Climate resilient expert for FAO Pacific, 2015-2016

Contracted by FAO Pacific as a Climate Resilient Agriculture Expert for the provision of technical expertise in the area of resilience, disaster and climate change in relation to the agriculture sector. Work was focused principally in Tonga, with additional work in Fiji and Vanuatu. This involved a number tasks:

  • A mission to Vanuatu a month after Cyclone Pam to develop the basis for two Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs)
  • Drafting of a TCP for Tonga and Vanuatu to complement a project funded by the EU DIPECHO. This was focused on climate risk and agriculture.
  • Missions to Fiji and Tonga to develop agro-met workplans as components of the DIPECHO/TCP projects.
  • Working with an IFAD team to develop a Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture in the Pacific project. My principal contribution was to develop a background paper on Agroclimate Services in the Pacific.
  • A mission to Fiji to co-facilitate the first agro-met workshop there.
  • Several missions to Tonga to finalise and support initial implementation of their agro-met activities.
  • Joining an IFAD/FAO team to develop Phase 2 of the Tonga Rural Innovation Project (TRIP 2). This drew directly from the Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan (see below). My role was as the climate resilience expert.
Interviewing weavers
Interviewing weavers

Support for development of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), 2015

Contracted by Société Française de Réalisation, d’Études et de Conseil (SOFRECO) as part of a team of three to provide support to five Pacific Island Countries (Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Niue, Tonga, Tuvalu) in preparation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) ahead of COP21. Additional support was provided to Nauru. An important output was an INDC guideline which provides an integrated approach which emphasizes the importance of adaptation in Pacific Island countries. I contributed as the adaptation expert.

Tonga Climate Change Policy, 2015

Contracted to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to develop a revised Tonga climate change policy. This involved initial desk work which was focused on review of the previous Tonga climate change policy along with review of recent climate change policies from five other Pacific Island Countries. Subsequently I was based in Tonga for five weeks to interview stakeholders, facilitate participatory workshops, and draft the new policy. The policy was finalised in September 2015, and approved by Parliament in February 2016.

Visioning a Resilient Tonga
Visioning a Resilient Tonga

Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan, 2014-2015

Contracted through the UNDP Pacific Risk Resilience Programme to contribute to development of an Agriculture Sector Plan for the Kingdom of Tonga. I worked with another consultant, Philip Young, who was contracted by IFAD. My role was to ensure that climate change and disaster risk reduction was fully integrated into the plan. This included writing key elements of the small-holder agriculture component of the finalised plan. The work involved extensive consultations throughout Tonga, completed in two phases. The first phase of work involved interviews in the main island of Tongatapu as well as travel to Vava’u and Ha’apai. The output from this first phase was a background report. The second phase of work involved further interviews as well as farmer workshops in Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and Eua. The output from this second phase was a draft Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan, which subsequently went through an extensive review and editing process within Tonga before being submitted to and approved by Parliament.

Vava'u farmer
Vava’u farmer

Development of a background paper on the ClimateCare concept, 2014

A small contract with the New Zealand Landcare Trust to develop a background paper on the ClimateCare concept as an action focused response to climate change.

Identification and evaluation of resilience indicators for dairy farming in New Zealand, 2013

A sub-contract with Landcare Research as part of a Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change project with the Ministry of Primary Industries. My principal role was to organise and lead farmer interviews and participatory workshops.

Mid-term evaluation of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project – Pacific Islands, 2012

I worked as part of a team of three to complete a mid-term evaluation of the PACC project, under contract to UNDP. This was a very challenging assignment with the size, geographic extent, and many challenges with the project. My principal role was to review the project in countries that had chosen an agricultural focus for PACC, which required visits to Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. I also contributed to evaluation of the coastal project in Samoa.

New village sea wall in Samoa, with new buildings right next to it ( a good example of maladaptation)
New village sea wall in Samoa, with new buildings right next to it ( a good example of maladaptation)

Draft National Strategy for a Climate Resilient Samoa – Samoa, 2012

A second three week contract with the Ministry of Finance, Samoa as part of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). This one was completed in partnership with fellow consultant, and mitigation expert, Murray Ward. The initial requirement was for a ‘Climate Change Plan and Programme’ but through a consultative process with our client the work focused on development of a Draft National Strategy for a Climate Resilient Samoa. This document isn’t publicly available as yet.

Capacity Assessment and Enhancement Consultancy – Samoa, 2012

A three week contract with the Ministry of Finance, Samoa as part of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). My task was to interview key civil society people in Samoa, as well as relevant government agency representatives, and produce a report on how civil society can be more effectively engaged in building climate resilience.

Capacity Assessment and Enhancement Consultancy report

Capacity building for development and review of climate resilient policies in Mauritius – 2011 

Development and delivery of a series of participatory workshops in the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues through a contract with UNDP Mauritius. This work formed part of a US$2 million Africa Adaptation Programme project funded by the Japanese government. The work was completed through two visits, each of three weeks duration. In the first block of work I facilitated two 4-day workshops in Mauritius and then a 3-day workshop in Rodrigues. These initial workshops covered climate change science, impacts and adaptation, vulnerability and resilience, review of tools for development of climate resilient policies. Presentations occupied about twenty-five percent of the time. The remainder of the time participants worked in small groups (4-6 people). There were a few fun/creative activities interspersed and I showed short film clips I’ve made to reinforce messages. These were very well received. In the second visit I ran another 4 day workshop in Mauritius and another 3 day workshop in Rodrigues, both of which built on the first workshops. I also ran two 2-day workshops in Mauritius for NGOs, local authority people and others and a half day session for senior managers.

Rodrigues workshop
Rodrigues workshop

Adapting to climate change in hill country Hawke’s Bay – 2008 to 2010
Working with Hawke’s Bay farmers to document how they’ve responded to recent droughts, look at options for the future, and share information more widely with farmers in the region. This is a two year project, funded principally by the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund with additional support from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Four fact sheets and three farmer case studies have been produced from this project:

Fact sheet 1: Climate Change in Hawke’s Bay
Fact sheet 2: Grazing Management
Fact sheet 3: Water, Infrastructure, Trees
Fact sheet 4: Farm Resilience for the Future
Case study 1: Williams Hill, Puketitiri
Case study 2: Taharoa Trust, Mahia Peninsula
Case study 3: Mangarara Station, Elsthorpe
Project field day
Project field day

Voices from the earth: Grassroots perspectives on climate change from Asia to Europe – 2007 to present, ongoing
An on-going film project focused on documenting the perspectives of farmers and village leaders on climate change.

Adaptation fact sheets for agriculture – 2009
Development of fact sheets on climate change and its effects, three farmer case studies, and a bulletin on climate change and adaptation for the kiwifruit industry. Contributions to the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as part of their Climate Change Plan of Action programme.

Adaptation fact sheets for urban environments – 2009
Development of four adaptation case studies, presented as fact sheets, for the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.

Adaptation of lowland/coastal dairy farming in the Bay of Plenty -2008/09
Facilitation of adaptation workshops with dairy farmers in eastern Bay of Plenty. A summary fact sheet was produced followed by a final workshop and field day. Funded by the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund, and Environment Bay of Plenty.

Guidance manual on climate change – 2004 and 2008
Contribution to a guidance manual on climate change effects and impacts assessment for local government in New Zealand.

Adapting to climate change in the kiwifruit industry – 2008
A report on adaptation in the kiwifruit industry, based on in-depth interviews with twenty kiwifruit growers in the Bay of Plenty region. Funded through the MAF Climate Change Plan of Action Research Programme 2007/08.

Adapting to Climate Change in the Kiwifruit Industry

UNFCCC adaptation workshop – 2007
Participation, as a New Zealand MAF representative, at UNFCCC Workshop on Adaptation Planning and Practices under the Nairobi Work Plan on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, held in Rome, September 2007.

Adapting to climate change in the Bay of Plenty – 2006
Facilitation of adaptation workshops with kiwifruit growers and staff from Environment Bay of Plenty. Contracted by Environment Bay of Plenty.

Third Assessment Report of the IPCC – 2006
Contributor to the Australia/NZ chapter.

Background paper on adaptation – 2006
Preparation of a background paper on adaptation as part of a sustainability review by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Changing attitudes and practice for farming dry land in Marlborough – 2006
Provision of the climate change adaptation and resilience context for a Sustainable Farming Fund project in the Starborough/Flaxbourne area of Marlborough. A week of consultations with farmers and others in the area was completed in April 2006 and recommendations for wider community engagement were made.

Biotic effects of climate change in Bay of Plenty – 2005/06

Completion of a report on the potential effects of climate change on biosecurity, biodiversity and agriculture in the Bay of Plenty region. Contracted by Environment Bay of Plenty.

Adapting to climate change in eastern New Zealand – 2003 to 2005
Development and implementation of a ground-breaking two-year project on adaptation with farmers in eastern regions of New Zealand. Principally funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund with additional funding from eight other organizations.

Climate change impact summaries for New Zealand regions – 2002
Preparation of climate change impact summaries for the New Zealand Climate Change Project (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC)).

Organic resource guides – 2001 to 2003
Management of a two-year project that led to development and publication of four organic resource guides, founded on the knowledge and experience of practising organic farmers. Funded by a Sustainable Farming Fund project.

Climate Change and Land Management in Hawke’s Bay: A pilot study on adaptation – 2001/02
Completion of a pilot project on adaptation, involving informal interviews with 40 farmers, growers and others in Hawke’s Bay. Co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Effects of climate change on agriculture in New Zealand – 2001
Completion of an overview of the likely impacts of climate change on New Zealand agriculture. Contracted by the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.

Contributions to projects at the International Global Change Institute (1993 to 2000)

The CLIMPACTS Programme – 1993 to 2001
A significant intellectual input to the shaping of the CLIMPACTS integrated model system, which has now been commercialized by my former colleague. Responsible over eight years for the day-to-day management of this research programme, involving five Crown Research Institutes and two Universities.

Vulnerability and adaptation case studies – 1999/2000
Coordinator of climate change vulnerability and adaptation case studies in Fiji and Kiribati as a contribution to a World Bank Regional Economic Report

The PICCAP Programme – 1998 to 1999
Coordinator and provider of professional training and technical assistance on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change as part of the Pacific Island Climate Change Assistance Programme (PICCAP). Work included assistance in preparation of national vulnerability and adaptation statements for Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu as part of their reporting to the UNFCCC.

Climate and sea-level change in Bangladesh – 1995 to 1998
A team member, in partnership with colleagues from Bangladesh, in a project to assess the implications of climate change for the environment and people of Bangladesh. Funded by the Ford Foundation.

Work completed at the Environment Change Unit, Oxford University (1991 to 1992)

The effects of climate change on agriculture and horticulture in Europe
A two-year, EU-funded project, to examine the effects of climate change on agriculture and horticulture in Europe. Responsible for a component of the research and the day-to-day management, which involved coordinating contributions from 9 research institutes from 6 EU member countries. Lead editor of the final report and special journal issue in the European Journal of Agronomy.