USP Contributes Pacific-led Research at Climate Change Conference

SUVA, Fiji-February 21, 2018: 12.45pm (USP): Climate Scientists and staff from The University of the South Pacific (USP) will speak at the Pacific Climate Change Conference in Wellington this week.

Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) Director and Professor in Climate Change, Prof. Elisabeth Holland is a keynote speaker at the conference which begins today (Wednesday, February 21), while Deputy Director Dr Morgan Wairiu will speak on “Engaging Pacific Islands on SRM Geoengineering Research’.

Both Prof. Holland and Dr Wairiu are avid supporters of Pacific led research – by the Pacific, for the Pacific, an ideology which they instil at PaCE-SD.

“Local research in the region is of utmost importance, leading to informed development choices and is the best way forward as it creates a direct connection between the research and the communities once it is implemented,” Prof. Holland said.

“Our Big Ocean States are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and remote research does not suffice, calling for the creation of leaders and experts locally through joint Pacific led research.”

USP is one of the few universities in the world carrying out research on climate change focused on the Pacific region and its island countries.

With campuses in twelve countries across Oceania, and projects reaching even further, local researchers are motivated by dealing with the effects of the changes occurring in their environment first hand. Climate change affects their lives, their families and communities.

USP research programmes are therefore by the Pacific, for the Pacific, Prof. Holland, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, explains.

“We are very excited to be attending the conference in Wellington and to have this platform where we can share our experience with the Big Ocean States, as well as to promote Pacific led research”, Dr Wairiu added.

This is the second Pacific Climate Change Conference, which will feature Pacific leaders, climate scientists, academics and civil society leaders as part of the expected 240 delegates that will be attending the conference.

PaCE-SD is a centre for excellence in environmental education, research and community engagement in the Pacific Island Region. It fosters the development of a research and education culture that serves the region by involving local and regional communities and other stakeholders, including global development partners, governments and CSOs.

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