for the development effectiveness community in the Pacific. Discussion: effective resourcing to address climate change, p 1. (June 2011)
  12. Scott G, Simpson A (2009) Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Australian-Pacific region. In: Eighteenth United Nations regional cartographic conference for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 26–29 Oct 2009, p 7. (May 2011)
  13. SPREP (n.d.) Pacific Islands action plan on climate change 2006–2015. (June 2011)
  14. Trenberth KE, Miller K, Mearns L, Rodes S (2000) Effects of changing climate on weather and human activities. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Sausalito, p 14Google Scholar
  15. United Nations (n.d.) The Niue declaration on climate change. (Aug 2011)
  16. UNFCCC (2007) Climate change: impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation in developing Countries. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bonn, p 8Google Scholar
  17. World Bank (2006) Not if but when: adapting to natural hazards in the pacific islands region: a policy note. World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. World Bank (2009) Preparedness, planning, and prevention: assessment of national and regional efforts to reduce natural disaster and climate change risks in the Pacific—a synthesis report. East Asia and the Pacific Region, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. World Bank (2010) Reducing the risk of disaster and climate vulnerability in the Pacific Islands. (June 2011)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pritika Bijay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Walter Leal Filho
    • 2
  • Veronika Schulte
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, School of Engineering and PhysicsThe University of the South PacificSuvaFiji
  2. 2.Faculty of Life Sciences, Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences”Hamburg University of Applied SciencesHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations