SPREP Supports Ecosystem-based Adaptation through Climate Change, Water and Tree Planting Projects


11 November 2015

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has highlighted its Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach, which is contributing to climate change adaptation in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, ridge-to-reef management in the Solomon Islands, and tree planting in the Solomon Islands. Other SPREP activities featured on its news page include support for marine conservation through the Lui Bell scholarship.

SPREP launched the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate change (PEBACC) project, which uses an EbA approach to build resilience to climate change in urban areas, in November. The project will begin with a baseline study to identify environmental services that will help protect Port Vila, Vanuatu from climate change impacts. The project will then prioritize identified environmental services in its EbA approach. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety's (BMUB) International Climate Initiative (IKI) has provided support for the five-year project. SPREP hopes to use lessons learned from this project to replicate EbA to climate change across the Pacific.

A project in Sasamuga village in Solomon Islands illustrates a ridge-to-reef management approach that brings together SPREP, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the local community through the non-governmental organization, Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Community (LLCTC). The EbA project aims to restore and protect a degraded water catchment area and manage the nearby ecosystem while also stabilizing the shoreline and providing increased water storage for the village. Community members are contributing to the project by limiting agriculture activities in the catchment area and establishing a tree seedling nursery for tree planting activities. The project's focus on the watershed catchment is unique, Solomon Islands government officials say, because it focuses on both the catchment and forest regeneration, in contrast to other water supply projects that have just addressed dams and water taps.

Also in the Solomon Islands, SPREP and USAID are working with primary school students to plant trees as part of an effort to minimize climate change impacts along Taro Island's coastline and raise awareness about climate change.

SPREP is also contributing to marine conservation through the Lui Bell scholarship, which was launched by SPREP and Lui Bell's family in 2013 to honor the Pacific island marine conservationist. The scholarship provides up to US$20,000 in support to Pacific islanders studying marine science, with a focus on threatened marine species such as cetaceans, dugongs, sharks and turtles. Its first recipient, Saras Sharmas, said Lui Bell inspired Pacific Islanders to be passionate about the environment “as part of our daily life.” [SPREP Biodiversity News]