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Development assistance in the Pacific

Pacific regional – climate change and resilience

The Australian Government is deeply committed to taking real and significant climate action at home and establishing Australia as a climate leader internationally. We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Pacific partners on this crisis. Our increased domestic effort, including our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, is matched by a suite of decisions to help Pacific island countries reduce their emissions and build resilience to climate change.

Together with our Pacific family, Australia endorsed the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent as a framework to take a strategic and long‑term approach to Pacific regionalism. In line with the Boe Declaration on Regional Security, we recognise that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.

Australia is ensuring climate change is embedded in our support for sustainable recovery from the economic impacts from COVID in the Pacific. DFAT’s Climate Change Action Strategy also commits to integrate climate change action across Australia’s development assistance program globally. This includes in the infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture, health and education sectors.

At COP26 in 2021, Australia doubled its climate finance commitment to $2 billion over 2020-25, with at least $700 million of this for Pacific climate and disaster finance. The Government has also committed to increasing official development assistance to the region by $525 million over four years, including support for climate change and resilience.

This approach supports the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific, endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2016 as an integrated and coordinated approach to addressing climate change and disaster risk management in the Pacific. Australia has strongly supported the Pacific Resilience Partnership, which leaders established in 2017 to compliment the Framework.

Working with Pacific partner governments

Australia is working in consultation with partner governments in the Pacific to develop programs that address Pacific priorities. The Pacific country links below showcase some of the practical support Australia is providing through bilateral programs to strengthen resilience.

Regional Programs

Australia also supports many regional programs that address aspects of climate change and disaster resilience. Some examples are listed below.

Australian Humanitarian Partnership Disaster READY Program

$50 million, 2018-2022

Disaster READY is supporting governments, communities and organisations in four Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to prepare for, and reduce the risk of, disasters. Working with six Australian NGOs and local partners, the program has supported over 770 communities, schools and churches to develop or update inclusive disaster plans.

Australian Red Cross Partnership

$50 million, 2020-2025

Australia recognises that disasters are exacerbated by climate change, creating economic, environmental, energy and health challenges that compound development challenges. The Australian Red Cross Partnership is working with Red Cross National Societies to improving the ability of National Societies and communities in the Indo-Pacific to cope with and recover from crises and disasters.

Australia Pacific Climate Partnership

$31.4 million, 2018-2024

The Australia Pacific Climate Partnership is an enabling program underpinning Australia’s efforts to integrate climate change and disaster resilience across all sectors of our development assistance program, as the most effective way to build resilient communities.  Among other things, its work helps us understand climate change related health impacts to bring sustained improvements in population health; interpret climate change projections and their impacts on agriculture and tourism to build economic resilience; and design infrastructure to mitigate against energy, food and water insecurity.

Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (Phase 2)

$23.3 million, 2018-2022

The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) supports 14 Pacific Meteorological Services to monitor, analyse and communicate information about climate and oceans, including seasonal forecasts and sea level rise. This includes tide and wave data for shipping and fishing, as well as rainfall monitoring and forecasts to support planning in agriculture/food security, water and sanitation, and health.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Core Funding

$17.2 million, 2021-2025

Australia’s core funding to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) helps enable its work with Pacific island countries to protect and improve their environment, and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations. SPREP is also the lead organisation to coordinate Pacific engagement in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res)

$7.9 million, 2019-2023

The Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) project works in Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Republic of Marshall Islands. It engages national and local governments and communities, as well as regional organisations, to strengthen decision-making processes and governance systems towards resilient development. 

Pacific Blue Carbon Program

$6 million, 2018-2024

Mangroves are often described as the lungs of ocean. Protecting and restoring coastal blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses) limits additional emissions, protects existing stored carbon, and increases carbon sequestration. Through the Pacific Blue Carbon Program, Australia is supporting national climate action and livelihoods in PNG and Fiji through enhanced measurement and investment in blue carbon ecosystems, and supporting Indigenous engagement to draw on the knowledge and experience of First Nations peoples in managing these important environmental assets. The program also aims to demonstrate blue carbon financing and investment approaches through pilot projects, to explore nature financing approaches including carbon offsets and to protect and restore marine ecosystems.

ReefCloud

$3.2 million, 2019-2023

ReefCloud builds on Australia’s world-leading expertise in science and technology to galvanise cooperation between Pacific Nations towards effective, evidence-based management of the marine environment. It uses innovative technology and artificial intelligence to monitor the condition of our precious coral reefs; gathering data about how they are impacted by climate change and other pressures. The Australian Institute of Marine Science is working coral reef managers, scientists across the Pacific and Indigenous and Traditional Owners. The project is also supporting scaling of the ReefCloud technology in a wider regional and global context.

Kiwa Initiative

$1 million, 2020-2024

Australia contributes to the multi-donor Kiwa Initiative – Nature Based Solutions for Climate Resilience, which is led by the French Development Agency (AFD). This Initiative aims to strengthen resilience to climate change through biodiversity conservation for Pacific islands ecosystems, communities and economies. Australia has undertaken to contribute an additional $2 million to the initiative.

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