Resource Climate Change in the Federated States of Micronesia
- Vetting Authority:
- Art Sussman
- This is a report of findings following research and a three-week field assessment (April 2009) of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in response to nation-wide marine inundation by extreme tides (December 2007, September 2008, December 2008).3 The study was conducted at the request of the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the state and federal governments of FSM.
Like other science-based planning challenges, managing climate risk involves complicated assessment based on the best available information originating, in part, with scientific research and place-based community knowledge. Effective progress on managing climate risk is facilitated by a strong partnership between scientists and planners in the context of community-based decision-making.
To simplify and summarize the many findings here, the following are proposed as “first steps” that can be pursued simultaneously.
1. Develop a national climate education program implemented through state, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and community groups. Managing climate risk can be facilitated with community involvement – but first the community has to possess awareness and knowledge of climate risk. Training NGOs, community groups, and state staff can produce a corps of educators to achieve this goal and perpetuate the program.
2. Explore the issues of sea-level inundation, drought, and food and water security. Develop a high level of awareness and knowledge by key decision-makers and community groups. Each community can develop a shared vision of what is at risk and what qualities to protect that can inform a state plan, and ultimately a national plan. Steering committees of stakeholders can facilitate this process. State and national agencies, offices, and programs can be aligned with climate risk management.
3. Install and maintain climate-monitoring stations throughout FSM. It is important to improve knowledge of developing regional climate trends and develop model projections of future regional climate trends. Presently, climate models do not agree on regional projections. This problem can be improved by funding research on regional-scale climate modeling to provide the FSM with important information for managing risk.
4. Make maps of inundation risk and vulnerability and develop an inundation timeline. Marine inundation will continue and worsen with sea-level rise. Managing this problem can be facilitated with maps showing locations where inundation is likely. Remote sensing and aerial photographic imagery, and light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) topographic and bathymetric data are needed to build digital elevation models to conduct vulnerability studies.
5. Create a national climate risk management plan with individual state plans that emphasize community- based adaptation to provide a roadmap for managing climate risk.
6. Build food and water resiliency. Food and water are at risk now. Collect data on food and water resources and trends; with international assistance build technical knowledge of tropical agro-forestry practices; define per capita sustainability parameters for individual communities; stage emergency resources; and monitor sea level and rainfall to forecast events when food and water assistance will be needed.
7. Develop international partners to assist with steps 1-6.
- Dr. Charles H. Fletcher and Dr. Bruce M. Richmond
AuthorsName of an author associated with this resource
- Resource Type:
- Overview/Summary Document, Research Document
- Publication Date:
- Grade Levels:
- Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, College
- Climate Impacts, Home and National Security, Fresh Water and Food Security, Ecosystems and Biodiversity Impacts, Economic Impacts
- Related Locations:
- Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Yap
Related LocationsOne of the 11 major political entities within the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) region.