Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change, perhaps even the most vulnerable. Tuvalu’s atolls are extremely exposed to projected sea-level rise, increases in the severity of cyclones, increases in ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. When combined with considerable development challenges, a narrow resource base economy and chronic capacity constraints, the extremely high levels of vulnerability are likely to have severe long term effects on sustainable development.
The Government of Tuvalu understands, on behalf of all Tuvaluans, the urgency of addressing its priority development challenges related to adapting to future impacts of climate change. This project will focus on implementing three such priorities outlined in its National Adaptation Programme of Action or NAPA, namely:
- “strengthening of community based conservation programmes on highly vulnerable near-shore marine ecosystems,”
- “adaptation to near-shore coastal shellfish fisheries resources and coral reef ecosystem productivity,” and
- “strengthening community disaster preparedness and response potential.”
These priorities will be addressed through the following interlinked components:
- Component 1 includes activities for building resilience in marine-based livelihoods to climate impacts through an integrated package of measures that seek to enhance traditional fishing practices and food preservation techniques, facilitate a shift in fishing practices from vulnerable reef resources to more resilient pelagic resources, and strengthen community management of reef resources. These adaptation measures will be supported by targeted education, awareness raising and information exchange.
- Component 2: Disaster risk management will focus on improving access to disaster early warning systems for people on outer islands. This will include establishing multiple communication channels, both at the national and outer island levels, to ensure reliable communications in the face of intensifying cyclone events in a changing climate, and building community capacity to take advantage of the improved communication systems.
- Component 3 will focus on integrating locally-specific climate change concerns into existing outer Island Strategic Plans and building capacities of outer island administrations and communities to identify, budget, execute and monitor adaptation investments that are financed by domestic and external resources. This will be supplemented by enhanced awareness among the central government agencies about their existing domestic expenditures on climate sensitive sectors and the adaptation gaps. It is expected that enhanced capacity to guide the future adaptation financing at the outer island level using the climate-smart Island Strategic Plans and to identify gaps and potential adaptation financing at the national level will enable the Government of Tuvalu to effectively combine and sequence available resources to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the impacts of climate change.