Samoa, a small island country in the South West Pacific, was the first in the region to become independent in 1962. The country is a group of two main islands, Savai’i and Upolu, as well as several smaller islands lying in the Polynesia region of the southern Pacific Ocean. The country consists of four main inhabited islands and six uninhabited islands. Its total area is approximately 2,931 square kilometers, with a coastline of about 403 kilometers. According to CIA's latest report, approximately 193,000 people live in Samoa, with an economy base on subsistence and exports that include agriculture, fishery and forestry products. Tourism is another growing industry. There are also several food processing and automobile parts plants. However, the country remains somewhat dependent on financial aid
Project banner - Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa (GCF-funded)
With finance from the Green Climate Fund, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa project will enable the Government to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment.
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GCF resources will be used to implement a combination of integrated watershed and flood management works including both hard and soft measures. This includes upgrading river works to cater to increased water flows during flood events (taking into account the likelihood of the increased frequency of extreme events), ensuring that infrastructure works, and home dwellings, government and private-sector buildings are made more secure and provide adequate shelter in case of floods and their aftermaths. Additionally, the project will ensure that when floodwaters occur, the excess waters are channeled away through an effective, efficient, and fit-for-purpose drainage system. The project will consequently play a critical role in assisting the urban population and economy to effectively manage the inevitable increased intensity and frequency of flooding.
Direct benefits from these interventions include reduced risk of damage to public and private infrastructure/assets; reduced possibility of loss of life; and enhanced land value in flood-prone areas. Indirect benefits include reduced losses in income/sales; reduced costs of clean-ups, maintenance and repairs; reduced costs of relief and response efforts; and reduced possibility of health hazards. In addition to these 26,000 direct beneficiaries, the general population of Samoa will benefit from the safeguarding of critical economic assets and learning that will be generated.
In addition, mid and upstream ecosystem and community-based adaptation measures will enhance capture, infiltration, storage and delayed release of rainwater in soils and biomass, and water retention ponds will serve both climate-smart agribusiness development and combat degradation of vulnerable ecosystems through appropriate agro-forestry land-use practices.
Addressing Climate Change in Samoa
Recent extreme events have resulted in approximately US$200 million worth of damages during each event. Climate projections for Samoa suggest that the risk of climate induced events will increase, potentially undermining development progress in urban Apia where the majority of the population and economic activity is located.
Given the topography of the country, extreme events result in significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical events such as Cyclone Evan have caused significant damage to both public and private assets as a result of flooding, resulting in serious health impacts. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably from the recurrence of flooding and is unable to cope as climate change-related events are expected to become more frequent and intense.
Projected climate change scenarios cited by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) suggest that Samoa is expected to have more frequent and extreme rainfall events; more frequent and longer drought events; increased air and water temperatures; sea level rise; and more frequent extreme wind events.
The project represents the Government of Samoa’s initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution for the likely consequences of extreme events in Apia, the capital with about 80,000 people. In this project, three interlinked project outputs will be pursued:
- Capacities and information base strengthened for the Government of Samoa to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;
- Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and
- Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.
Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Board: 14 December 2016
Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) effectiveness reached: 11 July 2017
Local Project Appraisal Committee meeting (LPAC): 4 July 2017
Project Document signature between UNDP and Government: 21 July 2017
First disbursement of funds: August 2017
'Rebuilding the Lelata Bridge to be tougher and higher', Samoa Observer, January 23, 2019.
'GCF Vaisigano River Catchment Site Visit with Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific, Haoliang Xu', UNDP Samoa Facebook, June 2018.
'Samoa kicks off climate adaptation project to benefit 1 in 3 citizens facing flood risk' UNDP, October 25, 2017. In the lead up to COP climate talks in Bonn, the launch of a Green Climate Fund-financed US$65 million project signals strong global support for climate-resilient development in Small Island Developing States.
'Every dollar counts in fight against climate change - New GCF Funding for Samoa' - Samoa Observer, December 16, 2016. Op-ed celebrating Somoa's recently approved US$58 million Green Climate Fund project.
Learn more about the climate challenges facing Samoa, and how UNDP is working to address those challenges and reduce risks.
Flood Management in Samoa
Output 1. Strengthening capacities and mechanisms for integrated approach to reduce flood-related risks in place.
Output 2. Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water.
Economy-Wide Integration of Climate Change Adaptation and disaster risk management/reduction to Reduce Climate Vulnerability of Communities in Samoa
This project aims to enhance a more efficient integration and management of adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction into national development planning and programming and the resilience of communities’ physical assets and livelihoods across Samoa to climate change and natural disasters.
This will be accomplished through three major components:
1. Strategic integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in national policy frameworks and development planning through an economy‐wide approach (estimated budget: 825,000 USD): this component will result in CC Adaptation, DRR and DRM mainstreaming in relevant policies, sectoral strategies, sub‐ national strategies and budgeting processes through enhanced coordination of government institutions and in increased public finance management at the national and village level, with stronger capacity to access, manage, implement and monitor use of climate change funds at the national and village level.
2. Enhanced resilience of communities as first responders of climate change‐induced hazards (estimated budget: 10,560,000USD) : this component will result in increased resilience, and decreased exposure and susceptibility of communities to climate change and natural disasters by protection of household and community assets and promoting resilient livelihoods and in CCA/DRR plans development and implementation
3. Knowledge about CCA and DRR is captured and shared at the regional and global level (estimated budget: 350,000 USD): this component will develop a knowledge management strategy, including national awareness campaigns and information sharing through existing international platforms and new multimedia platforms and a M&E system to strengthen institutional coordination and enhance the effectiveness of the interventions on adaptation with an economy wide approach.
Linkages with Related Initiatives, Policies, and Frameworks
This project closely aligns with efforts being undertaken for and climate change adaptation and disaster risk management by the Government of Samoa, UNDP, NGOs, and other organizations. It will also bolster gender‐sensitive national policies on sustainability by providing needed resources and livelihoods interventions to increase technical understanding and raise public awareness. Internal and External Collaboration This project will be implemented through the active engagement of the communities involved and various line ministries in the Government of Samoa as well as other development partners including JICA, AusAID, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Conservation International. This will ensure cross‐sector coordination for policymaking, capacity building, and implementation activities. Project‐level activities will rely upon technical expertise at the regional and local levels. Descriptions and lessons learned from demonstration projects will be widely disseminated to local communities, national and regional stakeholders. Academia will also be informed about projects so knowledge is incorporated into relevant curricula.
In 2012, UNDP supported Samoa with undertaking a Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review which examined recent public expenditures related to climate change adaptation, and relevant policy and institutional frameworks for managing anticipated risks and opportunities. The analysis led to recommendations on how to integrate climate change in national development planning and budget management. Building on the CPEIR and other findings of various nationally led initiatives, UNDP in partnership with the Government of Samoa has outlined a programme that would, if successfully implemented, promote catalytic changes aimed at advancing adaptation to climate change at all levels. In brief, the focus of the programme is to advance an economy-wide approach to climate change adaptation, aiming at efficient integration and management of adaptation and DRR/DRM into the national development policy, planning, and budgetingas well as enhancing the resilience of important economic assets and livelihoods for communities across Samoa to climate change induced disasters. Financing for this programme has been committed from the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF).
Samoa starts cross-sectoral response to climate change adaptation
Apia, Samoa —Samoa is set to adopt a whole-of-government approach to climate change adaptation through a US$12.3 million initiative, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
With financing from the Least Developed Country Countries Fund (LDCF), the Government will take critical steps to incorporate medium and long-term climate change and disaster-risk management priorities into the planning and budgeting processes of key economic sectors. It is expected that this will enable Samoa to better manage fast changing climate conditions that are eroding development gains achieved in the past decade.
“We can no longer grow or develop as a nation unless we ensure that every investment, whether it is in infrastructure, food security, watershed management, health improvement, or tourism, is informed by the most up-to-date data on climate change projections and expected impacts, particularly related to extreme weather events and resultant disasters.” said Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, CEO of Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Climate change is already affecting all economic sectors in the country and may cause more frequent and extreme rainfall and longer drought, increased air and water temperatures and sea level rise. About 70 percent of Samoa’s population and infrastructure are located in low-lying coastal areas.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Finance will lead the initiative and ensure that comprehensive approaches to climate change risk management are strengthened and effective.
The project is the largest national project ever funded by the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and it is considered a strategic move for Samoa as it shifts out of its least developed countries (LDC) status.
“For every tala invested in climate change adaptation and mitigation today, there will be savings of thousands of tala tomorrow.” said Tupa’imatuna Iulai Lavea, CEO of the Ministry of Finance.
“The UNDP is cooperating with the Government of Samoa to reduce vulnerability to climate change while focusing on women and youth. Small businesses supported with LDCF financing can thrive despite climate change, providing opportunities and employment for the future,” said Lizbeth Cullity, UNDP Resident Representative in Samoa.
“Through the project, women, youth and other vulnerable population groups will have a chance to express their views on how this can be done. Their participation in decision-making will be a priority,” she added.
The Least Developed Countries Fund of the GEF focuses on reducing the vulnerability to climate change of those sectors and resources that are central to development and livelihoods.
Financing from the Fund will serve to advance Samoa’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, as established under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which integrates climate change adaptation into national development plans, budgets, and strategies.
Samoa is among the vulnerable Pacific nations exposed to climate change. The most recent catastrophic event, cyclone Evan hit Samoa in 2012, affecting 7,500 people and destroying about 2,000 houses.
1. Purpose Statement
“To ensure that key line agencies are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to apply CBA fundamentals and implement it at a project’s inception, review period and evaluation at its completion so as to ensure a more informed report is submitted to key decision makers and in turn support improved management for development results”.
2. P-CBA Focal Points:
Ms. Tuiolo Schuster – Principal Capacity Building Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment,
Ms Abigail Lee Hang - Principal Project Planning and Programming Officer, Ministry of Finance.
3. Ministries and institutions involved:
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Ministry of Finance
Ministry for Women Community and Social Development
4.CBA Case Studies and Timeline:
- PPCR Project 2 – Enhancing the Livelihoods of Communities
Assess this project which aims to enhance the livelihoods of communities identified to be within “at risk” areas of flooding and other effects of CC. The objectives of the CBA would be to identify the best cost option for addressing these risks as each community is susceptible to different disasters.
- Timeline: after the in-country training Dec-Jan 2015.
5. In-Country Training and Mentoring Timeline:
The in-Country trainings should focus on the Module 1 “Overview of a CBA” for senior officials, Module 2 “the ABC of CBA”, Module 3 “The CBA Workplan”, Module 5”Environmental Valuation” and Module 6 “Train the trainers”. Timeline: after the SIDS conference Oct-Nov 2014
6. Sustainability Measures Proposed:
- Internal: The CBA process can be transferred across line agencies through their Sector Coordination Units using the Sector Coordinators’ Meetings (bi-monthly); the existing manual will be revised and once the MOF is confident that the knowledge exists within the lead agencies of each sector, this will once again become a mandatory criteria for large public sector investment projects submitted to the CDC;
- External: Recurring short term CBA courses to address high employee turnover. Technical Backstopping should be available also after the P-CBA will end, (possibly the RTSM)
7. Proposed Sources of funding:
Source of funding need to be identified with regional development partners. One option might be harnessing the PPCR Samoa track funds as it is indicated as a case study.
8. Additional Resources
- Samoa PACC cost benefit analysis final report
- Samoa Planning Meeting Presentation on country needs and existing capacities
- Samoa Planning Meeting Presentation on Country Workplan