Solomon Islands National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)
National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their immediate needs to adapt to climate change, ultimately leading to the implementation of projects aimed at reducing the economic and social costs of climate change. The Solomon Islands NAPA has determined, through a broad national consultative process, that agriculture, human settlements, water and sanitation and human health are priority vulnerable sectors requiring urgent support to enhance resilience against the predicted impacts of climate change.
As a Least Developed Country (LDC) and Small Island Developing State (SIDS), climate change is the most important environmental and developmental issue for Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands is a low-lying coastal country that shares similar sustainable development challenges, including small population, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, and excessive dependence on international trade and foreign aid. Its growth and development is often further stymied by high transportation and communication costs, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to its small size, and little to no opportunity to create economies of scale.
Solomon Islands has particular problems and concerns in dealing with the effects of climate change, variability and extreme events. As an LDC, it is recognised under Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as being the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change. Article 4, paragraph 9, of the Convention, particularly requires “That Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and special situations of the least developed countries in their actions with regard to funding and transfer of technology.”
Climate change will be a major impediment to the achievement of sustainable development in Solomon Islands, as all economic and social sectors are likely to be adversely affected, and the cost of adaptation will be disproportionately high, relative to gross domestic product (GDP). In attempting to integrate adaptation strategies into its sustainable development agenda, Solomon Islands will be confronted by many challenges including insufficient resources, prioritization of adaptation measures and uncertainties over climate change projections and adaptation strategies. The need to implement adaptation measures with some urgency has been often reinforced by the adverse impacts already being experienced in the country and highlighted in numerous national and regional workshops, meetings and conferences. It has been suggested that risk-reduction strategies together with other sectoral policy initiatives in areas such as sustainable development planning, disaster prevention and management, integrated coastal zone management and health care planning should be employed.
The successful adaptation in Solomon Islands will depend on supportive institutions, finance, information and technological support. Thus an adaptation strategy for the Solomon Islands should include a strategy for precautionary adaptation since it is difficult to predict far in advance how climate change will affect a particular site, sector or community. Thus adopting a “no regrets” adaptation measures would be justified even in the absence of climate change, as this would more than likely lead to better management of natural resources and sustainable development. The Solomon Islands national adaptation programmes of action is therefore a channel of communication and dissemination of its urgent and immediate needs for adaptation to adverse effects of climate change.
NAPA will communicate priority activities addressing the urgent and immediate needs and concerns of Solomon Islands, relating to adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change. NAPA was prepared through a consultative process using a country team approach, a national synthesis of information covering the various sectors of the economy, a vulnerability analysis and community and/or village consultations. The consultative process facilitated the identification and prioritisation of key adaptation sectors. The key sectors covered in the synthesis of vulnerability and adaptation included the following: agriculture, water resources, health, energy, mining, education, training, public awareness and information, waste management, tourism, environment, forestry, mining, infrastructure development, trade and industry, fisheries and marine resources and human settlements.
The priority sectors where adaptation actions are urgently needed were identified through synthesis of existing information on vulnerability and adaptation, community consultations and from vulnerability analysis conducted by the NAPA Team. A multi-criteria analysis and ranking was used to prioritize the sectors. Based on the high ranking of the priority sectors (i.e. sectors with importance factor of 10 and above) and the greater likelihood of accessing funding support from the Least Developed Countries Fund for the implementation thereof, a total of seven project profiles were developed.
The project profiles have been designed to reflect the need for urgent and immediate adaptation actions in agriculture and food security, water supply and sanitation, education, awareness and information, human settlements, human health, waste management, fisheries and marine resources, infrastructure, coastal protection, and tourism. Agriculture and food security, water supply and sanitation, human settlements, human health, education, awareness and information have been included in one project, while each of the others (fisheries and marine resources, infrastructure, waste management, coastal protection and tourism) has one project profile. In addition, given the highly urgent need for adaptation action in low-lying and artificial islands it was decided to develop one project profile focusing on urgent adaptation action to be implemented in these areas.
Source: Solomon Islands NAPA (November, 2008)
Climate Related Hazards
- Loss of biodiversity
- Loss of species
- Land and soil degradation
- Depletion of fish stocks
- Ecosystem destruction
- Habitat loss
- Loss of water quality and quantity
- Coastal erosion and degradation
- Loss of soil fertility
- Saltwater intrusion
- Increase in disease incidence
Main Human Vulnerabilities and Livelihood Impacts
- Water Resources
- Human Health
- Human Settlements
- Fisheries and Marine Resources
- Infrastructure Development
- Trade and Forestry
- Waste Management
Key Results and Outputs
Priority Adaptation Projects
- Managing the impact of, and enhancing resilience to, climate change and sea-level rise, on agriculture and food security, water supply and sanitation, human settlement, human health and education, awareness and information
- Climate change adaptation on low-lying and artificially built-up islands in Malaita and Temotu
- Waste management
- Coastal protection
- Fisheries and marine resources
- Infrastructure development
Potential Adaptation Measures
Agriculture and Food Security
- Improve and conserve soils
- Develop new crops
- Increase water supply, e.g. by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving or stabilizing watershed management, desalination
- Improve or develop water management
Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems
- Protect, including building sea walls, and beach nourishment
The NAPA will include a countrywide set of strategies for undertaking the immediate and urgent actions required to address the adverse impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. These strategies will include planning, prevention, survival and recovery options for both the immediate and near-term future. The development of the NAPA will only be the first step in an ongoing process of research, action, evaluation and revision.
Adaptation Needs and Priorities
- Subsistence and Commercial Agriculture: An increase in the duration, frequency and intensity of cyclones, along with salt water intrusions, would decrease crop yields. Potential adaptation actions include: (1) National Food Security Program and provincial food banks, (2) Crop diversification, (3) Research into and breeding of salt-tolerant root crops and drought resistant crops, (4) Improved water and soil conservation programs, (4) Intercropping and hydroponics, (5) National urban fruit tree planting.
- Coastal Environments and Systems: Coastal areas may experience flooding and erosion, and coral bleaching may occur due to an increase in sea temperature. Mangrove forests are also at risk because the effects of sea level rise on their habitats. Potential adaptation actions include: (1) Protection of mangrove areas, (2) Re-vegetation of shore areas, (3), Resettlement of urban areas.
- Human Health: Some strains of malaria are endemic to the Solomon Islands, and eradication programs have thus far been inefficient. Extreme weather events, especially flooding, will create ideal conditions for mosquitos to breed and may increase the prevalence of malaria. Potential adaptation actions include: (1) Malaria awareness program, (2) Use of bed nets and mosquito eradication, (3) Improvement of medical services, (4) Capacity building for understanding the relationship between climate change and variability.
- Freshwater Resources: Climate change is expected to decrease the availability and quality of water resources. Potential adaptation actions include: (1) Increase in water storage capacity, (2) Conservation of water, (3) Centralized water treatment, (4) Identification of alternative surface and groundwater sources.
- Marine Resources: Increases in sea temperature are associated with smaller tuna catches, but there is little information about how these fish stocks will be affected in the future due to climate change. Potential adaptation actions include: (1) Marine breeding and restocking programs, (2) Quota system for tuna and subsistence fishing, (3) Comprehensive inventory of marine resources Climate Forecasting and Response, (4) Rapid response to disasters, (5) Strengthening capacity in hydrological services, (6) Weather forecasting and weather stations establishment.
- Human Settlements: Potential adaptation action includes: Enhancement for communities to be able to plan for relocation.
- Education and Awareness: Potential adaptation action includes: Incorporation of information in school curriculum.