A Case for Formal Education in the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Pacific Islands Region

Sarah Louise Hemstock, Helene Jacot Des Combes, T. Martin, F.L. Vaike, K. Maitava, L.-A. Buliruarua, V. Satiki, Nixon Kua and T. Marawa


The Pacific Region is among the most vulnerable to climate change, while it has done little to contribute to the cause—producing less than 0.03% of current global greenhouse gas emissions (IEA 2011).

Despite this vulnerability, Pacific-African Caribbean and Pacific (P-ACP) countries appear to have the least capacity to react and adapt to adverse impacts of climate change. One of the key barriers to improving P-ACP countries’ resilience to climate change impacts has been confirmed as the lack of local and regional

The authors are the cross-disciplinary team involved in the implementation of the European Union Pacific Technical Vocational Education and Training in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation Project (EU PacTVET). The purpose of the project is to enhance and/or create Pacific Small Island Developing States (P-SIDS) regional and national capacity and technical expertise to respond to climate change adaptation (CCA) and sustainable energy (SE) challenges. [1] [2]

capacity and expertise resulting from the absence of sustainable accredited and quality assured formal training programmes in the climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction/management (DRR/DRM) sectors at the TVET level. This situation is compounded by the absence of accredited teachers/trainers and well-resourced and equipped institutions to deliver the required training programmes. For example, in the Federated States of Micronesia according to new regulations more than 60% of currently employed teachers do not meet minimum qualification requirements (Buliruarua et al. 2015).

This research, and indeed the EU PacTVET project itself, is in response to the numerous calls throughout CCA/DRR related policy, at national, regional and global levels, for “capacity building”. This research attempts to put those policy calls into perspective and integrate findings from training needs and gap analyses in 15 P-ACP countries to outline key approaches that should be assimilated into a strategy for delivery of “capacity building” in the area of CCA and DRR that is both responsive to and reflective of identified P-ACP needs. This paper also examines why capacity building for CCA and DRR should be considered together.

The definitions of formal and non-formal learning adopted by this paper are: Formal learning takes place in education and training institutions, is recognized by relevant national authorities, and leads to qualifications. Non-formal learning is learning that has been acquired in addition or alternatively to formal learning. It usually takes place in community-based settings, the workplace and through the activities of civil society organizations (UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015).

  • [1] S.L. Hemstock (H) • N. Kua • T. Marawa Economic Development Division, The Pacific Community, 3rd Floor, Lotus Building, SPC - Private Mail Bag, Nabua, Fijie-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it H. Jacot Des Combes • T. Martin • F.L. Vaike • K. Maitava • L.-A. BuliruaruaThe Pacific Centre of Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Laudala Bay, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji
  • [2] Satiki Fiji National University, Kings Road, P.O. Box 7222, Nasinu, Fiji © Springer International Publishing AG 2017 309 W. Leal Filho (ed.), Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries, Climate Change Management, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-50094-2_19
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