As the world continues to warm up and sea levels rise due to climate change, Pacific Island countries and territories are most vulnerable. The Restoration of Ecosystem Services and Adaption to Climate Change (RESCCUE) project aims to help countries including New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Fiji and Vanuatu, become more resilient to climate change.
In Vanuatu, our focus is on building community resilience to climate change by protecting and enhancing the key ecosystems that communities rely on for food and income. These systems already face pressures which are only aggravated by the impacts of climate change.
Our project site in Vanuatu is vast. It covers 50km2 of marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, lagoons, mangroves and beaches, and 180km2 of terrestrial ecosystems, including forests, with a total population of approximately 8,000 people.
Over the three-year project our team is carrying out a number of activities in ecology, waste management, ecotourism, alternative incomes, marine, capacity building, and education.
Our work in ecology includes managing protected areas; protecting biodiversity, soils and water resources; and controlling pests that affect crops and biodiversity. We are also managing water generation and disposal through waste management.
Understanding why ecotourism schemes have failed in the past enables us to establish what measures are needed to make them a success. Education on climate change and environmental management ensures knowledge-based decisions are made in the future.
RESCCUE is a regional project implemented by the Pacific Community, funded primarily by the French Development Agency and the French Global Environmental Facility.