IT is well known that the Pacific Islands are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as rising sea level and extreme weather events. SPC is helping the region's governments tackle climate change on numerous fronts.
As an example, SPC's Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) is identifying, collecting and making available to farmers seeds to plant varieties of local crops that are resistant to drought, flooding or salt water.
Many seeds for key crops such as taro, banana and cassava have been distributed to farmers in Fiji, and the resource has helped farmers here and elsewhere recover from devastating events such as floods and the taro leaf blight that wiped out Samoa's taro. It also helps strengthen food security in the Pacific Islands.
In addition to the 'climate ready' collection, CePaCT collects a large number of varieties of crops (including the world's largest collection of taro varieties), which through their diversity could prove to have other important applications in the future.
In partnership with the German technical co-operation agency GIZ, SPC is addressing climate change by helping larger countries such as Fiji maintain or even expand intact and healthy forests. This allows the countries to reap not only the inherent benefits that forests provide, but also funding through the United Nations REDD+ program to encourage reductions in carbon emissions resulting from deforestation.