This project will expand the geographic scope of a current effort by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii to conduct “Climate Forums” for Pacific Island Cooperative Extension Service (CES) faculty. The objectives of these Forums are to 1) develop climate science knowledge among CES agents in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands, 2) work with CES to identify locally relevant strategies for climate change adaptation, and 3) identify opportunities to integrate these strategies into CES programs to increase adoption among agricultural producers and resources managers in the region. Building on existing curriculum and the success of Climate Forums conducted in Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, we will replicate the approach in Pohnpei and Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. Prior Climate Forums have brought together between 40-100 extension and outreach professionals in CES and other agencies over 2- to 3-days for lectures and facilitated group activities to review the current state of climate change knowledge, existing tools and resources, and identify strategies to better prepare our clients and communities to cope with the impacts of increasing climate variability. The Climate Forums provide a venue to draw on CES personnel’s long-term understanding of local cultures, issues, and food production and land management systems to identify opportunities and the resources required to integrate climate adaptation strategies into CES programs. Syntheses of the discussions and presentations at Climate Forums in Pohnpei and Chuuk will be developed into online training modules, a database of current extension projects related to climate adaptation, and the identification of next steps, prioritized by event participants. These outputs, along with prior funded work, will contribute to a region-wide scope of work for climate adaptation needs derived from CES professionals across six island groups in the Pacific region.
Our specific objectives are as follows (See Methods for greater detail):
(1) Develop and deliver a climate science curriculum via Climate Forums for CES personnel and similar
agencies on Pohnpei and Chuuk
(2) Identify and expand locally relevant opportunities and pathways to integrate climate change into
This project uses a combination of lectures and interactive workshop activities. The workshop follows a curriculum design map that links workshop content to specific learning objectives to meet the project goals. Group discussion sections are designed to gather and share information that will contribute directly to extension products – namely an final annotated workshop agenda providing key background information on local climate science and impacts as a reference and a fact sheet designed to disseminate information on climate change impacts and appropriate adaptation strategies to extension clients. In addition, workshops incorporate field days to discuss the use and improvement of demonstration sites and other extension resources in improving climate adaptation for local farms.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
Why is climate change relevant for your work and clientele?
Describe Pacific climate systems, drivers of variations, and projected changes and impacts:
Climate and weather – Pacific climate systems; atmosphere circulation patterns over the Pacific ocean, island rainfall patterns; Drivers of variations (seasonality, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, La Niña, PDO)
Carbon, climate change, and agriculture – carbon cycle and human emissions; climate model projections, downscaling for Pacific Islands.
Projected climate changes – temperature; rainfall; sea level; storm intensity and occurrence
Develop and increase foundational knowledge of regional climate change science and literacy
What existing resources can we use? What resources need to be developed?
Workshop participants use group activities to: 1) Review climate information and other resources for their region (and elsewhere); 2) Identify the most useful/relevant climate-related resources to support extension programs; 3) Identify resources that don’t exist that would be useful
Incorporate climate-related information and tools into extension, natural resource service providers, and community partner activities and plans of work to support climate adaptation.
Define and differentiate cliamte adaptation and climate mitigation. Recognize how adaptation is relevant to extension program desired outcomes.
Group discussion to identify (1) Which resources programs use to track climate/weather?; (2) What kind of timescales are relevant for different extension clients in terms of climate/weather forecasting and planning? (3) How do your current programs address preparing for and/or responding to climate- and weather-related impacts?
Identify culturally relevant strategies for climate adaptation and communication.
Use results from group discussions to draft a fact sheet, or related product, outlining relevant climate information, projected impacts, and adaptation strategies for extension clients.
Break-out groups will draft sections of a climate fact sheet based on their clientele needs and objectives
To improve the availability of resources to support climate adaptation among extension programs. To increase the awareness of extension clients of the projected impacts and strategies to mitigate those impacts.
Maintain dialogue and feedback among extension programs who have participated in the project's climate adaptation workshops.
The current project is organizing workshops in Pohnpei and Chuuk, which builds off previous workshops in Guam, CNMI, American Samoa and Hawaii. The project organizers maintain monthly to bimonthly phone calls with co-organizers in extension programs in each of these islands.
Improve knowledge sharing across geographic boundaries. Identify region-wide and local scale issues where technology transfer can improve extension programs and farmer outcomes.
Educational & Outreach Activities
So far, the outcomes have been among project organizers. We have engaged with key organizers within the extension program at College of Micronesia to customize the workshop curriculum for Pohnpei and Chuuk participants. We have also maintained monthly conference calls with participants in prior workshops to improve the content and delivery of workshop materials on Pohnpei and Chuuk.