Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


World First Climate Change Action In South Pacific

Waikato Team Spearheads World First Climate Change Action In South Pacific

A Waikato University-based team is spearheading world-first research into ways of managing the major potential risks associated with changing climate and rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands Region as a result of global warming.

A partnership, involving the International Global Change Institute (IGCI) – a financially self-supporting unit within the university – and Auckland-headquartered environmental and engineering consultancy Meritec, has won a ground-breaking contract from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“It’s the first time real on-the-ground action has been taken by the international community to comprehensively address the risks posed by the possibility of rising sea levels caused by global warming,” says Professor John Hay of the IGCI.

“We’ll be looking to see how these climate risks can be reduced in cost-effective, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable ways. The international community has a major interest in this work because of the enormous potential risks, both human and financial, that Pacific Island Countries faces.”

The ADB contract includes studying how rising sea levels and extreme weather events may affect infrastructure, food production and people’s lifestyles in the Cook Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as the implications for Government planning.

The contract, which has just recently got underway, is set to run until June next year and is worth about $250,000 to IGCI. It will involve up to eight IGCI staff directly.

Work in the Cook Islands will involve studying how high a new harbour breakwater needs to be and how crop production should be handled given the risks of soils being invaded more frequently with salt water. One idea is for taro to be produced in elevated soil beds.

In the Federated States of Micronesia, the IGCI team will assist with completion of a round-island road, to ensure the project takes account of climate-related risks. It will also work with a coastal community which lives at the base of a cliff and therefore has nowhere it can immediately retreat to over time as sea levels rise.

“Further up the chain we’ll be working with the island governments so that their national strategic development plans take global warming risks into account,” says Prof Hay.

“We’ll also look at the way building permits and regulations, planning and health regulations are handled.”

Once the project is complete, the knowledge gained will be available to other countries and regions to help them put risk management strategies in place.

“The costs associated with global warming in the South Pacific are potentially huge,” says Prof Hay. “Getting in now to start doing this risk planning is crucial for helping reduce those costs, both at a human and financial level.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Off The Hidden Path - Five Los Angeles Treasures (Part I)

The immense cultural diversity of LA provides an extraordinary variety of lifestyles and arhcitecture. Here are five 'hidden' destinations where the discerning traveller can appreciate and enjoy this unique and constantly evolving metropolis. More>>

City Of 100 Lovers: Multi-Million Dollar NZ Theatre Production To Launch

Produced in New Zealand with an $8 million budget, this musical comedy has been created with both locals and tourists in mind. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Outsider Art of Tony Fomison

Among such gifted contemporaries as Bill Hammond, Tony de la Tour, and printmaker Jason Grieg, Fomison distinguished himself as highly idiosyncratic, and could have become wealthy, had not his demons prevented him from investing his income wisely. In his near monochrome oil painting on black hessian, he staked out a territory of morbid originality. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Immortal Love

The series has a wild-west tone with a steampunk vibe, so if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s Firefly or Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea, then chances are you’ll enjoy this book. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Trappings of Success - McQueen

This troubling documentary about the extraordinary life and untimely death of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen is a cautionary tale of an extremely gifted, but self-destructive soul caught up in a business that chews up and spits out its creative talent. More>>

Indycars: Dixon Wins Fifth US Championship

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon has won the US Indycar championship for the fifth time, finishing second in the final race of the season in Sonoma, California. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland