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Freshwater under threat. Pacific Islands. Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change

Freshwater under threat. Pacific Islands. Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). April 2012
  • This study undertakes a vulnerability assessment of the freshwater resources of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). The approach assumes that the vulnerability of freshwater resources is dependent upon the resources available to meet the productive, consumptive and environment uses; the pollution and development pressures; and the management capacity to respond to these pressures. This approach highlights the importance of drivers such as climate variability and change, population growth, urban migration and economic development to water resource vulnerability through their influence on the state of freshwater resources and the associated pressures.The report is divided into six chapters. The first chapter introduces the study, outlining why vulnerability is important and the approach adopted to assess freshwater vulnerability in the Pacific. Chapter two presents the geographic and socio-economic context of the Pacific island nations and the status of, and the challenges in, managing the freshwater resources, focussing on the countries targeted in this study. This chapter also presents a DPSIR (driver, pressure, state, impact, response) assessment of the water resources in atolls and larger islands. The third chapter describes the method of assessment and the development of the composite Vulnerability Index, including changes to the methodology adopted for assessing river basin vulnerability. The fourth chapter details the vulnerability assessment for the selected islands. Chapter five consolidates the key resource and ecosystem pressures, development drivers and management responses into a composite vulnerability index for each of the countries. The final chapter synergises the information obtained through the vulnerability index assessment to provide conclusions on Pacific islands freshwater vulnerability and provides options for future directions to increase regional resilience and reduce freshwater resource vulnerability.
  • Geographical coverage: Pacific Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Island, Nauru, Papua New Guinea , Samoa, Tuvalu
  • Main themes: Climate change, Information and data, Islands, State of water resources, Vulnerability, Water availability, Water security
  • Main target audience: Decision makers, Policy makers
  • Main purpose: Assessment, Awareness raising
  • Type of resource: Assessment report, Case studies, Indicators
  • Download file (4.2 MB)
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Published in 2015