Tourism represents a significant economic activity in the Pacific. In most Pacific Island countries (PICs) it is one of the largest sectors and provides great opportunities for economic growth, employment, and sustainable development. With the sector’s high energy consumption and its dependence on air transport, tourism contributes to emissions and thus to climate change. On the other hand, this sector is also very vulnerable to various risks, such as natural hazards, economic downturns, health epidemics and market fluctuations. Due to its highly climate-sensitive nature, Pacific tourism is identified as a hotspot for major impacts of climate change that will affect tourism destinations across the region and exacerbate natural hazards, as well as other associated risks.

CCCPIR’s sustainable tourism and climate change component, which started in 2013, aims to strengthen the capacity of selected PICs to cope with climate change impacts in the tourism sector in Fiji, Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The objective is to assist innovative partnerships and approaches in the tourism sector that promote adaptation to climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Three main areas of intervention are foreseen:

  1. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through public private partnerships (PPP) in the tourism sector (Fiji and Palau);
  2. Climate change and community tourism initiatives (Samoa and Vanuatu);
  3. Mainstreaming climate change in tourism policies.

Fiji and Palau

In Fiji and Palau, the programme focuses on PPP and builds on and complements existing and proposed initiatives at regional and national levels. At regional level it supports the implementation of the Pacific Island Framework for Action on Climate Change and at national level it supports relevant climate change mitigation and adaptation policies as well as other sector policies and frameworks. CCCPIR is collaborating with and adding value to ongoing climate change programmes supported by government entities, NGOs and other development partners.

Samoa and Vanuatu

In Samoa and Vanuatu, the component is concentrating on community tourism.

Activities in 2013

  • A national consultation workshop for integrated stakeholder engagement across the tourism, climate change, and natural disaster management areas;
  • Mapping community tourism initiatives;
  • Risk analysis and vulnerability assessment of selected community tourism initiatives;
  • Implementation of adaptation interventions in the selected community tourism initiatives;
  • Production of an adaptation manual for community tourism in the Pacific; and
  • A national best practice workshop.