Building Market Resilience to Climate Change

As the #1 ranked country for vulnerability on the World Risk Index, the lives of men and women in Vanuatu are constantly threatened by climate change and disasters. Following the most devastating cyclone to ever hit Vanuatu – cyclone Pam in 2015 – and widespread drought as a result of a strong El Nino event throughout 2015 and most of 2016, the impacts are growing ever more severe with climate change predicted to increase the intensity and impacts of such events over time. This research assesses the extent to which the eight markets that UN Women supports through its Markets for Change (M4C) programme on Efate and Santo Islands are vulnerable to climate change.

The study set out to map, document and understand the relative vulnerability of these municipal markets and their vendors, farmers and wider communities to climate change risks. The outcomes are practical measures and policy recommendations that can be implemented by the M4C project, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders to reduce this vulnerability and to prepare for disasters.

The recommendations made are not simply for the purpose of future climate change adaptation but are ‘no regrets’ strategies that will benefit Vanuatu market vendors, women and communities regardless of the extent of future climate change. They will be implemented in a progressive fashion along with a disaster preparedness plan that is to be developed at each market as a priority. The study has been repeated at M4C markets in Fiji and Solomon Islands.

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