Toward a Pan-Pacific Strategy to Reduce Vulnerability to the Effects of Climate Change

Lara Hansen, Jennie Hoffman, and Eric Mielbrecht
Posted on: 12/18/2018 - Updated on: 2/28/2020

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Developing an adaptation strategy for a region as enormous and variable as the Pacific is no small task. The ecological, political, climatic and socioeconomic realities throughout the region contain all of the extremes that can be found on the planet. Countries around the Pacific have tended to form coalitions along sociocultural lines—Pacific Island nations, Latin America, or the Arctic, for instance. Yet all are bound together by the Pacific Ocean, whose climate systems, currents, and species cross the boundaries of these traditional human groupings. Indeed, some species annually migrate the length or breadth of this vast ocean. The complexity of climate change and its combined effects on human and natural systems in many ways provides an opportunity for governments, organizations, and individuals across this region to join together to develop a shared solution.

The goal of this paper is four-fold:

  1. Identify those organizations or individuals who have taken action on climate change adaptation around the Pacific Rim, who have expressed an interest in taking action, and government agencies that are likely to be required to address the problem.
  2. Outline general approaches to reducing vulnerability to climate change.
  3. Present select case studies of adaptation that have been taken already around the Pacific Rim.
  4. Integrate the case studies and general adaptation principle into a broader approach to adaptation that can be used as a framework to develop an adaptation strategy for a pan-Pacific coalition.