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The Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program assisted 15 partner countries to assess their vulnerability to climate change and incorporate adaptive measures addressing this vulnerability into planning and development.

The former Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency managed and implemented the adaptation program, with some involvement of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The adaptation program was developed and implemented in close consultation with partner countries and regional organisations, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Program activities were aligned with each country’s identified priorities for adapting to climate change, and integrated where possible with existing programs and donor support.

The adaptation program finished in 2011. The objectives and some activities were built upon by the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning program (PACCSAP), managed by the Department of the Environment.

The Department of Environment and Energy's Pacific adaptation knowledge base provides access to a range of project outputs.

Project Status
Start Date
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
End Date
Saturday, December 31, 2011
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Activities and achievements of the adaptation program

Case studies:
The adaptation program produced a series of case studies, documenting examples of evidence-based climate change decision making in the region.  The four case studies include interviews with community members, government officials and the Australian scientists involved in the projects in those countries. All case studies look at the projected impacts of climate change on the countries in question and how governments and communities can:

Vulnerability and adaptation assessments
The adaptation program also supported several regional and country-based assessments of climate change impacts and potential adaptation measures. These assessments covered a range of sectors: adaptive capacity and governance, coastal management, food security, health, infrastructure and water.

Further achievements of the adaptation program include:

  • Countries including the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Niue, the Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru have integrated efforts addressing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction through support provided towards developing a Joint National Action Plan.
  • A regional conference in Samoa in May 2011, Lessons for Future Action, encouraged cooperation on climate change and identified common challenges faced by small island countries. Over 100 representatives from small island states in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean and Timor-Leste attended the event, and shared their challenges and experiences to help improve climate change adaptation in their countries. The results from Lessons for Future Action are available on the Pacific Climate Change Portal website.
  • High resolution coastal elevation data was captured using LiDAR technology in Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, to contribute to coastal modelling and risk assessments. Papua New Guinea fact sheet (PDF - 4.91 MB)
  • National Meteorological Services in partner countries now have access to better quality seasonal forecast information that incorporates the effects of a changing climate.
  • Pacific island representatives from 15 countries participated in the planning of Australia’s work in the region through a workshop held in Brisbane in 2009.