Project final report

Transforming Pacific coastal food production systems - Final Report

Date released
27 June 2023
Publication Code

Federico Davila, Brent Jacobs, Alaric McCarthy, Jim Sinner, Leo Zamora, Kevin Heasman, Leo Dutra, Sinead Boylan, Jess Bogard, Andy Revill, Tim Pickering, Ellen Iramu, Robert Jimmy, Gibson Susumu, Jamie Whitford, Karen Mapusua, Andre Mazzetto, Seth Laurenson


This project aimed to identify Pacific ‘hot spots’ where climate change and post-COVID-19 food impacts would be most severe and where communities may be most ready to consider how they want to and can transform.

The project explored novel integrated coastal production systems that could close the food gap while also being suitable for the degree of climate change coming in the near future.

A method was developed to identify Hot Spots, where the combination of business-as-usual climate change and population growth projections indicate the greatest magnitude of change may occur between the present day and mid-century. The analysis was tested and conducted at the sub-national scale for the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

Using a typology of coastal food systems for coral atolls (e.g. Kiribati) and volcanic islands (e.g. Solomon Islands), the team investigated potential circular bio-economies opportunities where waste from one form of production could act as an input to another. For coral atolls, the use of tuna waste as fertiliser for agriculture was ranked the most feasible, followed by small-scale livestock production where waste can be used as fertiliser and to generate biogas. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, open ocean farming of algae, and small indigenous fishery species also provide opportunities. For volcanic islands, tuna, and coconut waste could be combined to fertilise gardens, followed by integrated urban backyard systems incorporating aquaponics and biosolids from human waste. Most of the material flows involved marine-terrestrial transfer, rather than vice versa, particularly for the coral atolls.

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