11 Jun 2018 Press release Oceans & seas

One step ahead of climate change, a ‘scorecard’ for Pacific Islands

  • Coinciding with World Oceans Day a Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card was launched today.
  • The report creates an understanding of how exactly climate change impacts the marine environment in the region
  • The Pacific islands are among the most fragile in the world when it comes to climate change

Apia, Samoa, 8 June 2018 – The Pacific Islands are among the most fragile in the world when it comes to climate change, rising sea levels and declining ocean health. To create greater understanding of how exactly climate change impacts the marine environment in the region, and help Pacific Islanders understand how to respond, UN Environment launched the first ever Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card today.

Coinciding with World Oceans Day, the report card outlines what action is already being taken in the region and what further responses are needed, based on the research of 60 Pacific climate change experts and marine scientists.

“Climate change is a multifaceted issue,” said Sefanaia Nawadra, Head of the UN Environment Pacific Office. “A region-specific report that summarises the current situation, recommends management options and provides guidance for action is exactly what the region needs to build  climate change resilience.”

The report card recommends measures for addressing the projected impacts, including significantly reducing existing pressures from pollution, marine waste, population growth, overfishing and coastal development. It further urges to ensure coastal planning and management are adaptable and can be further developed with time, and bringing scientists and local communities together to develop a better understanding of localised climate impacts.

“We believe this report card will be valuable to our Pacific islands in helping to form policies and decisions at the national, regional and international level,” Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP said. “Pacific people are strongly interlinked with our ocean and as our Pacific islands live on the frontlines of climate change, we know all too well the impacts and risks it brings.”

The Report Card initiative is a product of a dynamic collaboration that includes the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), UN Environment, the University of the South Pacific, the Pacific Community (SPC) and Climate Analytics Impacts project.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Download the Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card

About UN Environment

UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

About the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Cefas is an executive agency of the Department for Food and Rural Affairs within the UK government. It provides ministers and government officials with impartial expert advice and evidence relating to marine and closely related environments and is a provider of UK statutory monitoring and inspection services, including national emergency response capabilities. For more information about Cefas visit www.cefas.co.uk.