Nauru - Australia’s commitment to strengthening climate and disaster resilience in the Pacific
At the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum, Australia pledged to spend $500 million over five years (2020-2025) to strengthen climate change and disaster resilience in the Pacific. This builds on Australia’s strong support for Pacific climate change and disaster resilience, and success in exceeding a 2016 commitment to spend $300 million over four years (2016-2020). Australia is committed to working in partnership with government of Nauru to meet the needs and aspirations of its people to build resilience to climate change and disaster events.
Climate change and disaster impacts in Nauru
Nauru is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The country is already facing challenges that will be made worse by climate change, such as stronger and longer-lasting droughts, heat waves, coastal erosion, increased acidity of ocean waters, sea level rise, wind-driven waves and king tides.
- Most of Nauru’s population and critical infrastructure is located on the coast. Australia is helping the Government of Nauru to ensure that critical infrastructure, like schools and the power station, are protected.
- At least 90 percent of all food consumed in Nauru is imported. Australia is supporting an upgrade to Nauru's port to facilitate more reliable and secure shipping services, supporting import food security in a changing climate.
- Access to clean drinking water in Nauru is already challenging, and as sea levels rise and storm surge increases, fresh water is more likely to be polluted. Australia has helped increase the availability of freshwater through the provision of community rainwater catchment and storage facilities.
Australia’s bilateral support
Australia has provided approximately $6.1 million in bilateral climate change and disaster resilience support to Nauru since 2016. This support is built into many programs, including in the infrastructure and education sectors.
- Through the Nauru Infrastructure and Services Program ($6.1m 2016-20 in climate and disaster finance of $21.7m 2017-21 project total), Australia is working with the Asian Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Nauru to build a climate resilient deep-water port to facilitate the efficient delivery of essential supplies and to encourage increased trade and economic activity. This upgrade means the Port will withstand the impacts of climate change and ensure Nauruans continue to have access to food and critical goods.
- Through contributions to Nauru’s education sector, Nauru’s Ministry of Education is integrating climate change across the school curriculum. This will ensure that the next generation of school leavers understand the risks climate change presents to their country and the locally relevant adaptation actions they can take.
Australia’s regional and global support
Nauru also benefits from a range of Australia’s regional and global climate change investments, both through climate change and disaster risk specific programs and mainstreaming across other sectors including:
- The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific Phase 2 (COSPPac $23.3 million, 2018-2022) supports the Nauru Meteorological Service to provide climate and ocean monitoring and prediction services. Climate predictions help Pacific Island countries to prepare for disasters like droughts and tropical cyclones. Ocean predictions (tide, currents, wind and waves) support fishing, tourism and shipping.