The Fiji National University (FNU) and Monash University have launched an international research centre to further address challenges imposed by climate change.
The world-first Pacific Action for Climate Transitions (PACT) research centre, which will be jointly based across the two universities, will focus on the critical links between business and climate change, and finding real-world solutions for communities at the frontline of our changing environment.
Pacific island nations are among the most vulnerable to our world’s changing climate with many already experiencing higher temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns and changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events.
The PACT partnership will address the business and economic implications of climate change, with world-leading academic researchers highly sought after by policy makers looking to effectively fund mitigation and adaptation measures in the Pacific region and beyond.
In addition to its research focus, the PACT centre will provide high-quality training and capacity building for local policy makers.
Monash University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Rebekah Brown said, “The launch of this Centre today reaffirms the deep and enduring relationship Monash University has built with the Pacific region over many years.”
“Initiatives such as the World Mosquito program and the RISE program have already made a real difference to the lives of communities throughout the Pacific at the frontline of climate change impacts.”
“The PACT Centre further enhances our capacity to find evidence-based global solutions to the challenges of our changing climate and beyond. We’re so proud to partner with Fiji National University and to have the continuing support of the Government of Fiji on this flagship initiative.”
A number of collaborative research projects have already begun under the PACT partnership, looking at enhancing climate resilience and wellbeing, supporting and informing the effective implementation of Fiji’s Climate Change Act 2021 and designing scalable carbon sequestration contracts.
Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Fiji National University said Fiji is one of the many Pacific Island countries facing the drastic impacts of climate change.
“As the national tertiary institution, Fiji National University is delighted to collaborate with neighbouring partners such as Australia’s Monash University to address the issues associated with the grand global challenge of climate action,” she said.
“The Pacific Action for Climate Transitions centre will enable the conduct of evidence-based research in Climate Change by academics from both institutions to inform policies and practice in the field. Pacific people will gain access to new knowledge that will enable them to address a myriad of climate change issues by research that is conducted for our people, by our people.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad, who officiated at the launch said, “The establishment of the research centre is a strategic alliance between the Fiji National University and the Monash University that will focus on the business and economic implications of climate change.”
He said the Fiji Government has a clear plan to ensure that approaches to addressing the adverse impacts of climate change are an on-going collaborative and consultative process integrating national, regional, and international research and academic institutions and relevant stakeholders to update climate change and disaster management related data and information and to share knowledge, best practices and strategies to increase climate resilience.