Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change

Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change

Climate change-induced modifications to the rural coastal environment are potentially significant to nearly 80% of the country‘s population. Assets are at risk from continued coastal erosion. The continued further loss of agriculturally productive land will threaten livelihoods and food supplies, and may force further deforestation in the more upland portions of catchments contributing to further soil erosion and increased flooding risk.

This project will provide a vehicle to implement the approved Coastal Infrastructure Management (CIM) Plans on the ground as a practical community based response to adaptation. It will enable the necessary technical and financial resources to be used in a programmatic manner which, when combined with parallel complementary works undertaken through the CRIP/PPCR will result in a countrywide adaptation response for coastal management. The implementation of appropriate responses will be supported by the programme through site-specific design of adaptation interventions and active community engagement in the process.

The programme will serve to implement  the CIM Strategy, which was originally prepared in 2000 and revised in 2006 to include specific reference to CC related issues. In particular the predicted hazard zones were reviewed against the NAPA data (2005) and inter-alia the Climate Risk Profiles (2007) and reference was made to expected land use impacts from more frequent and intense cyclone events. There is an opportunity under this programme to consider the more detailed and updated climate change projections now available for Samoa. The Strategy which has as its central focus a theme of “resilience”, directs coastal adaptation to focus upon activities which will have a positive effect upon community resilience. It sets out a range of adaptation actions with a strong preference for “soft” actions such as managed retreat over “hard” engineered solutions such as seawalls. The CIM Strategy has been endorsed by Cabinet as official Government policy with respect to coastal management.

The programme has a 3-pronged approach:

  • First, it targets on-the-ground implementation of coastal adaptation measures, addressing climate change impacts on key infrastructure elements and coastal ecosystems in an integrated way. Integration is achieved within the framework of a comprehensive village land use plan – the CIM Plan.
  • The second prong strengthens institutional policies and capacities to provide an enabling environment for climate resilient coastal development.
  • The third area of focus is on the systematic capture and dissemination of knowledge and lessons learned to aid and inform further implementation and pursuit of climate resilient development.

** The following key stakeholders were consulted during the formulation of this programme proposal:

  • Ministry of Finance
  • National Climate Change Country Team
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment ( GEF Division, PUMA, Technical Division, CCA Co-ordinator. Land Management Division)
  • Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development
  • Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure
  • Land Transport Authority
  • Samoa Umbrella of Non-governmental Organisations (SUNGO)
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

More information on the project can be found in the project document.

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