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VanKIRAP Traditional Knowledge for Resilience Workshop

07 March 2024, Port Vila, Vanuatu:  An inspiring initiative to bolster resilience against climate change in Vanuatu has seen the island nation take proactive steps to harness traditional knowledge within its communities. 

Local Civil Society Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations from across the archipelago are now equipped with essential skills to navigate the challenges posed by climate variability and extreme weather events.

Learning how to utilise Traditional Knowledge Monitoring forms, Vanuatu Traditional Knowledge Indicators booklet, Provincial Traditional Knowledge calendars and the ClimateWatch App, this enables the collection of valuable data.  It also enhances informed decision-making in the face of climate-related challenges.

Traditionally, the people of Vanuatu have relied on their ancestral wisdom to adapt to environmental changes and weather fluctuations,” said Ms Moirah Matou, Project Manager of the Vanuatu Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Planning in Vanuatu (Van-KIRAP) executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“In recognising the critical role of traditional knowledge in building resilience, a workshop was held to empower communities across Vanuatu.”

The training session, was co-organised by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) and SPREPunder the Van-KIRAP banner had several key objectives.  Participants gained a deeper understanding of how traditional knowledge can effectively communicate weather and climate-related messages to local communities. 

This was also the opportunity to introduce innovative products derived from traditional knowledge, showcasing the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Vanuatu's inhabitants. From time-honored practices to innovative solutions, these products promise to play a pivotal role in climate resilience efforts.

“The training is very useful especially for my community project implemented in Central Tanna, Tafea Province” said Ms Martha Naiu, Project Coordinator, NCDI, Tanna island.

“I learned to use the ClimateWatch App and it is important tool that easily use to monitor traditional knowledge indicators – animals, plants, moon and stars to predict weather and climate extremes and for disaster preparedness” she added.

The impact of the workshop extends beyond the training. By fostering partnerships between CSOs, NGOs, and local communities, Vanuatu has established a robust Citizen Science program for traditional knowledge on weather, climate and oceans. Through this initiative, stakeholders will collaboratively gather traditional knowledge data and monitor environmental changes across the islands.

“World Vision Vanuatu is keen to include the ClimateWatch App and other climate information tools provided by VMGD in out youth programs” said Ms Jemima Nalo, Climate Change Champion, World Vision Vanuatu.

Jemima Nalo


In a world grappling with the impacts of climate change, Vanuatu's proactive approach serves as a beacon of hope. By embracing traditional wisdom and fostering community-led initiatives, the nation is paving the way for a more resilient and sustainable future.

As the impact of this workshop progresses, the spirit of collaboration and empowerment resonates strongly, underscoring Vanuatu's unwavering commitment to safeguarding its people and environment in the face of adversity,” said Ms Matou.

The Traditional Knowledge for Resilience workshop was held at the Melanesian Hotel, Port Vila on the 28 March 2024.  Fifthteen participants attended the workshop representing World Vision Vanuatu, Human Capacity Development International (HCDI), Save the Children Vanuatu, Vanuatu Community Climate Resilience Project (VCCRP), Department of Local Authorities (DLA), Vanuatu Coastal Adaptation Project (VCAP-2), community members from Tanna, VMGD and SPREP.

The Vanuatu Klaemet Infomesen blong Redy, Adapt mo Protekt (VanKIRAP) Project supports climate-resilient development in Vanuatu by equipping decision-makers, communities, and individuals in Vanuatu with the climate information services (CIS) they need to respond to climate variability and change. Target audiences are Vanuatu’s agriculture, fisheries, tourism, infrastructure and water sectors, and the public. The Project is housed at VMGD, and jointly managed by VMGD and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with funding from the Green Climate Fund. 



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