Abstract: In the Pacific Island region, marine resources make vital contributions to food security, livelihoods and economic development. Climate change is expected to have profound effects on the status and distribution of coastal and oceanic habitats, the fish and invertebrates they support and, as a result, the communities that depend on these resources. To prepare for and respond to these impacts – and ensure the ongoing sustainability of marine ecosystems and fisheries, and the communities that rely on them economically and culturally – it is necessary to understand what the impacts are and identify effective adaptation actions. In particular, declines in reef habitats and associated demersal and invertebrate coastal fisheries productivity, and more eastward distribution of tuna, are expected to present the greatest challenges for reef-dependent communities. Some aquaculture commodities, such as species with calcareous shells, will also be impacted by climate change and ocean acidification. The presentation will overview projects working in the Pacific and how they are using science to drive vulnerability assessments to inform adaptation planning and decision-making. The adaptations, policies and investments recommended to reduce the threats of climate change to marine resources, are of interest to a broad range of stakeholders in the region.
Biography: Johanna Johnson has 25 years’ experience working in applied ecosystem science, particularly on climate change implications for tropical marine ecosystems and communities. Johanna has worked as a researcher and natural resource manager, having lead studies on marine protected area management, climate change vulnerability assessments, and community-based adaptation to climate change. She has worked in the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait Islands, Pacific Island region, Caribbean and southeast Asia. She has spent over a decade assessing climate vulnerabilities and developing tools to operationalize the concept into practical adaptation actions. Johanna has worked in the Pacific region since 2008, and has current projects supporting climate change adaptation in Vanuatu, PNG, Solomon Islands, and Fiji. She has expertise in using diverse sources of information to inform practical climate change adaptation, and working with local communities to develop and implement on-ground local actions.