The Australian Government is supporting Pacific Island countries to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate variability in part through Australia's assistance in the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac). The program is being implemented by the Bureau of Meteorology, in partnership with 14 Pacific Island countries (PIC), to develop enhanced climate, ocean and tidal services for Pacific Island communities and governments. COSPPac is successfully building capacity in PIC National Meteorological Services (NMSs) and Lands and Survey Departments to develop and disseminate user-focused products and services, that assist governments and communities to better prepare for drought, severe wet periods, extreme tidal events, disease, water shortages, decreased hydropower supply and food security threats.
Products produced through COSPPac include:
- An Ocean Portal
- An extensive, long-term tidal information and sea level monitoring network
- A comprehensive seasonal forecasting system
- A comprehensive monthly climate monitoring bulletin
- The improvement of CliDE (Climate Data for the Environment) Climate Data Management System
- A traditional knowledge monitoring and database system
Consultation and incorporation of traditional knowledge is an important component of all COSPPac activities, ensuring the forecasting products contribute to improved decision making, risk management, and disaster prevention.
The priority for the final years of the Program is the transition of COSPPacs products and services to the Pacific regional partners where appropriate. The program's strong emphasis on capacity building has also ensured that this transition from the Bureau of Meteorology and into the Pacific is well underway and much will be achieved before the end of the current phase of COSPPac in June 2018.
At the 2016 Pacific Islands Forum, a four-year package (2018-2022) of climate change and resilience support to the Pacific was announced to follow on from COSPPac. To meet this commitment, DFATs Pacific division will deliver a new Climate Connect program comprising a set of linked regional sub-programs as well as cross-program technical advice and coordination.
The Program will enhance SPREP core funding, increase development partner coordination, and will consist of four technical sub-programs which are: Climate Information Services; Climate Adaptation Services; Climate Change Governance; Gender and Climate Change; Climate Change Unit in Suva.
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
An Ocean Portal, informing Pacific stakeholders in fisheries, shipping, environmental management and tourism.
An extensive, long-term tidal information and sea level monitoring network, the network is the primary and comprehensive dataset of long-term sea-level observations in participating countries. This is an annual deliverable which will be ongoing beyond the conclusion of the overarching project
The production of tide prediction calendars for 19 Pacific locations (in 14 Pacific countries), published annually. Each calendar has a factsheet that provides a basic introduction to tides and (where applicable) country-specific information to extend the usability of the tide predictions to other islands within a country. This is an annual deliverable which will be ongoing beyond the conclusion of the overarching project
A comprehensive seasonal forecasting system for rainfall, temperature or other climate related factors, termed Seasonal Climate Outlooks for Pacific Island Countries (SCOPIC).