Using Local Knowledge To Understand Climate Variability in the Cook Islands

Both naturally-occurring climate cycles as well as man’s potential influence on the Earth’s weather is an issue that has come to the forefront on a global scale in recent decades. In small Pacific island nations, the impacts of climate change are reported to be widespread, affecting food security, economic development, and increasing the risk of island communities to natural disasters. While much of our knowledge of the impacts in the Pacific are largely generalized based on studies conducted on a few islands in this region as well as model predictions provided by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, impacts remain poorly understood particularly on remote islands where resources are limited for consistent monitoring and reporting on this issue.


Impacts of 2015-2016 El Nino Event in the Northern Cook Islands

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate phenomenon that brings unusually warm water to the equatorial Pacific, stressing and often decimating coral reefs in its path through coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is a stress response by a diversity of coral genera, often associated with a period of prolonged elevated ocean temperatures (Glynn, 1993; Goreau & Hayes, 1994; Brown, 1997; Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999).



Stocktake Cook Islands

The project will enable the Cook Islands to prepare its Third National Communication to the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC. The activities within the Third National Communication are a continuation and update of the work done by Cook Islands to prepare the Second National Communication carried out by the National Environment Services (NES) 2011.

Main components are; 1) National Circumstances, 2) Inventory of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, 3) Programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to, and mitigation of climate change, 4) Programmes and national action plans that are considered relevant for the achievement of the objectives of UNFCCC.

Furthermore to enhance national capacities and raise general knowledge and awareness on climate change and its many effects, therefore, contributing to putting climate change issues higher on the national agenda through strengthened cooperation and increased involvement of all relevant stakeholders particularly the private sector. In addition, it will also strengthen and build national capacities for participation in different mechanisms related to GHG mitigation and to fulfilling other commitments under the UNFCCC.