Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) is a collaborative effort to assess climate change indicators, impacts, and adaptive capacity of the Hawaiian archipelago and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). Starting in 2012, an ongoing assessment process and information exchange began in the wider USAPI region. PIRCA’s aim is to better assist stakeholders in the region to assess and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is done through localized assessments and stakeholder consultation.
To this end, in the 2019–20 project year, the PIRCA team is working on several deliverables, including country- and territory-level climate assessment summaries and workshops. These update the 2012 PIRCA, with attention to key sectors (such as public health, water and utilities, tourism, government, education) in a more localized context.
The National Climate Assessment (NCA)–PIRCA workshops were conducted in American Sāmoa, Palau, Guam, and Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). These workshops brought the PIRCA team and local sector representatives together to share data and develop the PIRCA climate summaries. Workshops to be held in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands were planned for the summer of 2020, but have been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These climate summary reports will be released later in 2020, and will be used in funding proposals for adaption projects, to inform National Adaptation Plans, and in governments’ communications with the public and decision makers at local, national, and international scales. Already, an early version of the PIRCA summary has been used as the scientific basis for a funding proposal for developing Palau’s National Adaptation Plan.