Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Greater Port Vila

Executive SummaryThis report constitutes the complete outputs ofthe climate vulnerability assessment carried out byRMIT University for Port Vila,Vanuatu throughout 2014. This activity forms part of the broaderagenda for UN-Habitat’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) in the Pacific region. Thecontent contained in this report is based on knowledgegenerated through three visits to the city byboth report authors, a variety of engagement activity (interviews, workshops and a transect walk),elicitation of local/traditionalknowledge, collating and analysing available primary data, and acomprehensive desk-top analysis of relevant literature.The first field trip was carried out in April 2014 with a primaryaim of undertaking an actor andpolicy mapping exercise. Activity during this initial visit was primarily interview-based and was usedto inform an initial scoping report. The second visit, in July 2014, involved a weeklong series ofdifferent engagement activities including interviews, workshops (hostedby Shefa ProvincialGovernment and the Municipal Government), and a transect walk through the Blacksands informalsettlement. A final visit to gather feedback onreview of the report draft was conducted inDecember 2014.Given the limited availability (or inaccessibility) of primary data tosupport the assessment process –more so than other CCCI cities that have already conducted vulnerability assessments – much of theinitial efforts from this first phase have been necessarily focused on collating the necessary data tosupport steps 1 and 2 of the UN-HabitatPlanning for Climate ChangeProcess (Module A: what ishappening?) in order to establish a more solid foundation for the assessment.This vulnerability assessment report is in three main parts:1) It documents the methodology and associated activity (as mapped to the CCCI planningstructure) and identifies follow up actions;2) It incorporates a first pass vulnerability assessment report that has been completed adopting theCCCI formatting used for other case studiesin the Asia-Pacific region; and3) It highlights some of the initial findings thathave arisen in relation tovulnerable communities – inparticular informal settlements - and some of the key issues that need to be addressed.In addition to sea level rise and ocean acidification in the city’s immediatevicinity, a key climate-related hazard identified by stakeholders waslocalised flooding; a consequence of both intenserainfall but also urban drainage issues. Sustaining ecosystem services undera changing climate is alsoseen as critical in the Port Vila context, particularly given the importance of tourism and agricultureto the Pacific Island Nation. Thisfirst phase of research also highlighted the vulnerability of informalsettlements both in the urban and peri-urban areas,a consequence of their sensitivity, exposure, andlack of adaptive capacity. Addressing such issues is further complicated by complex land tenurearrangements. A full range of direct and indirect impacts is addressed in the report and will form thebasis forPlanning for Climate Change.

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