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The PACCSAP programme (2011-2015) supported 14 Pacific Island countries to build resilience to current and future climate risks through improved science and data, increased awareness of climate change and its impacts, and better adaptation planning. It delivered a range of projects with country governments, regional organisations and other development partners.

"The Pacific - Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAP) is part of the Australian Government’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI) to meet high priority climate change adaptation needs in vulnerable countries in the Pacific and East Timor. The $32 million PACCSAP is funded by Australian Aid (formerly AusAid) and will undertake research into the effects of climate change and develop the capacity of Pacific Island country and East Timor scientists, decision-makers and planners to access and apply information and tools to identify and develop in-country adaptation responses. PACCSAP has four main Components: 

1. Capacity building of National Meteorological Services (NMS) 

2. Communication and awareness 

3. Effects of climate change on climate variability and extremes 

4. Adaptation planning

The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO through their research partnership in the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) will provide a collaborative research environment for implementing PACCSAP and in particular building capacity in partner country National Meteorological Services (Component 1) and undertaking research in climate change science (Component 3). This work will be undertaken in collaboration with countries in the region, regional organisations, other international science agencies and Australian universities to deliver in-country benefits. PACCSAP Components 2 and 4 are being implemented directly by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency."

At present, the best way to view and access programme outputs is via the PACCSAP Collection in the Terra Nova Climate Change Adaptation Repository

Project Status
Start Date
Saturday, January 1, 2011
End Date
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
4.5 years
Short Title
Project Type
Total Funding
Donor Currency
Project Scope
Project Objectives

The objectives of this program are to:

  • further our understanding of climate change, and its impacts, in Pacific island countries (including East Timor)
  • communicate key climate science and adaptation knowledge to decision makers within the region, and
  • build capacity within the region for decisions makers to account for the impacts of climate change in their areas of responsibility, including the delivery of decision making tools to assist with this process.
Project Outcomes

Climate science

PACCSAP built the climate science knowledge base in the Pacific by:

Water security

PACCSAP informed water planning and investment at national and regional scales by:

  • partnering with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Government of Kiribati to better understand the impacts of climate change and inundation events on the Kiribati’s major groundwater supply, and
  • using economic (cost benefit) analysis to develop a portfolio of cost-effective options to enhance water security in Tuvalu.

Climate resilient infrastructure

In collaboration with the governments of several nations, PACCSAP worked to safeguard new and existing investments in infrastructure by:

  • developing design standards, guidance, tools and training to improve the climate resilience, safety and accessibility of road and transport infrastructure in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and
  • using high-resolution coastal elevation data and storm-surge modelling to inform building design standards and reduce climate risk to the iconic $10 million Australian aid-funded Samoan Parliament House upgrade.

Climate resilient settlements

PACCSAP worked to reduce the impacts of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters in settlements across the Pacific, by:

  • developing a master plan for the new provincial capital in Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands, and a strategy to guide the relocation from the current capital, based on climate hazard analysis and extensive community engagement, and
  • undertaking a hazard analysis of coastal erosion, flood and groundwater risks in Lifuka, Tonga. This work has assisted World Bank recovery efforts following Tropical Cyclone Ian.

Spatial data and modelling

PACCSAP has developed and supported improved access to spatial data sets across the Pacific through:

Regional assessments

PACCSAP’s regional assessments examined the:

  • vulnerability of Pacific Island groundwater resources to future climatic conditions (sea-level rise and low rainfall periods), and
  • coastal susceptibility of islands in the Pacific based on physical characteristics and their susceptibility to present and projected changes in climate and ocean processes.