National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in Kiribati


National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in Kiribati


09 March 2012


Rural and Urban


Capacity Building




USD 5,000,001 - USD 10,000,000



United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Global Environment Facility (GEF)


Ministry of Environment, Land and Agricultural Development (MELAD)

Supporters / Donors

Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)

Description of Intervention

The Kiribati NAPA process was started in mid-2004 after completion of the project brief and receipt of funds for the project. It has been implemented concurrently with the Kiribati Adaptation Programme (KAP). Both projects share the same coordinating bodies. The KAP focuses on long-term planning for adaptation, while the NAPA focuses on urgent and immediate needs. The Kiribati NAPA is subdivided into nine specific projects.

Problems to be Addressed

• Increasing population;
• Deteriorating states of coastal zones, coral reefs, fisheries, fresh groundwater, health and biodiversity;
• Inadequate urban services such as water supply and sanitation;
• Overexploitation of natural resources in urban Tarawa; and
• Difficultly in enforcing land use management strategies and controls.


The goal of the NAPA is to contribute to and periodically complement a long-term framework of adaptation by identifying immediate and urgent adaptation needs that are consistent with national development strategies and climate change adaptation policies and strategies.


1(a) Water Resource Adaptation Project
• Development and implementation of “Demand” pricing system for South Tarawa
• Improved Maintenance of existing water supply system
• Improvement on existing wells to prevent saltwater intrusion
• Risk assessment of water resources
• Impact assessment of urban groundwater supply system
• Awareness-raising
• Community awareness and monitoring efforts
• Plan for droughts and its impact on water supply operations and distribution
• Institutional strengthening and capacity building for sustainable water management

1(b) Simple well improvement 
• Visits by MHMS to outer islands to introduce the project through village welfare groups.
• Regular monitoring visits.
• Provide materials for mold for wells.

2. Coastal Zone Management and Resilience Enhancement for Adaptation
• Awareness raising
• Workshops and materials
• Monitor and report climate related risks to coastal areas
• Prepare for local authorities and communities a manual on risk management tools such as CHARM
• Public Media programme
• Protecting and enhancing resilience of coastal assets
• Enhancing traditional coastal protection systems
• Mangrove planting
• Establish community groups for coastal zone protection and resilience enhancement
• Information and data
• Community-based vulnerability mapping
• GIS use and equipment
• Institutional strengthening
• Streamline different legal controls and permitting system requirements
• Support to various coastal committees
• Review of relevant laws affecting coastal management.

3. Strengthening Environmental, Climate Change Information and Monitoring
• Compile for Climate Change Study Team (CCST) key information from IPCC Assessment Reports
• Provide computer equipment and software
• Review studies and data on researches on Kiribati and arrive at conclusions
• Document risks when they occur

4. Project Management Institutional Strengthening for NAPA
• Mainstreaming NAPA
• National Economic Planning Office (NEPO) to assign staff members to provide oversight of mainstreaming of NAPA projects
• NEPO to check consistency of NAPA outputs with National Development Strategy (NDS), CCA policy, and poverty reduction strategies
• Assigned staff members liaise with Ministries to include outputs of the NAPA projects into their Ministry Operation Plans
• NEPO and NAPA Project Management Office (PMO) provide guidance on defining outputs of the NAPA projects for inclusion in MOPs
• NEPO facilitates flow of financial resources for the NAPA
• Monitoring and reporting
• Awareness raising
• Compile information on linkages of NAPA outputs to NDS, CCA policy and strategy, and anti-poverty programmes and projects
• Compile information on available tools for vulnerability assessments and their economic implications.
• Project planning for climate change adaptation workshops
• Workshops on NAPA mainstreaming
• NAPA Linkages with NDS, CCAs, KAP
• Vulnerability and economic implication of adaptation projects

5. Upgrading of Meteorological Services
• Purchasing of more met instruments
• Restoration of unmanned stations
• Upgrading of communication
• Inspection
• Upgrading met staff (manned by five Met Officers)
• Upgrading climate section (Quality management system )
• Increased involvement of Meteorological Service in international climate change programmes

6. Agricultural Food Crops Development
• Extension services
• Diversification of agricultural system
• Setting up and maintaining gene banks and planting materials
• Promoting/processing agricultural products, and new cash crops

7. Coral Reef Restoration, Monitoring, and Stock Enhancement
• Set up and support a Coral Monitoring Team (CMT)
• Technical Assistance to assist CMT from the start.
• Train Fisheries staff and other Ministries staff on the monitoring work.
• Analysis of available data on coral conditions
• Identify possible stress factors and potential mitigation options, including coral transplanting and those addressing ciguatera fish poisoning
• Design and set up as pilot projects, marine protected areas and artificial reef sites
• Hatcheries and equipment

8. Upgrading, Restoring, Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Defences and Causeways
• Strengthening rural development planning with additional project staff
• Island small-scale project construction team
• Upgrading work on seawalls and causeways
• Monitoring, documenting and reporting of individual work on seawalls or causeways

9. Enabling Kiribati effective participation at regional and international forum on climate change
• Effective participation in regional and international meetings on climate change and other related activities
• Encourage international support for ratification of the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Explore additional funding support from the international community for climate change adaptation-related projects

How It Fits into the EbA Concept

The NAPA project document sets out a 3-year plan for urgent and immediate actions in the Republic of Kiribati to begin work in adapting to climate change. These actions forming the project profiles are developed through the NAPA process.

Results / Outputs

1 (a). Water Resource Adaptation Project
• Public Utilities Board has equipment, which will allow it to charge water on user consumption basis
• Public Utility Board to adopt a maintenance program, and to upgrade distribution of water to meet requirements of water charge on user-consumption basis
• Water Engineering Unit to monitor wells on outer islands, and untapped water resources
• Water Engineering Unit to have feasible plans and implementation requirements for managing drought risks
• Communities are better informed about the states of their water resources and risks
• Communities participate in the monitoring of water resources

1(b). Simple ground water well improvement
• 500 ground water wells are protected. Monitoring system is established
• Regular visits by the Environmental Health Division staff to outer islands support the project
• Outbreak of diarrhoea is reduced

2. Coastal Zone Management and Resilience Enhancement for Adaptation
• Awareness leaflets in Kiribati language, explaining how climate change and extreme weather can affect the shoreline and adjoining land
• Manual outlining Comprehensive Hazard and Risk Management (CHARM), vulnerability assessment, and adaptation “soft options”
• Radio programmes and workshops
• A design of model sea wall (to be done under KAPII)
• Expanded, documented mangrove planting
• Pilot groups established to manage their village coastal areas
• Streamlined permitting system for coastal development
• Committees on aspects of coastal zone management function more effectively
• Relevant laws are reviewed, providing information for further coastal use and policy development

3. Strengthening Environmental, Climate Change Information and Monitoring
• Information from IPCC Assessment Reports will be available to the CCST, and CCST will have the opportunity to discuss it
• Climate related studies in Kiribati will be listed and CCST made aware of these works
• Climate related risks as they occur will be documented
• A format of the report will be agreed to by the CCST. Copies of such reports will be sent to regional organisations and other interested agencies or individuals
• Members of the CCST will increasingly take on these tasks and become more informed on climate change issues

4. Project Management Institutional Strengthening for NAPA
• NEPO assumes and gets involved in the process of adaptation planning and operationalising projects such as NAPA
• Adaptation projects such as KAP and NAPA are directed towards pro-poor policies and strategies
• Enhance collaboration between NEPO and Ministries for adaptation planning and operational planning is enhanced
• Awareness raising materials on adaptation planning and its integration into the national development planning process
• Workshops as an awareness raising strategy
• Adequate resources for implementing the MOPs

5. Upgrading of Meteorological Services
• Outer island stations will have new equipment and will be fully manned
• Regular tour of outer stations by senior officials of the Meteorological Service Headquarters
• Improved quality management of climate data
• Meteorological Service is more involved in international programmes on climate and climate change monitoring and predictions
• Meteorological Service assumes greater responsibility for its products and is more responsive to quality and other users’ requirements

6. Agricultural Food Crops Development
• Feeling of professional isolation by agricultural field officers on outer islands is reduced, and sense of team work among key players is developed
• More people and households will be engaged in agricultural activities for traditional food crops and new cash crops
• Planting materials are readily available at the island’s nurseries and regularly supplied where necessary from the gene banks located and managed at the Agricultural Headquarters and other growth centres
• The number of agricultural tools on outer islands will increase. Accessibility to nutritional food crops will increase and cash income on outer islands from agricultural produce will increase

7. Coral Reef Restoration, Monitoring, and Stock Enhancement
• Baseline data on general conditions of selected sites
• Analyses of trends with available data
• Assessment of causes or stress factors affecting coral health
• Design management response measures such as awareness raising, protected marine areas, artificial reef, and transplanting of corals
• Coral Monitoring Institution formalised and strengthened
8. Upgrading, Restoring, Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Defences and Causeways
• The design and construction of the seawalls and causeways is improved
• Specific arrangement for the upgrading of causeways and seawalls is initiated
• Causeways are upgraded where there is need, and seawalls protecting infrastructure are upgraded
• Local government councils and communities are involved

9. Enabling Kiribati’s effective participation at regional and international forum on climate change.
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs is kept abreast of international issues on climate change
• Kiribati develops a well-coordinated position based on updates from IPCC, and national circumstances
• Adaptation undertakings in Kiribati proceed without facing barriers arising from lack of information and understanding of available international support mechanisms

Lessons Learned

• The objectives of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy require Kiribati to be mentally, institutionally and financially prepared for any type of climate. External assistance is necessary for Kiribati to be financially prepared. Optimal success of the implementation of CCAS requires that the three aspects must be synchronised. An effective institutional mechanism for keeping in focus adaptation needs and managing projects is very important.
• NAPA and KAP II Projects need to be considered along two separate but unified perspectives. NAPA will focus on improving wells used by households by protecting them from flooding
• There is a need to strengthen Kiribati’s understanding of the IPCC reports and reasons for climate change to inform decision-makers.
• A balance needs to be struck between immediate action and risk diagnosis / options analysis, which complement each other.
• Current gaps in local legislation need to be addressed to include climate change issues such as building controls on jetties, coastal erosion and buildings, and biodiversity. Such a lack of guidelines can hinder the implementation of NAPA.

Upscaling / Outreach Activities

The Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Land and Agricultural Development implemented the Environment Act, which focuses on controlling the adverse impacts of development such as pollution from wastes and other discharges, to enable Kiribati to fulfil its obligations under international environment conventions to which it is a party. A more comprehensive Environment Bill is being considered with more flexibility to respond to existing and emerging environmental issues.

Contact Details

Acting Senior Assistant Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bairiki, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati