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USP co-hosts Fiji’s inaugural Lead Authors Meeting for IPCC

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Professor Derrick Armstrong, USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation & International giving his address. Source: IPCC

The University of the South Pacific (USP) is co-hosting Fiji’s inaugural Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) first Lead Author Meeting with the Fiji Meteorological Services at Nadi’s Tanoa International Hotel from 2-6 October, 2017.

The IPCC brought together around 100 experts from over 20 countries for the week-long event to begin drafting the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

Traditional presentation at the inaugural Lead Authors Meeting for IPCC. Source: IPCC

Professor Derrick Armstrong, USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation & International said hosting the meeting “supports us to work together to support the COP23 presidency”.

USP is one (1) of two (2) regional universities in the world, serving twelve 12 countries and supports climate adaptation projects in all its member countries.

“Evidence-based research for the Pacific for the world’s largest ocean is crucial. USP is focused on three (3) areas of excellence: Climate Change, Oceans, and Pacific Cultures and thus is perfectly positioned to support expanding research at the climate oceans nexus for the Pacific Islands,” Professor Armstrong said.

He stated that in keeping with the importance of climate change and sustainable development for the Pacific Islands, USP established the Pacific Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) in 2001, followed by a post-graduate programme in climate change in 2012.

“USP has established a locally managed climate change adaptation network supporting more than 100 communities in 15 countries to develop and implement climate action plans. We look forward to working together to host this critical meeting focused on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate,” he added.

Information provided by this report will further help guide climate adaptation actions here in Fiji.
USP currently leads the Pacific Islands University Research Network (PIURN) with membership from several regional universities including the Fiji National University, Pacific Adventist University, PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment, PNG University of Technology, Samoa National University, University of Fiji, University of French Polynesia, University of Guam, University of New Caledonia, University of Papua New Guinea.

The IPCC has prioritised the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate Special Report and once completed will for the first time enable us to see both climate change impacts on the ocean and how the cryosphere (frozen water part of the Earth system) will drive further changes in the ocean.

It will also assess solutions and public policies to implement for the most vulnerable coastal areas and islands like Fiji.

The report is also especially important in informing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the world at large, on how critical the problem is and how urgently the world needs to act to save our islands, our land, our people, cultures and ultimately our countries.

The focus on this report is an extremely powerful signal, encouraging the international community to continue its efforts, not only in regards to the sound governance and protection of the oceans, but also to fully integrate them into national and international climate policies, further catalysing the voluntary commitments taken on by countries at the UN Ocean Conference this year, that was also co-hosted by Fiji.

Set up by the World Meteorological Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988, IPCC is the world body for assessing the science related to climate change and provides policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Mr Ravind Kumar, Director of Meteorology explained that IPCC assessments provide governments at all levels with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies and are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change.

IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages to guarantee objectivity and transparency and to produce its reports, the IPCC mobilises hundreds of scientists from diverse backgrounds, four of whom are from USP namely Professor Elisabeth Holland, PaCE-SD Director and Professor in Climate Change and

Dr Helen Jacot Des Combes, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change Adaptation who are Lead Authors for SROCC and Dr Morgan Wairiu, PaCE-SD Deputy Director and Diana Salili, Phd Student and Climate Change Tutor who are Lead and Contributing Authors, respectively, for the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

The week-long Lead Author Meeting in Nadi is also supported by the Pacific Community (SPC), GIZ and COP23 Secretariat. An outreach event will be held at the USP Campus in Suva on 7 October to conclude the week. 

This news item was published on 5 Oct 2017 11:33:32 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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