Country: Global / Non-Specific
Pacific Island countries face unique development challenges. They are far away from major markets, often with small populations spread across many islands and vast distances, and are at the forefront of climate change and its impacts. Because of this, much research has focused on the challenges and constraints faced by Pacific Island countries, and finding ways to respond to these. This paper is one part of the Pacific Possible series, which takes a positive focus, looking at genuinely transformative opportunities that exist for Pacific Island countries over the next 25 years and identifies the region’s biggest challenges that require urgent action. The findings presented in Pacific Possible will provide governments and policy-makers with specific insights into what each area could mean for the economy, for employment, for government income and spending.
The Pacific region is known to be one of the most exposed to natural hazards and climate change in the world. Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are exposed to a wide variety of natural hazards, including cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, electrical storms, extreme winds, floods, landslides, storm surges, tsunami and volcanic eruptions. Some of these hazards will be exacerbated by climate change. Average ocean and land temperatures are increasing, and the seasonality and duration of rainfall is changing. Over the coming decades, tropical cyclones are expected to increase in intensity, though not necessarily in frequency, and to move closer to the equator. Because of higher ocean temperature and ice sheet melt, sea level is rising, thereby worsening coastal erosion and saline intrusion and increasing the severity of storm surges. All these impacts adversely affects agriculture, fisheries, coastal zones, water resources, health, and ecosystems and thus threaten entire communities and economies. The mere existence of low-lying atoll island nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and RMI is threatened by sea level rise and storm surges, since they are only 1-3m above sea level.
WB. 2016e. “Climate and Disaster Resilience.” Pacific Possible. Washington, DC: World Bank. [#4458]
Updated: June 27, 2022