Vanuatu government committed to increased efforts to recovery from cyclone Pam and building long-term resilience to climate change.

A project to support recovery from tropical cyclone Pam and to build long-term resilience of communities to climate change was launched today in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  The commencement of the project Adaption to Climate Change in the Coastal Zone of Vanuatu (or V-CAP) was endorsed by the National Project Board at its meeting today in Port Vila.

The project will work with communities in all six provinces in Vanuatu to build community resilience to climate change. The project started in February this year, however, due to the cyclone there was delay in official launching while early recovery was given priority. 

The V-CAP Project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with financial support from the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Fund. The project works with communities and with a range of development partners.   The project will operate for five years with a total budget of Vt$800 million (US$8 million).

This project is also important because it is one of the first UNDP projects where the project is fully executed by the Government of Vanuatu. This will be through a National Implementation Modality, where the government will be leading the delivery of all components. The funds will flow from UNDP through national government systems. The decisions will be made locally, thus it is important that all levels of government and the communities work together to make sure we deliver this project well and on time.

For 2015 the project will focus on supporting recovery efforts in the three provinces impacted upon by Tropical Cyclone Pam with a focus on Epi Island, Pentecost Island and the outer island of Tafea.  The project will commence working with the other three provinces in 2016.

The project was launched at the Project Board meeting on Thursday, 18 June 2015, between the Ministry of Climate Change together with Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Public Works Department, Department of Environment and Water Resource Department.  “This is an important project to build capacity of communities to strengthen their resilience to climate change,” said Director General Jotham Naphat from the Ministry of Climate Change.

  • To address national priorities, the project will focus on adaptation options including:
  • development of village and Area Council local adaptation plans;
  • better management of forest, water, and  agriculture including coastal re-vegetation and rehabilitation to strengthen resilience to climate change;
  • climate proofing of selected infrastructure for communities including footpaths, river crossings and small-scale public conveyances;
  • development of an efficient early warning system for cyclones and other natural disasters.  The recent cyclone highlighted the importance of the need for early warning systems for cyclones; and
  • awareness raising and capacity building.

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