Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative

Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative

The PICCC provides a range of services and tools to help managers in Hawai‘i, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and other Pacific Island groups make informed decisions for conservation of natural and cultural resources including climate models at the archipelagic and island scales, ecological response models, and implementation and monitoring strategies for island species, resources, and communities.  Our goal is to help managers reach explicit biocultural conservation objectives in the face of climate change and ongoing threats such as fire, land conservation, and invasive species.

Geographic Scope of the PICCC


Purpose and Mission

The Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC) is a self-directed, non-regulatory conservation alliance whose purpose is to assist those who manage native species, island ecosystems and key cultural resources in adapting their management to climate change for the continuing benefit of the people of the Pacific Islands. Our mission is to improve the ability of native island species and ecosystems to accommodate future climate change and related perturbations, and support the long-term protection of key cultural resources by providing useful projections of climate and natural resource change in the Pacific Islands, innovative management options, and a membership that supports coordinated action among institutional and community stakeholders.


The PICCC provides scientific and technical support for landscape-scale conservation in an adaptive management framework by supporting biological planning, conservation design in a cultural context, prioritization and coordination of research, and communication and outreach. These functions are accomplished by a core team working at the direction of the PICCC Steering Committee and interacting at multiple levels with the technical and executive staffs of the member organizations. Specific functions include:

  • Iterative science-based planning and landscape-level prioritization that focuses conservation programs on the components of the landscape most sensitive to environmental change, including analyses of landscape components of particular cultural use or other significance.
  • A collaborative infrastructure that allows the full spectrum of conservation activities (planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and research) to function as an integrated yet iterative endeavor.
  • Coordinated application of geospatial and other information management technologies as necessary to plan, monitor, and evaluate activities and outcomes at various eco-regional scales.
  • Coordinated and leveraged delivery of private, state, and federal conservation program actions targeted at priority species, habitats, and other natural and cultural resources.
  • Active engagement with communities regarding future directions in island ecosystems and conservation priorities.
  • Analyses of climate change adaptation frameworks and actions for policy makers, resource managers, and Pacific Island communities.

Fishpond_maui_spooner   Ko‘ie‘ie Fishpond on the island of Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago. Climate Change places at risk traditional subsistence practices in the Pacific. Photo: Deanna Spooner


Accomplishing our mission requires clear guidance and a dedicated staff. The PICCC members form a Steering Committee which functions to collectively determine the operational structure and goals of the PICCC, the breadth of its activities, the projects to be undertaken by the staff, and grant making priorities.

PICCC members are supporting the following staff positions:

  • PICCC Coordinator (USFWS)
  • Science Coordinator (USFWS)
  • Administrative Support (USFWS)
  • Communication and Partnerships Manager (USFWS)
  • GIS/Data Manager (USFWS, USGS and University of Hawaii)
  • Research Ecologist (USGS)
  • Ecosystem Modelers (USGS, USFWS)
  • Cultural Adaptation Coordinator (NPS)


Amakihi2batkinsonpiercusgs   At high elevations in Hawai‘i ambient temperatures are increasing more quickly than the global rate, impacting upland forests and native forest birds. Photo: USGS

The PICCC provides unique support for effective conservation in Hawai‘i and other US Affiliated Pacific Islands. We are working on a number of key products, including:

  • Mapping potential ranges of native species and invasive species under future temperature and precipitation projections.
  • Leading vulnerability assessments for rare species, native ecosystems, and keystone species.
  • Developing web-based decision support tools for managers and the public.
  • Predicting future potential community composition within protected areas under different climate scenarios.
  • Identifying potential corridors linking present and future habitat.
  • Recommending conservation and acquisition priorities based on future climate and sea level.
  • Developing adaptation strategies to protect biodiversity and cultural heritage across the Pacific.


The PICCC has funded a series of projects that are vastly improving our understanding of how global climate change is manifesting.

PICCC projects funded to date include:

  • Climate Modeling for the Hawaiian Archipelago. Regional atmospheric modeling to produce climate change projections at a scale that is ecologically relevant to natural resources management.
  • Climate Downscaling. Statistical downscaling to derive estimates of changes in future rainfall over the Hawaiian Islands for the mid- and late-21st century that will inform estimated risk potential for endangered species in Hawai‘i’s ecosystem.
  • Climate and Ecosystem Monitoring. Continued operation and maintenance of the HaleNet climate and ecosystem monitoring network to provide critical high-quality data for calibration and validation of downscaled climate models for Maui Island, Hawai‘i.
  • Coral Bleaching and Ocean Acidification Projections. Global model showing projected coral bleaching and ocean acidifcation to support economic and coastal planning and coral reef management. Google Earth is required to view this product.
  • Mapping Sea-Level Rise. Spatial and temporal modeling of sea-level rise on sites of high significance on the coastal plains of O‘ahu and Maui (Hawai‘i) in order to define potential ecological and cultural impacts and support management responses.
  • Reef
    Photo: NOAA
    Reversing Coral Reef Impacts. Testing management methods to reverse localized coral bleaching by locally increasing pH to counter ocean acidification on a reef at Tutuila, American Samoa.
  • Bioclimate Projections. Project changes in the distributions of native Hawaiian plants based on projected future temperature and precipitation estimates derived from first-generation statistical climate downscaling.

More Information

PICCC Charter Members

  • American Bird Conservancy
  • Bishop Museum
  • Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance
  • Hawai‘i Wetland Joint Venture
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Micronesia Conservation Trust
  • National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring
  • National Park Service Pacific West Region
  • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
  • NOAA NESDIS NCDC Climate Services Pacific Region
  • NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
  • NOAA Pacific Services Center
  • Office of Hawaiian Affairs
  • Pacific Science Association
  • State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources
  • State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife
  • The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i Office
  • Trust for Public Lands Hawai‘i
  • U.S. Army Garrison Hawai‘i Natural Resource Program
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuges
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
  • U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Center for Conservation Research and Training
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Social Science Research Institute
  • University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Office of Research