Introducing the Climate Crab: New Pacific climate and disaster preparedness animation premieres in Fiji

A new animated film that integrates climate science and disaster preparedness – The Pacific Adventures of the Climate Crab – has been launched at the Pacific Meteorological Council in Nadi, Fiji.


This animation is an exciting new tool to raise awareness of the science and impacts of El Niño and La Niña and encourage Pacific Islanders to take early action in preparing for these extreme events. The film stars a comical and highly resilient crab and follows her escapades across the Pacific.


The Pacific island countries can experience very wet or very dry conditions as a result of El Niño and La Niña. These conditions, along with extreme events like cyclones, can have serious impacts on water quality, food security, infrastructure (like houses and roads), livelihoods and health. For example, the 2010/2011 La Niña event resulted in Red Cross responding to drought in Tuvalu and floods in Fiji. 


Good quality climate and weather information, warnings and forecasts can help us anticipate and prepare for changing risks. Preparedness measures can be simple and low cost. For example the danger of disease outbreaks increases during periods of drought, so focusing on simple measures such as hand washing can go a long way to reducing illness. Wise water use messages can help conserve water in droughts and flood warnings can be used to dig trenches to improve water flow to avoid damage to houses and crops.


Research by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre found that, globally, few simple materials exist for use in training and planning that link information about climate variability – El Niño and La Niña – and climate change or that link these to pre-emptive action, particularly in the Pacific region.


To fill this gap, a team of climate scientists, humanitarians, technical experts, artists and film-makers teamed up to produce the humorous four minute film, which comes with a ‘tool kit’ to help link the information presented in the animation to decision-making and action on the ground.


This is the first of two films. A second short film called ‘Cloud Nasara’ focuses on Vanuatu. It features a reggae parrot and dancing cloud parties. It will be launched later in July.


The films and accompanying resources will be useful those working in fields that address climate risk such as climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, health, education, food security, community planning, environmental protection, agriculture and natural resource management.


The Pacific Adventures of the Climate Crab is the result of a collaboration between Red Cross and the Australian Government’s Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Program. The project has been implemented by the Red Cross, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) and the SPC-GIZ Climate Change Program.


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