Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC)

Project Overview

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Programme is the first major climate change adaptation initiative in the Pacific region.

Through the PACC programme United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) are working to reduce climate vulnerability and promote more resilient Pacific communities that are able to cope with climate variability today and climate change tomorrow.

Working in 14 Pacific island countries, PACC is demonstrating best-practice adaptation in three key climate-sensitive areas: coastal zone management, food security and food production, and water resources management.

  • Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands focus on Food Production and Food Security
  • Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa and Vanuatu are developing Coastal Management capacity;
  • and Nauru, Niue,Republic of Marshall Islands, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu are looking to strengthen their Water Resource Management.

The PACC Programme is a partnership between several key regional agencies and national agencies and communities in 14 Pacific island countries. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) Special Climate Change Fund and the Australian Government, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its implementing agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as implementing partner. The Project is supported by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) C3D+programme.

Project Details

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Australian Government (AusAID), with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its implementing agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as implementing partner. The project duration is scheduled from 2009 to 2014.

Uniquely diverse and fragile, Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) are aware that adapting to current and anticipated climate changes is crucial to achieving sustainable development. Cognizant of this need, the objective of the PACC project is to enhance the capacity of participating countries to adapt to climate change in key development sectors: food production and food security, coastal management and water resource management. Supporting improvements in these sectors the PACC project is working to build resilience to climate change in PICT. Adaptation projects are now being implemented nationally, after an intensive consultative process with the implementing agencies and government counterparts.

Under the project, Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are focussing on food production and food security. The Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Tokelau and Vanuatu are developing coastal management capacity and Nauru, Niue, Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu are working to strengthen their water resource management.

More specifically, the project is working to deliver outcomes and outputs that include improved technical capacity to formulate and implement national and sub-national policies, legislation, and costing/assessment exercises. Climate change risks will be incorporated into relevant governance policies and strategies for achieving food security, water management, and coastal development.

At the sub-national level, pilot demonstration activities will deliver adaptation benefits in the form of practical experiences in the planning and implementation of response measures that reduce vulnerability. These benefits will be integral for future replication and up-scaling, and also to identify larger-scale investment opportunities from multilateral banks supporting countries with climate change adaptation. The project will also foster regional collaboration on adaptation.

Concrete adaptation measures being pursued through PACC

Climate induced disturbances in water supplied is being reduced by increasing the availability and quality of freshwater through integrated measures involving

  • capturing and storage of rain and groundwater resources (individual household and community storage capacities) – Tuvalu, Tonga, Nauru, PNG, RMI, Tokelau
  • reducing leakage of reticulated systems and water storage facilities – Tonga, Tuvalu, RMI, Tokelau
  • water saving (e.g. introducing compost toilets, demand management through awareness raising) – Tuvalu, Tonga
  • water purifiers (using solar heat) - Nauru

Climate-induced disturbances in food supply and security is being reduced through:

  • Induction of climate resilient crop species and varieties (resilient to drought, water clogging, salt water intrusion, pests), including techniques for their consistent supply (germ-plasm collections, nurseries) – Solomon Islands, Palau, Fiji, PNG
  • Enhanced farming and land use techniques facilitating soil and water conservation (e.g. mulching, organic farming, mixed cropping, drainage), – Solomon Islands, Palau, Fiji,
  • Enhanced food storage and processing techniques – Solomon Islands, Palau
  • Enhanced aquaculture techniques - Palau

Climate-induced degradation and erosion of coastal areas and infrastructure is being reduced through a combination of hard and soft measures:

  • Protective coastal structures – Samoa, Vanuatu
  • Coastal vegetation – Samoa, Vanuatu
  • Reinforcing existing coastal infrastructure (climate proofing of roads and harbours) – Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Cook Islands
  • Relocating coastal infrastructure to less-exposed areas (Vanuatu – landing strip, road sections)
  • Coastal resource use changes (e.g. reducing sand-mining by local communities, conserving reefs and coastal wetlands and forests as natural protection barrier) - Samoa

The results and lessons from each of the 14 PACC projects will be shared regionally and globally, and bring together new knowledge generated through the project as the basis for a strategic and regional approach to climate change adaptation among Pacific Island states.     

Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Australian Government
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Funding Source: 

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome I: Mainstreaming

The first of the PACC outcomes is devoted to mainstreaming. The PACC approach to mainstreaming has a dual purpose: 1) to strengthen the ability of institutional frameworks, policies and plans to take climate change risks into consideration and 2) to improve the capacity of key national government and community decision-makers to integrate adaptation measures in key decisions.

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 zone management, food production and food security, and water resource management 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:

  1. Vulnerability Assessments, identification and evaluation of adaptation options;
  2. 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 the medium to bring together new knowledge generated through the project as the basis for a strategic regional approach to climate change adaptation among Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

Key Results

  1. National adaptive capacity developed
  2. Community vulnerability to climate change reduced
  3. Technical assistance & Regional Cooperation


  • 1.1 Technical capacity of key decision makers developed
  • 1.2 Institutional coordination mechanisms established
  • 1.3 Tools to assess economic costs of adaptation developed and utilized
  • 1.4 Legislative and policy directives prepared and adopted