Assessing the Vulnerability of Melanesia's Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems to Projected Climate Change

During 2007 – 2009, the Pacific Science Association worked closely with the Bernice P. Bishop Museum and the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to carry out “Climate Change and Biodiversity in Melanesia” (CCBM), an expert-led study to assess the vulnerability of biodiversity and island ecosystems in Melanesia to climate change. PSA Executive Secretary Burke Burnett worked closely on the project, and co-authored the CCBM Consensus Report (also available here).

This project was one of eight grants (including Madagascar, Africa and the Caribbean) from the MacArthur Foundation to identify the implications of climate change in the regions where the Foundation funds conservation efforts, and to develop conservation and management approaches that address these threats.

The project largely focused on climate impacts to marine systems but also included terrestrial areas as well. Several downscaled climate analysis maps were produced by Dr. Axel Timmerman at the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The study focus was the island of New Guinea (including the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the nation of Papua New Guinea); Solomon Islands; Vanuatu; New Caledonia; and Fiji.

The CCBM study carried out by the Bishop Museum and SPREP was in close collaboration with the Pacific Science Association (PSA) and the Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance (IPCA).

The full set of reports, data, and images can be accessed on the CCBM project website.