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Development assistance in the Pacific

Pacific Regional—climate change and resilience

Australia is working more closely than ever with the Pacific on issues of greatest concern to them, including climate change. Pacific island countries reaffirmed the strategic and economic threat climate change poses to our region through the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now. This is the strongest collective statement PIF Leaders have ever issued on climate change.

Australia’s development policy, Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID−19 Development Response (June 2020) commits to ensuring climate change is embedded in our policy solutions to support sustainable recovery from the economic impacts from COVID in the Pacific. DFAT’s Climate Change Action Strategy also commits integrate climate change action across Australia’s development assistance program. This includes including in the infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture, health and education sectors.

In 2019, Prime Minister Morrison pledged $500 million over five years from 2020 to help Pacific nations invest in renewable energy, climate change and disaster resilience. Australia exceeded its previous four-year $300 million pledge (2016–2020) to manage climate change and improve resilience in the Pacific. Our investments include dedicated climate change and disaster resilience programs, and integrating resilience across our Pacific aid investments.

This approach supports the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific, endorsed by Leaders in 2016 as an integrated and coordinated approach to addressing climate change and disaster risk management in the Pacific.

Working with Pacific partner governments

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

Working with regional organisations

Australia also supports many regional programs with a dedicated focus on climate change and disaster resilience. The Australia Pacific Climate Partnership supports Pacific governments to deliver climate and disaster resilient development and low-carbon growth by brokering climate and disaster science and information services through the following regional programs. Some highlights of this program are listed below.

Australia Pacific Climate Partnership

The Australia Pacific Climate Partnership supports Pacific governments to deliver climate and disaster resilient development and low-carbon growth by brokering climate and disaster science and information services through the following regional program. Is it is comprised of three sub-programs.

Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac)

$23.3 million, 2018-22

COSPPac is supporting 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.

Australia Pacific Climate Partnership Support Unit

$22.6 million, 2018-2022

The Support Unit enables aid program managers and implementing partners to integrate climate change and disaster resilience in aid investments. For example, understanding climate change related health impacts through increased disease to bring sustained improvements in population health; interpreting climate change projections and their impacts on agriculture and tourism; and designing infrastructure to mitigate against energy, food and water insecurity.

Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res)

$10 million, 2019-2022

Delivered through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Gov4Res is working with Pacific island governments to ‘risk-inform’ development financing and planning mechanisms so that countries can better ‘leverage’ development financing for climate-resilient development. The program has worked with Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, and is now expanding to other countries.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme Core Funding

$12.9 million, 2018-2021

Australia provides core funding to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). SPREP supports Pacific island countries to protect and improve their environment, and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.

Australian Humanitarian Partnership Disaster READY Program

$50 million, 2018-2022

Disaster READY is supporting national actors, 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 390 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.

Pacific Women Climate Change Negotiators Training

$1.4 million, 2016-2021

Australia is working to amplify Pacific voices in a range of international fora. The Pacific Women Climate Change Negotiators Training is supporting female delegates from Pacific island countries to represent their country’s positions in international climate change meetings.

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 strengthening resilience to climate change through biodiversity conservation for Pacific islands ecosystems, communities and economies.

Pacific Resilience Partnership

$600,000, 2018-2022

The Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) was established by Pacific leaders in 2017 to drive implementation of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP).

Pacific Blue Carbon Program

$6 million, 2018-2022

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. Australia is supporting national climate action and livelihoods in PNG and Fiji, through enhanced measurement and investment in blue carbon ecosystems.

ReefCloud

$3 million, 2019-2024

The ReefCloud platform uses innovative technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the condition of our precious coral reefs; gathering data about how they are impacted by increasing pressures – including climate change. The Australian Institute of Marine Science will develop and pilot the project in Fiji and Palau.

Pacific Nationally Determined Contributions Hub (NDC Hub)

$500,000, 2017-2020

Australia is supporting the Pacific region in developing regional solutions to respond to climate change impacts. The NDC Hub supports Pacific island countries to leverage resources and expertise to implement their commitments to the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

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