Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) in various Pacific countries

Sub-regional Level

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) in various Pacific countries


09 March 2012


Rural and Urban


Project ImplementationResearch and Development


Coastal Zone Management


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



Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP)



Supporters / Donors

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - General Management Support (GMS); Global Environment Facility (GEF) - Special Climate Change Fund

Description of Intervention

The PACC Project is the first major adaptation project to be implemented in the Pacific islands region that addresses directly the issue of improving the effectiveness of the response to climate change in the Pacific, while enhancing the systemic and institutional capacity to undertake adaptation across the region. The Project is the de-facto regional adaptation programme, considering its size, comprehensiveness and regional scope and is at present the main means of sharing practical adaptation experiences, as well as pooling related expertise and raising other initiatives.

PACC is the first United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project in the region to draw on resources from the Special Climate Change Fund, managed by the GEF. The Pacific region lacks examples and practical experience in climate change adaptation, particularly in the context of national development initiatives, and this is a key issue. Past development initiatives had a tendency to be handled in isolation, and were designed to address immediate needs and short-term government and donor imperatives. There was little appreciation of the practical implementation of adaptation measures as an integral component of development activities. This resulted in limited adoption of adaptation measures, increased the likelihood of mal-adaptation, and promoted inefficient use of development resources through projects that were not designed to cope with even medium-term climatic changes.

The PACC project is a regional climate change adaptation project to enhance the resilience to the adverse effects of climate change on a number of key development sectors (food production and food security, water resources and coastal zone management) in 13 PICTs. This project will demonstrate a framework of action that fuses the top-down (mainstreaming) and bottom-up approaches to climate change vulnerability assessments and action. This dual approach encourages new modes of action to emerge, which are consistent with both community and national priorities and plans. While the specific actions will reflect the cultural and geographical circumstances in the Pacific region, the approach is expected to be applicable in similar situations elsewhere.

The PACC project is closely linked to national level sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies. It provides additional resources to national governments of Pacific Islands for the design of development programmes that ensure the implementation of long-term adaptation measures that will increase the resilience to climate change in a number of key development sectors. This objective will be achieved by focusing on adaptation response strategies, policies and measures to bring about this result.

To ensure sustainability of the project, regional and national adaptation financing instruments will constitute a fourth component of the project.

Countries that are part of the PACC include Nauru, Niue, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu which focus on addressing water resources management; Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands which have national projects to help increase food security and food production; and the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia which address coastal erosion management issues.

Problems to be Addressed

• Water insecurity;
• Food insecurity; and
• Coastal erosion, sea level rise and damage to coastal infrastructure.


To reduce vulnerability and increase adaptive capacity to the adverse effects of climate change in key development sectors identified by 14 participating countries in the Pacific.


• To focus on enhancing the resilience of current development activities to the impacts of long term climate change;
• To incorporate adaptation to climate-change risks and related vulnerabilities into existing institutional and decision-making processes (“mainstreaming”), at both the community level and the national planning level;
• To recognise the role of gender-sensitive approaches in enhancing communities’ resilience, through community-based (“bottom-up”) vulnerability assessment and participatory adaptation planning approaches;
• To promote real community engagement in the processes addressing climate-related risks;
• To deliver tangible adaptation measures through practical demonstration projects at selected pilot sites; and
• To set a foundation for a strategic approach to replicate and upscale adaptation at the Pacific regional level.

How It Fits into the EbA Concept

The project helps vulnerable communities adapt to climate change by increasing adaptive capacity for the three sectors, which are water, food security and coastal zone. Activities are focused on mainstreaming efforts at the national level such as climate change policy development and/or integrating climate change into sectoral plans and policies.

Results / Outputs

Outcome I: Mainstreaming
• To strengthen the institutional framework, policies and plans and the capacity of key national government and community decision-makers to integrate climate change risks into key decisions in their sustainable resource development programmes.

Outcome II: Pilot Demonstration
• To design and demonstrate innovative decision systems, approaches, technologies and practical measures to strengthen the resilience of 14 Pacific Islands to the adverse effects of climate change. The PACC will develop specific guidelines in the coastal, food production and food security, and water sectors on how climate change assessments and demonstrations can be undertaken, taking current and future changes in climate into consideration.
This outcome includes two outputs:
• Vulnerability Assessments, identification and evaluation of adaptation options; and
• Implementation and monitoring of the selected measures.

Outcome III: Technical Support and Communication
This outcome is to ensure that results and lessons from the PACC project are shared regionally and globally, and provide a medium to bring together new knowledge generated through the project as the basis for a strategic regional approach to climate change adaptation among PICTs.

Lessons Learned

• Working with the countries at a sub‐regional setting in the coastal, food security and water sectors, and in relation to socioeconomic assessments. PACC trainings provided a platform for countries dealing with the same thematic area to share experiences and processes they are using at the national and community level. Information shared by individual coordinators was enriched during collaborative discussions. A lot of information exchange took place during and after the training events, which had the additional benefit of fostering team building between the Regional Project Management Unit and project countries.

• Project teams also developed various ways of exchanging ideas, project plans and processes that would “help them help each other” for the duration of the project. The support provided by the Unit to countries has yielded positive results and countries have indicated their appreciation during field visits or in e-mail exchanges. The “one‐on‐one” mentoring approach of working with countries has enabled the Unit team to take the Coordinators and their Core Teams through the ''how to" develop or carry out Mid-Year Work Plan, Annual Work Plan and Quarterly Work Plan. It has also given the Unit the opportunity to better understand the difficulties that coordinators face, in particular with financial processes at the national level, and to jointly find ways to address the issue.

• Missions to countries are useful in confirming that reports received so far are accurate, and where there are issues on reporting they can be dealt with on the spot. Networking has also been strengthened through the country visits, in particular when getting to know personally the people involved with in-country financing.

• Partnership is strategic and crucial to success in the Pacific region. Key stakeholders such as senior policy makers, government ministries, and technical resource people participated in the training sessions provided by the Unit at the national level. A significant number of national NGOs and Civil Society Organisations were also involved and contributed to the climate change policy and action plan development work in the country.

• The involvement of the Finance personnel in the PACC training on project operation, finance and administration has improved the quality of reporting. For some countries, this has also improved the turnaround time for report submission to the Regional Project Management on the dates requested.

• As a result of the progress made and lessons learnt, the following support actions are recommended for 2011‐2012:
- Regional training on project management and administration to be followed up either at the regional or national level. Finance personnel to be involved with PACC at the national level as key participants for the training.
- Project monitoring and evaluation support to countries to be carried out by the Unit, assisted on the ground by UNDP to give additional support to the Coordinators, and also make use of national visits to review and make recommendations on ways to improve technical, financial and reporting arrangements.
- Countries need to make systematic progress on their adaptation evaluation and planning prior to demonstration. Tools such as cost benefit analysis can be used to help in the decision making process.
- Quality assurance of some of the technical components of the project needs to be looked at thoroughly.
- There is a need to put more effort on community engagement and awareness. Smart partnerships are important in delivering quality project outputs.
- There is a need to start working on Knowledge Management products, particularly documenting lessons learnt so far.
- The Mainstreaming Guide needs to be reviewed to focus more on the Pacific.

Upscaling / Outreach Activities

Progress of Regional and National Mainstreaming Activities
• Mainstreaming support to the PACC countries was provided through a partnership approach between SPREP, SOPAC, with background support from UNDP and the Pacific Adaptation Strategic Assistance Programme.

• Republic of Marshall Islands and Niue now have national Climate Change Policies.

• Tonga is now progressing towards developing a detailed Action Plan for Water in the Hihifo district. 

• The Solomon Islands have also carried out their own consultation on Climate Change Policy with support from the Regional Project Management Unit.

• A PACC Mainstreaming Guide was developed during the year, and parts of the guide are currently operational through the mainstreaming support provided by the Regional Project Management Unit and Partners to countries. The Guide will be reviewed further by SPREP.

• A Socioeconomic Assessment Guideline for the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (SEA‐PACC) was developed during the year.

• As a follow up to the guideline development, three sub‐regional training workshops on the SEA‐PACC were held for the three PACC sectors. • Coastal Sector training was carried out in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia.

• Food Security Sector training was organised in Koror, Palau.

• Water Sector training was held in the Republic of Marshall Islands. Progress on demonstration of pilot activities

• SEA‐PACC training helped the national PACC Teams to better understand how to carry out a vulnerability and adaptation (VandA) assessment that can be later monitored and evaluated to determine whether it had increased or not people’s resilience to climate change.

• Project Partners were mobilised at the country level to help with the assessment work. PACC+ Support

• Additional funding resources were secured from AusAID under an initiative called the PACC plus (‘PACC +’) to build on the existing project delivery mechanisms and national capacities established through the PACC project. Communication Support to Countries.

• Communications support from the Regional Project Management Unit to the countries began with the drafting of countries’ National Communications Plans alongside the review of the Regional Communications Strategy.
• Project Management Units are operational

• All the PACC countries are making progress in achieving the project outcomes and outputs.

• Project Management Units are in place, steering committees and core technical teams are now operating to provide technical and policy oversight to the project.

• Countries are being assisted by the Unit to carry out their pilot site vulnerability and adaptation (including socioeconomics) assessments and planning. 

• Rolling out of administrative and financial support (Regional Project Management Unit). 

Several activities were carried out under operational and administration support in 2010. These included:

• Development of an overall Multi Year Work Plan (MYWP) for the project by SPREP and UNDP, and helping countries to develop their national MYWPs.

• Regional Project Management Unit (RPMU) and UNDP assisted the countries to develop their national specific MYWPs. By the end of December 2010, all countries had developed their MYWP.

• Training activities were also carried out by organising a regional workshop and country‐missions for the 13 countries to address the issue of project annual and quarterly work planning, the itemised cost list (ICE) and filling in of the Face Forms (financial).
• Revision of the project Strategic Result Framework (SRF).

• This was carried out when the project filled out the Project Implementation Review (PIR) template of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Project indicators and related baselines and targets were revised at the objective and outcome levels.
• Multipartite Review Meeting

Contact Details

Taito Nakalevu
PACC Project Manager
PACC Focal Point / Implementing Agency 
Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Tel: +685 21 929 ext 252
Fax: +685 20 231
Websites: PACC Project Website:
PACC Project Brochure: