The project has generated a number of novel and useful outputs including the following highlights:
- Coastal process models – understanding and predicting the impacts of climate change in the coastal zone requires the ability to model the impacts of sea level rise on coastal erosion and inundation. We have calibrated a set of nested, multi-scaled models (global, regional, local) for simulating coastal processes at Port Resolution and Port Vila. Furthermore, we did this in a “data poor” region of the world. With additional support, these models could be calibrated for all major coastal settlements in Vanuatu as well as other Pacific Islands, or better still, we could train colleagues at the University of South Pacific and government agencies in how to calibrate and run these them.
- Monitoring the integrity of coral reef ecosystems – we applied a recently developed method for surveying the ecological conditions of coral reefs. This method is straightforward yet generates useful data and local community members, including youth can be readily trained in how to undertake these surveys.
- Whole-of-island land cover mapping – a “ridge to reef” approach is critical on islands. A major data gap for this region is the lack of up-to-date land cover maps. Obtaining these data has been expensive and technically complicated, resulting in available coverages being rarely updated and quickly out of date. We have developed a new approach which uses expert local knowledge and cloud-based data and processing. This is an exciting new tool that can be quickly rolled out across Vanuatu and the Pacific.
- Q-method for community consultations – we applied for the first time a method for eliciting in a culturally appropriate way the values, preferences and priorities of local communities. This approach is also generic in that it can be readily applied throughout Vanuatu and the Pacific.
- Integrated climate risk assessment – we developed novel approaches to climate risk assessment that simulates the relevant “socio-ecological system”, utilised qualitative and quantitative data and information, and that enables alternative solutions to be explored against future scenarios.
- Other decision support – we produced materials that translate our research findings into information and guidance for decisions makers, practitioners and stakeholders.