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Confronting the Climate Crisis with Food Systems Transformation: Stories of Action from 14 countries

March 22, 2022

Integrating food systems transformation into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the national climate actions at the heart of the Paris Agreement, is critical to delivering on interconnected ecological, biodiversity, health, economic, social, and cultural goals. Taking a food systems approach builds climate resilience and results in a diversity of context-specific solutions for food production, distribution, consumption, and waste. Yet, food systems are rarely prioritized in climate policy. This catalogue of global Case Studies complements a suite of publications that are designed to centre food systems transformation in future climate debate and policy.

Untapped Opportunities for Climate Action: An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

March 22, 2022

A summary report providing a synthesis of the 14 country assessments with recommendations and priority actions.

Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During COVID-19

May 26, 2021

Drawn from different countries around the world, each initiative profiled in Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During COVID-19 intervenes at a different point in the food system and responds to the pandemic with creativity, adaptability, and resilience.Led by community groups, innovative policymakers, progressive private sector players, social entrepreneurs, and others, their stories reveal why food systems need to change, while also serving to push back against popular narratives that maintain the status quo and dominate thinking about the future of food.

Promising Practices From Fiji in Empowering Women Economically: Learnings From Talanoa Treks, Ra Naari Parishad, Rise Beyond the Reef, and the Fiji Women’s Fund

October 1, 2019

This paper is jointly authored by eight women who work with the Fiji Women's Fund and three of the Fund's partner organisations - Talanoa Treks, Ra Naari Parishad, and, Rise Beyond the Reef. The paper aims to contribute to improved women's economic empowerment programs by sharing the experiences of these three partners. The authors document the learnings of practitioners in Fiji and compare these with the existing literature for the audience of practitioners in the Pacific and abroad. The Fiji Women's Fund supports the documentation of research from practice, so that the expertise of practitioners is recognised, and, to increase the body of knowledge generated from the Global South.The paper examines the experiences and learnings of the three partners using the Gender at Work framework, developed by Rao and Kelleher, which highlights the inter-linked dimensions of change required to achieve sustainable progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. The paper documents the similar journey taken by all three partner organisations, through each of the four quadrants of this framework. All three entities supported the establishment of a formal, collective structure being established, to provide women access to training and income-generating opportunities. Women accessed these opportunities to improve their skills, capabilities, income and assets. These changes, in turn, had an influence on the way the women themselves, and the men in their lives, think about what it means to be a woman or a man and the possibilities available. For example, there is evidence of positive changes to what women and men are doing in their households. Husbands, sons and partners are helping women beneficiaries by taking on some of the care tasks that were previously left to the women. The greatest evidence of change is within households, as changes to exclusionary practices at the village level are less evident.

U.S. Drought Monitor: U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands

September 10, 2019

U.S. Drought Monitor: U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands on September 10, 2019.

"'Twisting and spinning' theatre into coastal fisheries management: Informing and engaging communities to address challenges"

September 8, 2019

Given the importance of fish in the lives of Melanesians, and the increasing pressures on marine resource stocks and habitats (Hickey 2008), managing coastal fisheries has been identified as one of the Pacific Islands region's biggest development challenges (SPC 2015). And as with other Pacific Island countries, coastal fisheries in Vanuatu are primary source of food and income, and a cornerstone of local cultural identity (VFD 2019). At the same time, many coastal fisheries are experiencing declines in production due to increased fishing pressure resulting from population growth, market expansion and impacts of climate change (Léopold et al. 2013). Much of the current work around community-based fisheries management in Vanuatu is focused on determining how grassroots management initiatives can scale-up to reach more people more effectively (Tavue et al. 2016; Raubani et al. 2017). Essential to that goal, is effective communication and information exchange between communities and development partners to share understandings about fisheries management, and highlight the many layers of support needed to create and access opportunities, including from governments.

Migratory Convergence Facilitates Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Song

September 4, 2019

Cultural transmission of behaviour is important in a wide variety of vertebrate taxa from birds to humans. Vocal traditions and vocal learning provide a strong foundation for studying culture and its transmission in both humans and cetaceans. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) perform complex, culturally transmitted song displays that can change both evolutionarily (through accumulations of small changes) or revolutionarily (where a population rapidly adopts a novel song). The degree of coordination and conformity underlying song revolutions makes their study of particular interest. Acoustic contact on migratory routes may provide a mechanism for cultural revolutions of song, yet these areas of contact remain uncertain. Here, we compared songs recorded from the Kermadec Islands, a recently discovered migratory stopover, to multiple South Pacific wintering grounds. Similarities in song themes from the Kermadec Islands and multiple wintering locations (from New Caledonia across to the Cook Islands) suggest a location allowing cultural transmission of song eastward across the South Pacific, active song learning (hybrid songs) and the potential for cultural convergence after acoustic isolation at the wintering grounds. As with the correlations in humans between genes, communication and migration, the migration patterns of humpback whales are written into their songs.

Gender-inclusive facilitation for community-based marine resource management

August 1, 2019

People who rely on a natural resource should be central to decisions about how that resource is used and managed. This principle is at the core of community-based resource management (CBRM) and other forms of collaborative management or co-management. CBRM aims for high levels of resource-user participation in decision-making and in managing resources. In practice, however, different social groups experience collaborative management approaches differently (Evans et al. 2011). The processes and outcomes of collaborative management can preferentially benefit (Cinner et al. 2012) or disadvantage (Béné et al. 2009) certain sectors of society and can also exacerbate existing power imbalances and lead to elite capture (Béné et al. 2009; Cinner et al. 2012) in which public resources are managed in a way that benefit a few individuals of superior social status to the detriment of the larger population. They may also inadvertently exclude or marginalize women (or other groups) from decision-making processes and from the resources they rely upon (Kleiber et al. 2015; Vunisea 2008). When management partners or facilitators engage communities, they must use deliberate, thoughtful and reflexive strategies to reduce the risk of exacerbating existing power imbalances (Schwarz et al. 2014). This brief draws upon lessons and experience from across the Pacific region, where there is a long history of community-based approaches to address fisheries and marine resource management (e.g. Johannes 1982). The region also has decades of national programming (e.g. King and Faasili 1998; Raubani et al. 2017), relatively recent high level recognition (Secretariat of the Pacific Community 2015) and widespread interest in spreading and improving these approaches (Govan et al. 2009). This brief helps facilitators use, reflect on, and adapt gender-inclusive strategies in their work with communities. It aims to increase the frequency and quality of strategies used to reach women, men, youths and other social groups in the preparation, design, implementation and adaptation stages of CBRM. While the advice here is prepared with the Pacific island countries and community-based fisheries and marine resource management specifically in mind, some elements are more broadly applicable and also reflected in extensive experiences and feminist research from other agricultural and development sectors. We focus on gender-inclusive strategies facilitators can use when working with communities. When used thoughtfully as part of a larger cycle of gender-aware reflection on the equity of the process, the strategies are meant to enable gender-equitable participation in CBRM discussions, negotiation, planning and decision-making processes. This is not a step-by-step manual on "how to do gender" or a recipe that will guarantee equitable processes or outcomes. While gender-inclusive facilitation or practice has multiple dimensions, in this brief we refer to this in shorthand as "reaching" women and men (See 'Reach' Figure 2). We begin by highlighting what it means to "equitably reach" women and men—or, in other words, being gender-inclusive in facilitation and who is responsible for doing this

Evidence and patterns of tuna spawning inside a large no-take Marine Protected Area

July 24, 2019

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), one of the world's largest marine protected areas, represents 11% of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Kiribati, which earns much of its GDP by selling tuna fishing licenses to foreign nations. We have determined that PIPA is a spawning area for skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tunas. Our approach included sampling larvae on cruises in 2015–2017 and using a biological-physical model to estimate spawning locations for collected larvae. Temperature and chlorophyll conditions varied markedly due to observed ENSO states: El Niño (2015) and neutral (2016–2017). However, larval tuna distributions were similar amongst years. Generally, skipjack larvae were patchy and more abundant near PIPA's northeast corner, while Thunnus larvae exhibited lower and more even abundances. Genetic barcoding confirmed the presence of bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tuna larvae. Model simulations indicated that most of the larvae collected inside PIPA in 2015 were spawned inside, while stronger currents in 2016 moved more larvae across PIPA's boundaries. Larval distributions and relative spawning output simulations indicated that both focal taxa spawned inside PIPA in all 3 study years, demonstrating that PIPA is protecting viable tuna spawning habitat.

Tonga State Of The Environment Report

January 1, 2019

The Tonga State of the Environment 2018 report has been developed to answer three key questions related to the environment of Tonga, and is based on seven thematic areas:* What is the current condition of the Tongan environment?* What are the risks the Tongan environment faces and what measures have been put forward to minimise them? This could provide lessons for Tonga.* Where is the environment of Tonga headed based on the assessed thematic areas?

Status and Trends of Coral Reefs of the Pacific

September 27, 2018

This document is part of the status report series of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) founded in 1995 as part of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) to document the ecological conditions of coral reefs, to strengthen monitoring efforts, and to link existing organisations and people working with coral reefs around the world.

The Last Taboo: Research on Menstrual Hygiene Management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea

September 1, 2017

This report presents general findings from research funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), including its innovationXchange. It represents collaboration between DFAT's Pacific Division and DFAT's innovationXchange following an internal DFAT Ideas Challenge. The study was undertaken in 2016-17 and focuses on menstruation and how it is managed by women and adolescent girls in Solomon Islands (SI), Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG). The purpose of the study was to explore the challenges experienced by women and girls in managing their menstruation, and whether these challenges make it hard for them to equally participate in school and work and engage with their communities.