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Nauru - Australia’s commitment to strengthening climate and disaster resilience in the Pacific

Climate change and disaster impacts

Australia is committed to working in partnership with the Government of Nauru to meet the needs and aspirations of its people to build resilience to climate change and disaster events. 

Nauru is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The country is already facing challenges 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. These climate-related hazards are projected to intensify over time. 

  • 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. 
  • Climate change disproportionately impacts those already experiencing exclusion and marginalisation, including women, people with disabilities and people living in poverty. Australia is committed to supporting Gender-responsive and inclusive approaches to climate and disaster risk resilience result in better program outcomes. 

Bilateral support

Australia integrates climate and disaster resilience through its bilateral development assistance to Nauru across all areas of programming, including in the infrastructure, health, governance and education sectors.

  • Through the Sustainable and Climate Resilient Connectivity Project, 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. Of the $79.5m project costs, the costs of climate change adaptation is estimated to be $55m. This upgrade means the Port will withstand the impacts of climate change and ensure Nauru can continue to have access to food and critical goods.
  • As part of the Australia - Nauru Education Program (NEP) , Australia is supporting Nauru’s Ministry of Education to integrate climate change across the school curriculum and support teachers with training. 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.
  • The Australia – Nauru Economic Governance Program recognises the need for Nauru to access climate financing to meet its climate adaptation requirements. Building evidence of strong audit, robust public financial management systems and processes will improve Nauru’s access to multilateral climate change funds. The program is working with existing development partners to establish climate financing strategies, integrating climate finance into the budget process, supporting coordination and developing a pipeline of viable projects.
  • Australia – Nauru ten year Health Program “RANA Tsimorum” goal is to enable the Nauruan health system to better respond to health threats and to meet the heath needs of the people of Nauru by providing effective, accessible and inclusive quality health services. The program will integrate climate change across its outcomes to strengthen Nauru’s health systems ability to respond to climate change challenges. A climate risk analysis will identify issues and any likely health impacts and targeted activities that will specifically address climate risk to health outcomes.
  • Australia is ensuring the rehabilitation works in the Nauru Airport Rehabilitation Project will withstand the impacts of climate change and disasters and last the intended design lifespan (20 years) of the runway. It will also ensure Nauru remains open for business and safely connected to the outside world for essential food, medical and food supplies regardless of future changes in climate and weather conditions.

Regional and global programs  

Nauru also benefits from a range of regional and globally funded climate change investments are working directly to build climate change and disaster resilience in Nauru and across the region, including:   

  • The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific Phase 3 (COSPPac3) (Australian contribution $30 million, 2023-29) supports the Nauru National 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. 
  • Through Pacific Women Lead, Australia supports the Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO) to advance women’s leadership in climate change decision-making and negotiations ($699,900, 2022-2024).
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