Final report released: Disaster response and climate change in the Pacific

This final report details research funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility that assesses the adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change of individual organisations and the broader system of disaster response in Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa.

Disasters, and therefore disaster response, in the Pacific are expected to be affected by climate change. This research addressed this issue, and focused on the immediate humanitarian needs following a disaster. Four case study countries (Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa) were chosen for deeper investigation of the range of issues present in the Pacific. The research process was guided by a Project Reference Group, which included key stakeholders from relevant organisations involved in Pacific disaster response to guide major decisions of the research process and to influence its progression.

A common finding across all four case study countries affecting adaptive capacity was the limited human resources for health and disaster response more generally, both in times of disaster response and in day-to-day operations. Another common finding was the gap in psychosocial support after a disaster. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as an immediate post-disaster humanitarian need was relatively well established amongst responding organisations (although long term WASH issues were not resolved), while other humanitarian needs (health care, and food and nutrition) had varying stages of capacity – often limited by human, financial and technical resources. Adaptive capacity was therefore constrained by current gaps which need addressing alongside a future focus where risk is changing.

View the final report 

This photo “Evan (11 of 133)” is copyright ©2012 Rachel Nankivell and made available under an Attribution 2.0 license