PACC Palau: 'Land-to-Sea' Approach to Climate Change Adaptation
In the Republic of Palau, ~350 islands in the far western Pacific Ocean, the PACC project focuses on the agricultural sector. PACC Palau is providing alternative solutions to current problems faced by farmers, including salt water inundation, the negative impacts of increase in sea surface temperature, and changes in ocean salinity in the Ngatpang State. The objective of the PACC Palau project is to test and introduce salt water tolerant taro varieties in order to reduce the impacts of climate change.
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The Republic of Palau’s islands have a total land mass of 487 square kilometres. Ten of Palau’s 16 states are on Babeldaob, the country’s largest island, with an area of 334 sq km. Ngatpang State is located on the western side of Babeldaob Island. Although agriculture is not very developed in Palau, this region is full of small-scale taro farms that are vulnerable to saltwater inundations.
Palau faces a combination of adverse climatic events which include drought, intense rainfall, frequent storms, and sea-level rise. El Nino and La Nina events directly contribute to the first three, while the melting of ice caps and thermal expansion due to rising sea surface temperatures are contributing to sea level rise. These events are a direct threat to taro cultivation—the main agricultural activity on the islands—which is critical for socio-economic development, as well as cultural and religious obligations. The anticipated rise in atmospheric temperature in the next decade due to climate change would exacerbate El Nino and La Nina effects in the region. With additional stress on the already vulnerable situations of farmers and their farming systems, land and sea based farmers will be forced to look for alternative livelihoods. In addition, lack of awareness of both local stakeholders and government officials on climate change issues constitutes one of the major challenges of mainstreaming adaptation measures into agricultural practices in Palau.
Key Results and Outputs
The first of the PACC outcomes is devoted to mainstreaming. The PACC approach to mainstreaming has a dual purpose: 1) to strengthen the ability of institutional frameworks, policies and plans to take climate change risks into consideration and 2) to improve the capacity of key national government and community decision-makers to integrate adaptation measures in key decisions.
The second PACC outcome is to design and demonstrate innovative decision systems, approaches, technologies and practical measures to improve climate-resilience.
The third outcome, Technical Support and Communication, is to ensure that results and lessons from the PACC project are shared regionally and globally. The goal is also to bring together new knowledge generated through the project as the basis for a strategic regional approach to climate change adaptation among Pacific Island Countries and Territories.
- National adaptive capacity developed
- Community vulnerability to climate change reduced
- Technical assistance & Regional Cooperation
- 1.1 Technical capacity of key decision makers developed
- 1.2 Institutional coordination mechanisms established
- 1.3 Tools to assess economic costs of adaptation developed and utilized
- 1.4 Legislative and policy directives prepared and adopted