The PACRES programme implementation sites in Vanuatu are Tagabe River, peri-urban and urban Port Vila. Key areas of implementation include riverbank stabilization, urban greening, nursery expansion and tree planting, and integrated catchment management plan.
The major impacts of climate change in Vanuatu include tropical cyclones, storm surges, floods, droughts and coastal inundation. Impacts from these events bring about numerous challenges: food and water security, agricultural losses, property losses and damages, loss of land from erosion, and pathogen epidemics. Vanuatu has a plethora of legislation, policies and plans to address climate change challenges. Some of these include: National Disaster Act Cap 267, Climate Change Act 2015, Water Resource Management Act 2020 (amendment in 2016), Environmental Protection and Conservation Act [Cap 283], National Adaptation Programme for Action, Vanuatu Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2016-2030, National Guidelines for the Assessment & Selection of Evacuation Centers, National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster Induced Displacement, Vanuatu Nationally Determined Contributions (Updated Energy Road Map 2016-2030), Urban Risk Management strategy, Implementation Plan for Post School Education & Training 2016 – 2020 and National Human Resource Development Plan 2020 – 2030.
Thus far, five of seven Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) to identify capacity needs associated with climate change at PACRES sites are complete. Capacity needs assessments were carried out for Whitesands, Blacksand Community, Port Vila, Pango, Southwest Efate, Blacksands Bridge Side River Community, Destination Community, Tagabe and Erromango Benuar Community. A total of 62 participants, 28 females and 34 males, participated during the FGDs. The focus of the discussions were on urban greening, particularly backyard gardening. Key capacity needs associated with backyard gardening were identified to be lack of management and book keeping skills, lack of knowledge and technical expertise associated with composting, tree planting, nursery management and nutrition, compliance is weak, lack of waste, water and coastal management skills, lack of community support for youth, lack of awareness and knowledge on climate change and disaster risk management, barrier in understanding the purpose/objectives of climate change projects (results in criticism on what is working well and what is not working well with respect to implemented interventions), lack of understanding on rights-based approaches and lack of cooperation/collaboration among communities.
As an initial step towards mainstreaming climate change and disaster risk management, the following local action plans are identified for PACRES geographical locations: Ecosystem Based Adaptation Project Implementation Plans, Port Vila; Shefa Provincial Disaster & Climate Change Response Plan; Tagabe River Catchment Management Plan 2017–2030; Port Vila Ecosystems, Climate Change & Development Scenarios; Porta Vila Municipal Council Solid Waste Management Plan 2021–2030 (in draft).