20 Dec 2018
Suva, Fiji - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pacific Community (SPC) signed a Letter of Agreement, cementing their mutual commitment to work together to improve Tuvalu’s resilience to coastal flooding under the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project (TCAP).
The nine low-lying atoll islands of Tuvalu are among the most vulnerable in the world to sea level rise and the impacts of climate change. As an example, large waves generated by Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015 flooded multiple islands in Tuvalu and displaced 45% of the population.
To address the challenges of marine hazards in Tuvalu and to plan for the future, the government of Tuvalu, UNDP, and SPC have designed tasks within TCAP that will provide robust technical and social analysis to inform risk management and coastal adaptation decisions.
These efforts will also build capacity of national agencies to monitor coastal change and undertake their own hazard risk and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments.
“Implementing TCAP in close partnership with the Government of Tuvalu and SPC will contribute towards the sustainability of the results and long-term benefits of TCAP, long after TCAP’s life-span and SPC will continue to use the knowledge products produced under TCAP to assist Tuvalu into the future,” said Ms. Salma El Hag Yousif, Regional Programme and Small Island Development States (SIDS) Engagement Coordinator and Officer-in-Charge of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.
TCAP is the first Green Climate Fund (GFC) project to be funded in the Pacific Islands and UNDP is the lead implementer.
At the outset of TCAP in 2017, the Honourable Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga said, “This project is the pride of Tuvalu. Its implementation is based on strong partnership with island leaders and communities.”
SPC will partner with UNDP to focus specifically on the second output of TCAP, which aims to reduce the vulnerability of key coastal infrastructure to wave-induced damages in Funafuti, Nanumea, and Nanumaga. SPC will produce coastal hazard assessments, lead local training in shoreline change mapping, and compile vulnerability reports of the three islands.
Once completed, the individual island assessments that SPC will compile for TCAP will form the most detailed, comprehensive analysis of vulnerability to marine hazards ever undertaken in Tuvalu and will act as an indispensable foundation for adaptation planning and design.
“This partnership is a world-class example of how we work- using science to inform decision-making and simultaneously building in-country capacity,” said the Pacific Community Deputy Director-General, Dr Audrey Aumua, at the signing of the LOA. “We won’t just be building rock walls, but constructing an appropriate mix of measures based on a robust understanding of coastal hazards, and on the environmental and social impacts.”
TCAP, which commenced in June 2017, is a 7-year project with a budget of US$38.9 million of which US$36 million is financed by the Green Climate Fund and US$2.9 million co-financed by the Government of Tuvalu. The project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Government of Tuvalu, will contribute towards the efforts of the Government of Tuvalu to manage risks of coastal hazards and hence strengthen the resilience of one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change and sea-level rise.
It will improve coastal protection in key locations on the three islands of Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga by putting in place measures to reduce the three islands’ exposure to coastal hazards by developing a long term coastal adaptation strategy, building capacity of national and local authorities to better implement adaptation actions, and investing in youth as future stewards of a resilient Tuvalu.
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