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The Team

Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva (Project co-leader for University of Canterbury)

· Award-winning leading interdisciplinary expert on Pacific politics, culture, environment, development, economics and climate crisis. Contribution to project include: extensive, innovative and successful project leadership skills; and deep knowledge, research expertise and extensive experience of trans-Pacific politics, indigenous knowledge, security (including climate security), regional geopolitics, environment, development, conflict, migration, population mobility, affirmative action, social protection and identity/cultures.

· Vast experience in project leadership-led over 30 major projects successfully and some selected examples are: Leader of the largest global ethnicity project in the world (200 global experts), which produced the largest work on ethnicity ever produced (3 volumes, 102 chapters and 2,048 pages); Leader of a global and regional security project for International Political Science Association (including climate security); Leader of a Pacific Island Forum regional architecture review team; Leader of Pacific Island Forum review team on Pacific trade with Japan; Co-leader of Pacific indigenous intellectual property rights project team (with Aroha Mead); Leader of International Labour Organization project on poverty and social protection in the Pacific; Leader of Asian Development team on global crisis and social protection in Asia and Pacific; Leader of UNDP project on political and economic reform in Nauru security including climate security;

· Has carried out extensive field research in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon is, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Cook Islands New Caledonia and Tahiti. Extensive knowledge of Pacific cultures, social change, regional migration, indigenous knowledge, regional organizations and Pacific governments. Has extensive Pacific networks,

· Has extensive publications and experience in Pacific research methodologies and an expert in across Pacific country contexts evident in his work both as a practitioner and researcher.

Professor Elisabeth Holland (Project co-leader for University of the South Pacific)

· One of the Pacific’s leading climate scientists who has been involved in high level negotiations, policies and research in the Pacific region for more than 10 years and international experience in the US (where she’s originally from), Europe and other places. Contribution to project include: extensive knowledge and experience of climate change, climate policy making, climate research and community engagement. Climate scientist with more than 30 years research and project experience on climate-related issues in the Pacific and other parts of the world.

· Member of a number of climate networks including member of IPCC.

· Climate Change and Adaptation network in more than 120 communities in 15 Pacific Islands countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor L’este, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

· Spearheading the founding of a Pacific Islands World Meteorological Organization Regional Training Center for delivery of Weather Climate Hydrological Atmospheric and

Ocean Services to develop the forecasting and research capacity of Pacific Meteorological Services.

· Led a Pacific Islands team to establish a world class Climate Change program for post-graduate studies and research at the University of the South Pacific. Thirty MSc degrees and 200 post-graduate diplomas in climate change have been awarded to Pacific Island students

· Implemented more than 45 million FJD of projects focused on climate adaptation, capacity building, applied research and community development at Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development at the University of the South Pacific.

· Current member of the Advisory Board Priestley International Centre for Climate, University Leeds, UK and a IPCC Lead Author Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

· An active member of the Pacific Islands Aviation Weather Panel of the Pacific Meteorological Council (USP representative) as well as the Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research Panel of the Pacific Meteorological Council (USP representative).

Professor Bronwyn Hayward (Climate, population and wellbeing expert)

· One of NZ’s leading climate policy expert, who is one of the authors of the latest UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate crisis. Contribution to project include: Provide expert advice on latest IPCC climate science research findings and relevance to project; provide climate policy thinking tools and implementation strategizes for climate mobility in the Pacific; provide expert overview of NZ’s climate crisis and immigration policies and how this connects with Pacific climate mobility.

· Appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2020-2022). Lead author for the IPCC special report 1.5 Degrees.

· Research interests and experience span across Climate Change and Social Transformation, learnings from small Pacific developing states and building resilience in a changing environment.

· Coordinating Lead Author, Cities and Infrastructure, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Assessment Round 6.

· International research on issues for youth citizenship, and democracy in periods of rapid environmental, economic and social change.

· 2019-present Co-Editor in Chief: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

· Lead a 7 nation, 5 year study of children and young people’s lifestyles growing up in cities: Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity.

· Experienced researcher and have led diverse- global multi-cultural and interdisciplinary research teams.

· Research interests and experience span across Climate Change and Social Transformation, learnings from small Pacific developing states and building resilience in a changing environment.

· Core writing team for Assessment Round 6 in 2020-2022, and serve as a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC (cities and infrastructure) chapter.

· University of Canterbury’s first co-winner of a Conscience and Critic research award in 2014 for work on New Zealand’s earthquake recovery and awarded a Kiwi bank New Zealander of the year ‘Local Hero’ award in 2019 for research on climate and youth

· Active advocate in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty

Associate Professor Joeli Veitayaki (Pacific sustainability and wellbeing expert)

· Award-winning and leading Pacific expert on ocean and costal management and climate adaptation. Contribution to project include: Climate adaptation using indigenous knowledge; climate mobility and immobility as adaptation strategy; use of indigenous knowledge to mitigate against climate crisis.

· Joeli has 30+ years of experience in Marine Resource management, environment sustainability and mitigation of natural extreme events in the Pacific.

· He is the author of various publications relating to Climate Change in the Pacific including Small islands, valuable insights: systems of customary resource use and resilience to climate change in the Pacific, Addressing climate and sea level rise in the Pacific Islands and Climate change adaptation issues in small island developing states and more.

· He has extensive research experience as well as hands on expertise in Marine resources conservation, Indigenous Knowledge and Practice, Village Economies and Climate Resilience in the Pacific region.

· He is well-known for his work in caring for the environment and the mitigation of natural extreme events, Partnerships and the quest for effective community based resource management as well a capacity building in the marine sector in the Pacific Islands.

· Joeli is the current Director for the International Ocean Institute at the University of the South Pacific, previous to that he was the Head of the School of Marine Science at USP for more than 10 years where he has led numerous research projects using Pacific research methodologies and approaches and worked collaboratively with local Pacific communities.

· He founded and established all the community initiatives of the Lomanu Gau Network coordinating the partnerships between development partners and 16 villages of Gau Island (Fiji) relating to Sustainable use and Management of Environmental Resources.

· In the region he is the Co-Chair of the Korea-South Pacific Ocean Forum.

· Internationally he is a member of the Panel Experts for Sustainable Ocean Economy (World Resource Institute in support of high level Panel on Sustainable Ocean economy).

Dr Viliamu Iese (Pacific climate, loss and damage and risk expert)

· A leading Pacific-wide expert on climate crisis, loss and damage, disaster and risks and food security. Samoan/Tuvaluan scholar with extensive experience and expertise on climate projects all around the Pacific. Contribution to project: Expertise and data on loss and damage, risk analysis and climate immobility/mobility.

· Close to 20 years of field experience (as a researcher and a consultant) in food security/agriculture, disaster risk management and risk resilience across all Pacific Island Countries.

· Co-investigator for Intervention Co-creation to Improve Community-based Food Production and Household Nutrition in Small Island Developing States (ICoFaN). Research Grant Proposal: BB/T008857/1. Funded by UK Research Challenge Fund. Total of 1 million pounds.

· He is a current trainer on How to use Climate Risk Management Framework (Loss and damage tools) and is the Coordinator for the USP Adaptation and Mitigation technical team in collaboration with the Asia Institute of Technology which have conducted ongoing Asia-Pacific sub-regional training.

· He has been the lead trainer for Climate Risk Management and Loss and Damage for East and Central Africa where he worked with GIZ’s Global Project on Loss and Damage.

· His current role as Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development at USP allows him to combine theory and practice in his areas of teaching including Climate Change, Food Security and Disaster Risk Management.

· Viliamu has extensive research and information distribution networking skills with internal and external partners including governments, NGOs and the private sector.

· Viliamu is the lead Researcher for The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) to apply the evaluation tools from the Community Food Production Initiative (CFPI) to assess the impacts of two NGOs who are implementing CTA food security and agriculture marketing projects in Fiji and Solomon Islands.

· He is a recipient of the USP Technical Leader for EU Horizon 2020 Award for Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) grant for Family Agriculture and Livelihood and Health Project where he was the Co-lead for component 2: Livelihood and Health project totalling 1.3 million Euro.

Dr Christina Laalaai-Tausa (project management specialist)

· Samoan-New Zealand scholar and former government official with a wide-ranging skills, extensive experience and deep knowledge of project management and delivery. Contribution to project include: Management, implementation and delivery of project on time in collaboration with the project leaders and maintain efficient communication strategy within the team and with MFAT.

· Current Research Project Manager for the Pacific Oceans Climate Crisis Assessment with a strong understanding and vision of having a Pacific led approach grounded in Pacific values and tikanga Maori.

· Extensive project management skills in developing, facilitating and coordinating initiatives, monitoring progress, programme review/evaluation and report writing.

· She has excellent analytical capability, able to interpret and disseminate data to produce comprehensive reports with developed capacity in understanding policies and procedures coupled with ability to interpret legislation.

· She has public sector experience working in research that informs policy.

· She has experience in conducting research in Pacific contexts using culturally appropriate methodologies and approaches that include Pacific values such as respect, reciprocity, collectivism and the significance of relationships.

· With a Political Science background her research interests include navigating the conflicting power paradigms of traditional systems and western democracy, using local traditional leadership systems as a mechanism for peace, resilience and sustainability as

well as civic education as a conduit between science and traditional knowledge relating to climate change.

· She will also use her expertise exploring the role of international conventions on strengthening regional and national policies relating to climate change/mobility, refugees and displacement in the Pacific.

Dr Suliasi Vunibola (Indigenous knowledge and resilience expert)

· A current Research Fellow for the Pacific Oceans Climate Crisis Assessment based at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies whilst also lecturing in Human Geography.

· Suli’s expertise is in the areas of Food Security, Resilience, Community Development and Indigenous Enterprise on customary land in the Pacific will immensely contribute to some of the Key Research Areas of this project

· Some of his cutting edge projects include Action Research Project; Land, sustainable land use, simple technology for climate resilient cash crops, indigenous farming methods, sustainable land management, culture and sustainable development as well as his work on Customary land, culture and food security in the Pacific: A self-sufficient Fijian village and Covid 19

· He has experience working with Maori communities in his work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow: Te Au Rangahau, Maori Business Research Leadership Centre at Massey University where he worked on innovative ways of sustainable living and exploring the use of indigenous lands.

· Suli is an experienced researcher with in-depth understanding of Pacific methodologies and approaches having conducted his PhD in the Pacific with local communities

· Current research that Suli is involved in related to this work include: Indigenous innovation; Indigenous Fijian agricultural knowledge systems and Climate Smart Agriculture resilience; adaptive communities – climate crisis; sociocultural motivation - Pacific communities in Aotearoa; perceptions on diet and physical activities

Dr Dalila Gharbaoui (Mobility, immobility expert)


Dalila Gharbaoui is currently Research Fellow on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-funded study on Pacific Ocean and Climate Assessment in the Pacific (POACC) at the University of Canterbury. In 2020, Dalila submitted her thesis on climate change, planned relocation and land governance examines governance in the Pacific region including field study in Fiji. She is now Doctor in Pacific studies at the University of Canterbury and Doctor in Political and Social Sciences at the University of Liege, Belgium. Since 2015, Dalila has been an active member of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies (University of Canterbury) and the Hugo Observatory on Environmental Migration (University of Liege) specialised in the study of population movement induced by climate change. 


Dalila participated to various international discussions on human mobility and climate change, providing expertise on planned relocation including at the IPCC, Taskforce on displacement of the WIM, IOM/Excom Technical Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts and contributed to the “Toolbox: Planning relocations to protect people from disasters and environmental change” supported by UNHCR, Georgetown University and IOM. Dalila worked as consultant on the land NC.0035 Relocation guidelines Solomon Islands Consultancy degradation-human mobility nexus for United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Dalila also worked as consultant on planned relocation and land management for the STRAFPACC project aiming at redefining French security strategies in the South Pacific region in the context of climate change, a project funded by the Council for Training and Strategic Research (CSFRS).  Formerly working on Regional Studies at UNUCRIS, her research expertise involves global and multi-level governance dynamics and regionalism. Dalila served as researcher on cross-cutting issues related to migration for the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration, a project funded by EU and implemented by the International Organization on Migration (IOM), UNHCR, International Crisis Group and Amnesty International. She has a track of publications on environmental migration, land and regional governance. In her thesis, Dalila analysed and critically engaged with the National Guidelines on planned relocation developed in Fiji.  Her thesis results revealed that “immobility” is a key concept for conceptualising planned relocation as an adaptation strategy to climate change in order to develop appropriate policy responses that would address challenges associated with land in the Pacific region.

· Dalila completed her PhD research on Climate crisis, mobility, immobility, planned relocation and land governance in the Pacific region with particular focus on the following; migration as a result of Climate change; climate crisis in the context of the Pacific.

· Customary land as a factor in relocation.

· Member of “High-End Climate Impacts and Extremes” (HELIX) EU FP7 Project led by the University of Exeter (Sep 2015 – Present).

· Member, Global Land Tenure Network (GLTN) Associate Member (Feb 2016 – Present).

· Member Research Network-International Migration, Integration, Social Cohesion in Europe (IMISCOE) (Oct 2014).

· Member, Research Network-EU COST Action IS1101; Climate Change and migration: knowledge, law and policy, and theory (Aug 2014).

· Member of the Pacific Regional Network on Environmental Migration led by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIF) (Jan 2016 – Present).

· Her research interests in the Pacific as well as being part of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies has added to her knowledge of conducting research in a Pacific context using culturally appropriate methodologies and approaches

· She is an author to a number of high quality research on climate crisis and mitigation.

David Garcia (Disaster mapping and geo-spatial expert)

· David is an expert map maker with expertise in geospatial planning, cartography and geospatial analysis in the Asia Pacific region

· He has over 10 years’ experience in map-making where he has worked as the Spatial lead for the regional organisation- Asia Foundation as well as internationally in the United Nations.

· He is a current Fellow with Humanitarian Innovation and Geospatial Technologies

· His research interests and expertise include map making for urban planning, Geospatial and Humanitarian crisis in the Pacific region as well as Map making for Mobility and Migration in the Pacific region.

· David has interests and expertise in social media and its use in creating awareness and initiating meaningful resources and dialogue relating to Climate Change within the Pacific region.

· David is dedicated to the use of spatial technology for Human Geography with a special focus on migration and mobility in country and across borders due to impacts of Climate Change

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