Geographical Background

Climate Overview

National Priorities

The  Republic  of  Vanuatu  is  an  island  nation  located  in  the  Western  Pacific  Ocean.  The country is an archipelago of over 80 islands stretching 1,300 kilometres from North to South. Vanuatu’s terrain is mostly mountainous, with narrow coastal plains where larger islands are characterised  by  rugged  volcanic  peaks  and  tropical  rainforests.  Vanuatu  is  located  in  a seismically  and  volcanically  active  region  and  has  high  exposure  to  geologic  hazards, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides.

The climate of Vanuatu can be defined by two main seasons, the cold (dry) season from May to October and the hot (wet/cyclone) season from November to April. Vanuatu is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change among the other Pacific island nations.  The  effects  of  climate  change  on  agriculture  production,  fisheries,  human health, tourism  and  well-being  will  have  the  consequences  of  decreasing  national  income while increasing key social and infrastructure costs. Climate change may affect all areas of life for Ni-Vanuatu people and impact women, men and young people in different ways.

The major climate change concerns of Vanuatu are projected sea level rise, sea temperature rise and the possible increase in intensity cyclones and other major storm events. Other concerns include climate variability, climate extremes, a decline in cool days, and ocean acidification. Based on these projections, Vanuatu has identified the following sector-based needs to reduce its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change (VMS, 1999; NACCC, 2007, NCAS 2011):

  1. Agriculture
  2. Human Health
  3. Freshwater Resources
  4. Coastal Developments 
  5. Coastal Marine Environments 
  6. Forestry
  7. Broad Economic Impacts



Click on link below for Climate Change project activities in Vanuatu: