ClimateWatch Vanuatu: Building community climate resilience

Implemented by Earthwatch Australia Institute (EWA)

Coastal beach in Vanuatu © Sunny Seuseu / The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

In rural areas of Vanuatu, trusted and meaningful weather forecasts are critical for communities to respond to the increasing threat of natural disasters and extreme weather. The ni-Vanuatu have long used traditional knowledge for climate forecasting, but circulation and inter-generational transfer of knowledge is decreasing. Meanwhile, there is a reluctance in many ni-Vanuatu communities to acknowledge and respond to contemporary climate forecasts. This project builds upon existing local programs to deliver the ni-Vanuatu community and Vanuatu government a digital tool (ClimateWatch App) to collect traditional knowledge data and monitor ecosystem changes with climate (phenology) over time. The program will monitor species from agricultural, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Data from the project will contribute to hybrid climate forecast products (i.e. forecasts developed using both contemporary and traditional knowledge systems) to provide meaningful forecast information to ni-Vanuatu communities, whilst ensuring traditional knowledge is shared nationally and incorporated in existing ecosystem based adaptation initiatives. Insights gained from the project will inform the design of future programs in Pacific Island nations facing similar challenges. 

Cohort: 2nd (September 2021 cutoff)

Award: US$249,725

Footer Image: Seiji Seiji © Unsplash

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