Library of publications

Research Publications

MOOC screen shot

Ecosystem based adaptation MOOC

Through the EcoAdapt project Griffith University has contributed towards a mass open online course (MOOC): Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Working with nature to adapt to a changing climate.
Screenshot of Pacific EcoAdapt Phase 1 report

Pacific EcoAdapt phase 1 report

The Phase 1 final report for the Pacific EcoAdapt project, which aimed to develop the new knowledge and methods needed to help ensure that the benefits of ecosystem-based adaptation are understood and the data , methods and tools needed to inform planning and decision making are available.
Erakor lagoon, Efate

Water quality in coral reef lagoon system

Coastal waters are used for recreational activities such as swimming or fishing. In the South Pacific Islands, most of the population and infrastructures are concentrated near the coast. Wastewater discharge are often not well regulated and released in the coastal waters. Growing population and effect of climate change might compromised the water quality of coastal lagoon if no management plans are established.
Vanuatu landscape

How ecosystem-based adaptations to climate change influence community wellbeing

Climate change poses significant threats to the wellbeing and livelihoods of people and the ecosystems in many small island states. Adaptation solutions must counteract these threats while also supporting development in vulnerable communities. Suitable adaptation options need to ensure that connections between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of socio-economic systems are defined in a way that can support how decisions are made (and by whom) and how these can impact other parts of these systems.
Coastal mangroves can provide nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation

Ecosystem-based Adaptation is an approach not just an option

Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbAEbA Ecosystem-based adaptation - an adaptation approach to climate- and environmental-change which primarily deploys ecosystems and ecosystem functions to mitigate risks from hazards.) harnesses biodiversity and the services provided by ecosystems to support communities adapting to a changing climate. EbA has been widely applied throughout the world as one of many adaptation options but considering it as an isolated project or option to be implemented limits its application.
Collapsed Kastom fig tree at Port Resolution on Tanna

Effective coastal adaptation needs accurate hazard assessment

Coastal hazard assessments involved many processes and it is necessary to study and understand the local processes before choosing an adaptation strategy. The adaptation is very specific to the case study and can’t be transferrable to another site without knowing the hazards and processes involved.

Reducing risk to climate change projects

Over recent decades, substantial funding from a variety of sources has been directed towards climate change adaptation projects in Pacific Island countries. There remains, however, considerable uncertainty about which factors influence adaptation project completion, as a pre-cursor to effective adaptation. In this study, we empirically establish the links between project attributes(duration, funding, cash co-financing, in-kind contributions, location, and adaptation approach) and whether a project is likely to complete or be terminated.
Coral reef in Vanuatu

Climate change adaptation strategies for coral reef ecosystems

This paper reports on a dynamic modelling framework for ecosystem-based adaptation planning in a SIDSSIDS Small Island Developing States are a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of United Nations regional commissions that face unique social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. island context that is focussed on the assessment of coral reef health and resilience under different climate change scenarios, and the consequential economic and human well-being impacts. Port Resolution, Tanna Island was used as a case study to develop, test and model the fringing coral reef, local community and resultant socio-ecological system.
Tourism ventures in Vanuatu

Tourism climate change knowledge system

This paper explores the knowledge around climate change across academic, practice and political domains to identify gaps in understanding and opportunities for improved action to address climate risks.

Community attitudes towards ecosystem based approaches to climate change

Village communities might have very different expectations and aspirations towards environmental and social change, natural resource management and economic opportunities, which will have important implications on taking an ecosystem based approach to climate change adaptation. This study surveyed the community of Port Resolution, on Tanna, to gain insights into these attitudes.
Citizen science

Data collection and unexpected events

This paper is a story of our field data collection in Efate Island illustrating all the challenges and unexpected events. This data collection campaign was a great experience and has allowed to establish good connection with the local government, the University and local communities. The involvement of the local communities was found crucial to lead this monitoring campaign.
Q method data collection

Community attitudes towards ecosystem based approaches to climate change

Village communities might have very different expectations and aspirations towards environmental and social change, natural resource management and economic opportunities, which will have important implications on taking an ecosystem based approach to climate change adaptation. This study surveyed the community of Port Resolution, on Tanna, to gain insights into these attitudes.
Tourism in Vanuatu

Tourism benefits from ecosystem-based approaches to climate change

Tourism is strongly interlinked with the natural and social environment, in particular in destinations around the Pacific, such as Vanuatu. These environments are vulnerable to climate change which impacts on the social–ecological system of destinations. Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) uses ecosystems to manage the risks of climate change.

Estimating nature’s value to Pacific islands

Rural communities in Pacific small island developing states (SIDS), which rely directly and acutely on nature’s goods and services for food and material, face a range of interlinking threats to their management of natural resources. These threats are exacerbated by climate change related risks and occur against the backdrop of rapid social and economic transition.
Researcher, Allan Dan, planting seedlings

Benefits of agricultural extension programmes as climate adaptation

Investments in island-scale agricultural extension programmes can help small-scale farmers reduce the risks of innovating with new techniques and crop variants as a response to environmental change. These programmes can reduce harvesting pressure on forests and coastal reefs, protecting these ecosystems as buffers against the impacts of climate change.

Mapping long-term coral reef ecosystems regime shifts

Coral reefs are among the most fragile ecosystems that provide essential services to local island communities. It is known that climate change impacts are the leading factors in coral reefs regime shift. Naturally, exploring the characteristics and interactions shaping regime shifts of coral reefs are critical in managing system pressures; enhancing resilience; aiding their regeneration and recovery process, and restoring habitat complexity.
Coral reef processes

Coastal processes within a coral reef lagoon, Erakor, Vanuatu

No data monitoring was done in Erakor Lagoon on Efate, in Vanuatu, to assess current and future risks to the coral reefs. We have led a month data collection in Erakor to improve our knowledge of coastal processes in this area and of wave transformation over the reef.
Annual report 2019 front cover

Annual report 2019

As the EcoAdapt project comes to the end of its fourth year, the research team has again increased both engagement with stakeholders and research outputs which will improve the prospects for Ecosystem Based Adaptation to be appropriate and effectively used in Vanuatu and elsewhere in the Pacific and globally.
Tourism in Tanna

Adopting a whole of system approach to climate risk in Vanuatu

Understanding climate risk in Vanuatu is critical to the success of the tourism industry. Given the connections between economic, socio-cultural, political, and environmental variables in destinations throughout Vanuatu, assessments of climate risk requires a whole of system approach. Mapping linkages and interactions can help to explore climate risks and impacts and safeguard the industry from exposure and maladaptation.

Local context shapes resilience and climate risk in tourism

While climate change threatens tourism across many scales, local context ultimately determines climate risk and resilience. This paper explores the role of local context in shaping the future of tourism, with a strong focus on climate risk and opportunities for adaptation.
Port Resolution

Predicting sea-level rise induced coastal erosion in Tanna Island

Anticipated sea level rise in coastal regions is expected to worsen the impact of coastal hazards such as erosion, inundation and flooding from storm surges. Accordingly, the resulting impacts on coastal settlements and infrastructure will be widespread. These impacts are particularly critical in small islands as the settlements and infrastructure are mainly located along coastlines with almost no, or very limited relocation options.

Integrative climate change adaptation planning approach in the Pacific

Adapting to changing climate requires taking steps to prevent or reduce the negative impacts of these changes on socio-ecological systems. It also requires the integration of disciplines, stakeholders, different modelling approaches, treatment options, and scales of analysis. To address these issues, we reviewed 116 peer-reviewed research papers to understand planning frameworks, methods and tools utilised in the region.
Cyclone Pam

What constrains ecosystem-based adaptation?

While ecosystem-based adaptation is a popular approach to managing climate change risks, uptake is still low. This paper explores the constraints and barriers around the adoption of ecosystem-based adaptation and seeks to enable practitioners and academics a pathway to embrace all of the dimensions involved to increase uptake and success.
Sea wall construction in Tanna

How we protect buildings and communities from sea level rise due to global warming

Currently, the standard approach to defending buildings and other structures from the rising sea level impacts is through construction of a concrete or rock seawall, or some similar kind of so-called “capital works”. However, these interventions destroy or degrade natural ecosystems. One solution that avoids this problem is to use ecosystems to help reduce the risks from increasing coastal inundation and erosion.

Pacific EcoAdapt