Based on recent scientific results, this Policy Brief addresses the following question: Is French Polynesia on the path to adapt to climate change? It identifies five main action levers applicable to the Polynesian case and, beyond, to the French Overseas Territories.
- The French Overseas Territories are on the front line of climate change impacts at the national level, due to high coastal densities, low altitudes of the most developed areas, sensitive ecosystems, and intensification of climate hazards.
- The elaboration of the new Climate Plan of French Polynesia offers the opportunity to better integrate the issue of adaptation to climate change, based on recent scientific advances. Five main action levers are identified:
• Strengthening public risk management policies through better integration of climate risks (hazards and anthropogenic factors) and continuous adjustment of institutional framework documents.
• Promoting a "localized" science of climate risks through approaches that take into account all the components of climate risks and that rely on new methods (expert judgment) that make it possible to renew the way in which climate risk is understood.
• Integrating the principle of ecological solidarity into the law, so as to allow the regulatory authorities to organize future development choices fully considering the climate issue.
• Renewing the approach to territorial planning by working to build a shared vision of "the territory we want" in a context of climate change and on an inter-generational scale.
• Raising awareness of climate risk at all levels of society, from national actors to local communities, by integrating this issue into school curriculum, by encouraging a reconnection of young generations to their environment, and by accelerating the training of decision-makers and technical actors.