'Pacific Possible: Climate and Disaster Resilience', a World Bank report highlights the need for Pacific Island countries to better incorporate climate and disaster risk management into planning and development, while proposing priority investments and policies to boost resilience to the year 2040.
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, notes the report published end July 2016. Morever, all these impacts adversely affects agriculture, fisheries, coastal zones, water resources, health, and ecosystems and thus threaten entire communities and economies.
According to the report, the 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.
The report provides evidence for policymakers considering incorporating climate adaptation activities into infrastructure development, demonstrating that taking steps now to ensure that buildings and construction activities can better withstand climate change-related events will reduce impacts in future years.
(World Bank /Ob)