Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project

Project Overview

The "Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project" (TCAP) will enable the Government of Tuvalu to implement measures to reduce the impacts of climate-induced sea level rise and intensifying storm events on key infrastructure.

The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, managing coastal inundation risks. A total of 2,780m of high-value vulnerable coastline, with houses, schools and hospitals and will be protected, reducing the impact of increasingly intensive wave action on key infrastructure. The investments will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including eco-system initiatives, beach nourishment, concrete and rock revetments, and sea walls.

National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyse additional coastal adaptation finance from other donors.

 

Expected Outcomes

Output 1: Strengthening of institutions, human resources, awareness and knowledge for resilient coastal management.

Output 2: Vulnerability of key coastal infrastructure including homes, schools, hospitals and other assets is reduced against wave induced damage.

Output 3: A sustainable financing mechanism established for long-term adaptation efforts.

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

Community

Source of Funds

Green Climate Fund

Key Implementers

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

US$36 million (GCF grant according to GCF website)
US$2.9 million (Government of Tuvalu according to GCF website)

Project Partners

Climate Change Policy Unit, The Office of the Prime Minister, Tuvalu
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Green Climate Fund

Introduction

The "Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project" (TCAP) will enable the Government of Tuvalu to implement measures to reduce the impacts of climate-induced sea level rise and intensifying storm events on key infrastructure.

The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, managing coastal inundation risks. A total of 2,780m of high-value vulnerable coastline, with houses, schools and hospitals and will be protected, reducing the impact of increasingly intensive wave action on key infrastructure. The investments will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including eco-system initiatives, beach nourishment, concrete and rock revetments, and sea walls.

National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyse additional coastal adaptation finance from other donors.

 

Project Details

 

Tuvalu is the fourth smallest nation in the world, comprising nine inhabited islands with a population of 10,640. With an average elevation of only 1.83 meters, it is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change. The combination of two manifestations of climate change – continually intensifying cyclone events and sea level rise – threaten to have dire impacts on Tuvalu. In 2015 Cyclone Pam displaced 45% of the population. The purpose of this project is to reduce the impact of increasingly intensive wave activity, through the compounding effects of sea-level rise and intensifying storm events, that is amplifying coastal inundation and erosion. It is evident and well accepted that the effects of climate change will only worsen coastal inundation and erosion in Tuvalu. This project will increase the coverage of coastal protection from the baseline 570m to 2,780m benefiting nearly 29% of the entire population. Investments on coastal protection are directed at coastlines in three islands (Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga) along areas that have a high concentration of houses, schools, hospitals and other social and economic assets (henceforth referred to as “high-value” coastline).

Despite the extreme level of vulnerability, Tuvalu currently does not have a single engineered coastal protection infrastructure project that is designed to withstand current and future impacts of sea-level rise and intensifying tropical storms. The only exceptions are two interventions that are currently being designed for a length of 570 m in Funafuti and Nukufetau. The combined factors of high upfront investments required for coastal protection, the public good and non-revenue nature of the required solutions, and the inability of the Government to service loans, have permitted the Government and the community to implement the recognized solutions only at a slow pace and in a highly fragmented manner in the past. Because available resources are generally far smaller than what is required for implementing appropriate response measures, the past initiatives have often resorted to community-scale interventions that hardly withstand the current wave energy, let alone integrating climate change risks into the design. Without support, this sub-optimal practice is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This project is proposed so that Tuvalu can, finally, take comprehensive and systemic steps to manage coastal inundation risks.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The project will benefit about 3,100 people directly and about 3,499 indirect beneficiaries. This is about 62% of the population of Tuvalu. The project can potentially reduce annual losses (including statistical value of life) worth up to up to $667,000 over 40-year time period (period of analysis for the economic analysis)
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Climate Change Policy Unit, The Office of the Prime Minister, Tuvalu
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Green Climate Fund
Project Status: 
Source of Funds Approval/Endorsement
Location: 
Unspecified
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$36 million (GCF grant according to GCF website)
Co-Financing Total: 
US$2.9 million (Government of Tuvalu according to GCF website)

News

Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Board: 30 June 2016
Local Project Appraisal Committee meeting (LPAC): 15 February 2017
Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) effectiveness reached: 7 June 2017
Project Document signature between UNDP and Government: 14 June 2017

'Tuvalu signs financing agreement to access Climate Fund' - Tuvalu Government, July 5 2017. Tuvalu has become the first Pacific Island country to sign the Financing Framework Agreement to access funds for coastal protection activities from the Green Climate Fund. Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga signed the agreement with the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Osnat Lubrani in Suva. The elated Prime Minister said the financing agreement, worth almost US$39 million will fund the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project on the three islands of Nanumea, Nanumaga and Funafuti. Prime Minister Enele said, “We‟re very happy that Tuvalu is the first Pacific Island country to access this money from Green Climate Fund which has dominated much negotiation and coordination.”   The process will begin in August with a workshop where Tuvalu Government and UNDP will coordinate logistics to facilitate a swift project implementation.  

'Government of Tuvalu launches new coastal protection project to bolster resilience to climate change' - UNDP, July 6, 2017. A signing ceremony took place in Suva on 14 June between the Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga and UNDP Resident Representative Osnat Lubrani. “The protection of our country’s vulnerable coastlines is an urgent priority of the Government of Tuvalu,” said the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga. “The project will support integrated coastal resilience for people living on the islands of Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga. These islands have a high concentration of houses, schools and hospitals, and are the important cogs in the social and economic machinery of our nation.”

'Green Climate Fund finance allocation builds Tuvalu’s resilience' - Green Climate Fund, July 3, 2017. The Green Climate Fund is transferring funds to help strengthen the island nation of Tuvalu against the double climate threats of rising sea levels and destructive cyclones. GCF is sending the first USD 2 million tranche of its USD 36 million contribution to UNDP, a GCF Accredited Entity, to reduce the vulnerability of one of the most fragile nations to climate change. The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, which together have an average elevation of only 1.83m. The grant will build on existing infrastructure to protect coastal areas, including sea walls. It will also make coastal management more resilient and catalyze other sources of adaptation finance.

Key Results and Outputs

Output 1: Strengthening of institutions, human resources, awareness and knowledge for resilient coastal management.

  • Technical capacity, knowledge and awareness strengthened for monitoring, protection and maintenance of coastal protection infrastructure.

    The jurisdiction of coastal protection is shared across the Department of Lands and Survey (DoLS), Public Works Department (PWD) and Department of Environment (DoE). However, none of these departments currently have the technical capacity to monitor the dynamic processes of coastal change over time nor the capacity to design potential coastal interventions. Nor is there sufficient capacity within the Climate Change Policy Unit (CCPU) to coordinate the work of these departments for effective coastal protection. Due to this limitation, the Government is not able to carry out vulnerability assessments, site assessments and coastal design, make informed decisions about pragmatic solutions for coastal protection, and identify potential funding sources for implementation. Instead, they generally have to wait for a donor, often with particular areas of financing priority, to approach them. This lack of ability to carry out a preliminary technical assessment contributes to an increasing sense that the issue is out of their control and eventually to limited ownership. Further, although the CCPU was newly established in 2015 to coordinate government’s actions for climate change adaptation and mitigation, medium- to long-term capacity building efforts are needed in the technical areas of climate change, coordination, project design and management, financial management, knowledge management and reporting.

  • Long-term national human resource capacity and awareness enhanced for sustainable coastal protection

    In the specific context of Tuvalu, the capacity building support conventionally delivered in donor-supported projects has been insufficient to establish a foundation for sustainability. This is because typically the capacity building support in these projects is exclusively targeting the existing government staff, which is small in number, and the progress is immediately undone if the staff members leave the government system. This approach to capacity building represents numerous missed opportunities for transforming the country. Climate change adaptation is defined by UNFCCC as a series of “adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts” and by nature, it is an iterative, long-term process. Adaptation efforts in SIDS like Tuvalu must embrace, in their core principle, a strategy to build capacity of the entire country that goes well beyond that of the government system.

Output 2: Vulnerability of key coastal infrastructure including homes, schools, hospitals and other assets is reduced against wave induced damage.

  • Coastal protection design, site-specific assessments and ESIA undertaken in all islands in a participatory manner

    A detailed, participatory design and site-specific assessment will be carried out in all the islands in Tuvalu. This process is needed not only to make final adjustments in the design of the coastal protection measures (such as the angle of the structure and protection of the toe of the structure) to maximize the effectiveness and longevity of the structure for the three targeted islands, but also to equip the other, non-targeted islands, with the necessary information for attracting donor resources in the future, including from GCF. The multi-stakeholder, gender-responsive planning and design process will take place to ensure that beneficiaries are fully informed and are able to contribute to the detail design and functionality of the coastal protection measures in each of the islands. The process will, for example, look into how the target community (men, women, youth, and elderly) interacts with the ocean and coastline, which is an important design element of coastal protection infrastructure. The assessment will result in a set of adaptation options, detailed technical drawings, bill of quantity, tender documents and detailed costing of the interventions. As described earlier, this process will be used as an opportunity to provide hands-on trainings for government staff from the DLS, PWD and DoE.

    Resources will be used to put in place a robust coastal protection infrastructure along 2,210m of vulnerable coastlines of Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga to defend high value assets of the targeted islands. This translates to targeting nearly 28% of the high value zone of the country, which currently has no protective measures. Also this represents 10% of all vulnerable coastlines in the country. The design criteria are set such that the design will reflect the projected sea level rise and notional 200-year return period storm surge events. Geo-textile container revetments in Nanumea and Nanumaga will have minimum design life of 25 years; but, with the appropriate selection of vandal resistant bags for the top layer walls and, training of PWD and community members for monitoring and simple repair, the life expectancy is expected to be longer.

Output 3: A sustainable financing mechanism established for long-term adaptation efforts.

  • All Island Strategic Plans and annual budgets integrate island-specific climate risks through gender sensitive, participatory processes

    Successful climate risk mainstreaming into ISPs and effective use of available domestic financing will facilitate island-led actions, enhance planned and autonomous adaptation, and ultimately, increase resilience at the island level. In the context of coastal interventions envisaged in the GCF project, a strengthened ISP process will improve longer-term impact and replication potential of the GCF investments as domestic resources, allocated through ISPs, are expected to be used to maintain the GCF investments and to expand the coastal protection coverage. For the expansion of coastal protection measures beyond donor-assisted projects, lower-cost ecosystem-based approaches are a more realistic option given the limited available finance domestically. This activity will strengthen the critical foundation to facilitate this process.

  • Capacity of Kaupules, Falekaupules and community members strengthened for monitoring coastal adaptation investments

    This project will also be used to strengthen the capacity of both outer island administrations and community members for monitoring, reporting and verifying the progress of adaptation investments as an integral element of ISP support. Due to the special geographical condition of Tuvalu where islands are several days away from the central government, upward accountability to the central government and downward accountability to citizens can easily be diluted among kaupules. Thus, nurturing the sense of oversight among community members becomes critical for ensuring transparent, sustainable, demand-driven service delivery. Support to ISP formulation, budgeting and execution, the focus of Activity 3.1, and support for community members for an independent oversight of the ISP process, the focus of Activity 3.2, must go hand-in-hand. At the same time, outer island administrations also need to develop their capacity to report the use of resources and progress of investments to their constituents.

Programme Meetings and Workshops


Monitoring and Evaluation


Contacts

UNDP
Yasuke Taishi
Mr