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Official CW App workshop


The World Risk Report has ranked Vanuatu as the world’s most at-risk country to natural disasters and

extreme weather events, making climate change the greatest ongoing threat to the well-being and

livelihoods of its people and ecosystems.

For generations, Traditional Knowledge about plants, animals and climate patterns has allowed

communities in Vanuatu to plan and prepare for local conditions. However, unbanisation has

significantly decreased the intergenerational transfer of traditional knowledge. In recent times Vanuatu

Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) has been producing forecasts and warnings based

on ocean and atmospheric conditions.

Extensive research by Dr Lynda Chambers and Dr Roan Plotz shows Vanuatu communities want

traditional and contemporary weather forecasting methods combined. Combining Traditional

Knowledge with scientific data can enhance the clarity of climate and weather information, helping to

protect communities from extreme weather events.

To achieve this, we need to better understand how Traditional Knowledge forecasts work, and if climate

change is impacting their effectiveness. Monitoring Traditional Knowledge indicators such as plants and

animals, as well as climate conditions will help us understand how climate change alters these species.

“Traditional knowledge plays a central role in community resilience in the Pacific islands,” said Mr.

Sunny Kamuta Seuseu, Climate Information Services Officer, SPREP. “For future generations to continue

to employ traditional knowledge in managing current and future climate risks, it is essential to record

traditional knowledge.”

ClimateWatch is the first mobile app in Vanuatu’s Bislama language and the pioneering citizen science

app in the Pacific Islands region. It empowers citizen scientists, enabling anyone in Vanuatu with a

smartphone and an internet connection to go out and 'spot' traditional climate knowledge indicator


The introduction of the ClimateWatch app within Vanuatu will provide communities with a resource to

pass on Traditional Knowledge understandings to younger generations and allows VMGD to combine

Traditional Knowledge and weather forecast data to determine the impacts of Climate Change on

species and provide more rigorous and robust climate forecasts for a climate ready Vanuatu.

“With the increasing threat of Climate Change to Vanuatu, Earthwatch is proud to build on its expertise

as one of the leading citizen science organisations in Australia and partner with the nation to deliver

support” said Fiona Sutton Wilson, CEO of Earthwatch Australia.

Thanks to a 4-day workshop hosted by VMGD from May 28-31, 2024, local trainers are now equipped to

introduce the app to Vanuatu community members. The workshop was co-hosted by the Vanuatu

Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the PacificRegional Environment Programme (SPREP), Earthwatch Australia, and with funding support from the

Global EbA fund.

“It is a powerful tool that allows every ni-Vanuatu... to be involved in collecting and recording data that

will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change.” said Ms Moirah Matou, VanKIRAP

Project Manager, VMGD.

Join the movement by downloading the ClimateWatch app from the Google Play (Android) or iTunes

(iOS) stores. The app, along with the ClimateWatch website ( offer species guides

to assist users in identifying the species of interest. For more information or to get involved, please

contact VMGD staff at [email protected].


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