Speaking points for Deputy Director-General, Pacific Community, Dr Audrey Aumua - Launch of Vulnerability of Pacific Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Change


Consul-General, Paul Wilson
Member representatives
Partners and colleagues

On behalf of the Pacific Community, I extend warm greetings to you all.

Thank you for joining us for this launch.

It’s significant because we’re launching the most comprehensive assessment to-date of the potential impact of climate change on agriculture and forestry in our region.

The book, Vulnerability of Pacific Island agriculture and forestry to climate change, is a mighty tomb that has taken more than two years and involved 23 main authors.

We’re delighted one of the principal authors, Andrew McGregor, could join us today. Andrew, you may have thought this day would never come! In a few minutes, Andrew will be taking us through some of the main findings.

As we know, Pacific Island states are on the frontline of climate change.

This book, led by SPC, covers both observed and projected changes in the climate of Pacific Islands.

It examines the vulnerability of Pacific island agriculture and forestry to climate change focussing on traditional food staples and export commodities; horticultural crops and spices; livestock and forests.

It reviews the implications of climate change on contributions by agriculture and forestry to Pacific economies and communities. It then makes a series of climate change adaptation recommendations.

An exercise of this magnitude would not have been possible without the valued support of the Australian Government. Consul-General, on behalf of SPC and our members who will benefit from this comprehensive resource, we sincerely thank the Australian Government for your strong support of this knowledge product.

We value SPC’s strategic partnership for development with Australia. It’s all about cooperation to achieve improved development outcomes and sustainable improvements in the quality of life of everyone here in the Pacific. Thank you again.

Together with all our members and partners, SPC is committed to improving multi-sectoral responses to climate change and disasters. We recognise that no sector is impacted in isolation.

The first book we produced in 2011, also with funding from the Australian Government, looks at the impact of climate change on equally important sectors – fisheries and aquaculture.

I congratulate Andrew and indeed everyone who has contributed to this remarkable resource. Given the cross-cutting nature of climate change and its integration across various teams at SPC, it’s been led by our Land Resources Division – under the guidance of Inoke Ratukalou, Dean Solofa and others – but has involved our Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Programme, FAME, Geoscience and Public Health divisions.

To single out a few who are here today, thanks to: Sairusi Bulai, Sylvie Goyet for the direction they have provided; to Angela Templeton and Carla Appel in our Publications team who have spent months finalising the production and layout – all 550 pages!

I also wish to acknowledge the farmers, researchers and extension agents who are directly engaged in the generation of information and ideas on which this book is based.

How can you get a copy? We have a limited print run available today, but we will be making complementary copies available to all members in the coming weeks. Anyone wanting to make a bulk order is asked to contact Manuella Rupeni in our Publications area. Manu, can you please raise your hand. The book will be on sale to the public.

I wish you all great success in your areas of expertise and in the use of this great resource.

Thank you and now let me hand over to the Australian Consul-General, Paul Wilson.

Now please make welcome Andrew McGregor, the Managing Director of Koko Siga Pacific (Fiji) and one of the book’s principal authors.

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