South Pacific Islands—Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2012-2017

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Regional

Solutions: Environment Climate

The Pacific Island countries comprise the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change. The nature-based livelihoods and diverse cultures that have risen from these island nations—some of which stand only meters above sea level—are being challenged, and in some cases overwhelmed, by sea level rise, changing ocean temperatures and acidity, increasing air temperatures, shifting rainfall and storm patterns, and other impacts of climate change that are projected to increase over the next 100 years.

National adaptation strategies and policies are in place, but implementation lags at the community level. Climate-smart decision making to improve coastal zone and water resource management and strengthen disaster management must be applied in communities across the Pacific for the region to successfully adapt to climate change.

C-CAP focused on Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia. We built the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to withstand more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degradation in the short term, and sea level rise in the long term. We improved coastal zone management and water resource management capacity and strengthened disaster management.

Sample Activities

  • Build local knowledge through community-based trainings and participatory risk mapping and analysis.
  • Cultivate adaptive capacity by helping local leaders to factor climate change projections into traditional decision-making processes.
  • Strengthen resilience to disasters and climate change impacts through implementation of built and natural infrastructure, disaster prevention and preparedness training, and land-use planning.

Select Results

  • Engaged 77 communities across nine partner countries to complete Climate Change Risk and Asset Mapping and implement a participatory prioritization exercise to identify viable climate-smart infrastructure interventions.
  • Completed climate-resilient infrastructure projects in 34 target sites, increasing the resilience of 20,943 beneficiaries to the impacts of climate change.
  • Implemented infrastructure projects in 68 communities.
  • Collaborated with climate change adaptation leaders in national and regional institutions to design climate-smart infrastructure solutions in 57 communities, begin the construction or refurbishment of an initial 42 small-scale infrastructure projects to improve the lives of 21,910 beneficiaries across nine countries. These projects can structurally withstand the impacts of climate change, and functionally increase beneficiary communities’ resilience to climate change.
  • Completed Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Response, and disaster simulation exercises in 67 communities.
  • Through training and workshops, C-CAP found—using pre- and post- workshop evaluations—that participant awareness had increased: by 34 percent regarding the causes of climate change; and by 57 percent about the types of adaptation interventions that can be useful to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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