Home Geography Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries: Fostering Resilience and Improving the Quality of Life
While this study has illustrated the situation in the Pacific at the macro level, assumptions and generalisations have been made based on the three case studies and policies and projects that were available at the time of writing. It must be recognised that while there are very clear conclusions that relate to the region as a whole, there are significant variations between the fourteen Pacific countries. In order for the recommendations below to be most useful, the research would benefit from similar analysis being undertaken at the national, or even subnational level in order to identify priority actions that are more specific to the country or community context.
The findings of this paper emphasise that the concept of gender equality is still embryonic in climate change adaptation in the Pacific Islands. While recognised in theory (i.e. policy and project design), it is not often well supported by action and practice, nor well measured and monitored.
The study observed a notable lack of mainstreaming of gender in national policies, and therefore most likely a lacking general awareness of the linkage between gender equality, climate change and DRR in the Pacific. Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change and disasters disproportionately affect women, gender equality is not often well integrated into climate change policy, nor climate change into gender policy. Where climate change and gender equality are well mainstreamed into national policy, corresponding institutional frameworks that are well-resourced, coordinated and informed are required, along with adequate technical capacity within government agencies, NGOs and project teams, in order to achieve this in practice. At all levels and in all countries, SADD related to climate change, natural disasters and sustainable development were found to be non-existent or limited, which constrains proper assessment to inform and improve policies, project design, risk assessments and programming, and ongoing measurement of progress.
Through case studies and success stories, this study identified clear recommendations for improving gender equality in climate change adaptation, as outlined below:
It is clear that participation and skills of women and girls will lead to more effective, and much needed, climate change adaptation in the Pacific. The recommendations above aim to improve gender equality through adaptation to climate change, and therefore, sustainable development overall. Underlying social norms and institutional constraints will continue to hamper the Pacific Islands’ progress towards fully achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in CCA, but the best practice examples identified through this study are evidence that these challenges can be overcome.
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