As discussed in the introduction, the agriculture sector is of vital importance to the Pacific region. Agricultural products are a significant component of exports for many countries in the region and food production activities (agriculture and fishing) continue to employ the greatest percentage of the labour force, either in commercial enterprises, or more commonly, in self-sufficiency endeavours. This is despite the Pacific region comprising the most environmentally vulnerable nations in the world. Natural disasters, such as cyclones, floods and droughts are not new to the region. However, the climate projections for the 21st century and beyond, (discussed in Chapter 2), suggest that extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts and floods are likely to increase in frequency and intensity, projected rainfall and rainfall patterns are likely to create problems for a region already affected by droughts and floods,and cyclones are most likely to increase in intensity. Extreme high tides and storm surges will probably continue to threaten low-lying islands, as will the ongoing sea level rise, which will cause contamination of groundwater.
Vulnerability of Pacific Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Change / Taylor, Mary, McGregor, A, Dawson, B (eds): pp.5-45