USP-CHANCES Pacific project aims to transform societies, livelihoods and lifestyle


The CHANCES PACIFIC project, led by The University of the South Pacific, was officially launched on Thursday, March 7th, in Port-Vila Vanuatu during the Research and Innovation Ecosystems to Address the Impact of Climate Change in the Pacific (RERIPA) CALL 1 project workshop.

CHANCES PACIFIC (Climate cHANge and the futures of Coastal communitiES) is part of the RERIPA Call 3 – Living Labs project.

Pacific Islands Development Forum Director of Climate Action Ms Marilyn Tagicakibau opened the meeting by welcoming guests, including His Excellency the French Ambassador for Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, Dr Jeangène Vilemer, Representative of the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) Mr Kendry Moses, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Vanuatu (NUV) Dr Pascal Michon, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor Education Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Dr Erik Katokai, Director Research at USP Professor Sushil Kumar, and Representative of IRD in New Caledonia Dr France Bailly.

An overview of the RERIPA project was presented by the Project Manager, Mr Roneel Kumar, before the official launch of the CHANCES project.

Coordinated by USP and the University of New Caledonia, the project’s consortium is composed of PIURN Member Universities: National University of Vanuatu (NUV) and Solomon Islands University (SINU), as well as the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), New Caledonia Institute for Agronomy (IAC) and The University of Sydney (USYD).

While introducing the CHANCES project, the USP Lead Coordinator, Professor Sushil Kumar, highlighted that climate change has already impacted Pacific Island Countries and territories.

“In Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, the targeted countries of the project, communities are already experiencing sea-level rise and coastal erosion, affecting their livelihood and lifestyle.”

He stressed, “To mitigate Climate Change Impacts (CCI), CHANCES teams will work with identified communities in rural and peri-urban areas and develop first-hand solutions for diet and health. This project will run until the end of 2025.

When introducing the innovative approach of the project to interpret data and information through a digital app, Dr Olivier Galy, Lead Coordinator from the University of New Caledonia, said, “Implementation of the Living Lab will provide us an opportunity to understand the changes in livelihood practices and lifestyles, especially the transition in food production and accessibility in the context of climate change impacts on vulnerable territories subject to coastal vulnerability and sea level rise”.

“This living lab will add value to the ongoing research of the EU-Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) on Family Farming, Lifestyle and Health in the Pacific (FALAH) project (Fotsing and Galy 2019), led by the University of New Caledonia and gathering 14 institutions, including USP, SINU, NUV, MOET, IAC and USYD.”

The launch concluded with a vote of thanks, acknowledging the participants and wishing for a successful implementation of the project.

Strengthening Research and Innovation Ecosystems to Address the Impact of Climate Change in the Pacific – is funded by the European Union and is a project collaboratively implemented by the French Research Institute for

Development (IRD), Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), Pacific Islands Association of Non-governmental Organisation (PIANGO) and Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD).

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