Increasing Resilience of Coastal Areas and Community Settlements to Climate Change in Tuvalu

Project Overview

Tuvalu is experiencing increasing climate change-induced damage to human and economic development, with adverse effects already experienced by its small and dispersed communities living in highly vulnerable, low-lying atoll islands. There is a high risk of further climate-change related damage including irreversible loss of habitable areas of the country. Tuvalu's natural resource base and livelihood opportunities of its communities are seriously undermined by the combined effects of sea-level rise, increased frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, rapidly progressing coastal erosion, increasing crop damage, and reductions of fresh water supply. 

Through this initiative, the Government of Tuvalu aims to strengthen institutional capacities to identify and address climate change-driven events that systematically increase the vulnerability of island communities. Action will be based on increasing institutional capacity at all levels of public administration to plan for, respond, and adapt to climate change-related damage, implementing community-based adaption measures, and knowledge capturing, management, and dissemination.

Project Details

Tuvalu has already suffered severe damage to its habitable coastal areas and productive base due to climate change and faces extreme vulnerability to further damage due to its very limited land area, low-lying topography, geographic location that is unstable meteorologically and prone to extreme storm events and droughts. The country’s small and dispersed population is highly dependent on fragile marine and terrestrial environments for sustenance. Given the small islands, communities live in close proximity to the coastal zone, and are therefore especially vulnerable to the direct effects of climate change, including increased frequency and severity of storms, sea level rise, salinity in cultivated areas, and coastline erosion. 

The Government of Tuvalu aims to strengthen institutional capacities to identify and address climate change-driven events that systematically increase the vulnerability of island communities. LDCF resources will be used to to increase the protection of livelihoods in island communities from dynamic climate-related damage in all islands (Funafuti, Nanumaea, Nanumaga, Niulakita, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, and Vaitupu).

  • Increasing institutional capacity at all levels of public administration, island kaupules and communities, with policy support to plan for and respond/adapt to climate change-related damage.
    • Integrating climate resilience into coastal management, public works, agriculture and water sector policies and plans including the Te Kakeega II (National Development Plan), with corresponding public sector budgets and asset management plans (
    • Training for government officials on policy, budgeting, and planning needs to cope with climate change and awareness-raising for households in vulnerable communities on effective community-based adaptation responses to ensure that adaptation is adequately resourced and supported by government and effectively implemented by communities
    • Strengthening climate change coordination among key line ministries by establishing a National Climate Change Advisory Board 
  • Implementing community-based adaptation measures
    • Technical Assessments of each island (coastal erosion dynamics in the context of climate change, identification and adaptation of feasible techniques for coastal protection including tree-planting and ‘soft’ technologies, salt- and drought-tolerant crop production linked with water conservation measures, etc.)
    • At the island and community levels, integration of climate change into the Island Development Plans, through comprehensive adaptation plans and targeted training
    • Implementation of community-based adaptation demonstration projects for climate-resilient coastal protection, crop production and water resources use in each island
  • Knowledge capturing, management, and dissemination
    • Systematic documentation, analysis and applying of lessons learned from the policy processes, technical assessments and adaptation plans, community engagement and especially the application of demonstration adaptation measures in all islands of Tuvalu to the planning and implementation of additional adaptation projects to counter the increasingly damaging effects of climate change.


Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Coastal Communities
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
NAPA Tuvalu
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Ministry of Environment, Government of Tuvalu
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 

Key Results and Outputs

  • Outcome 1: Enhanced capacity of public administration , Island Kaupules,  communities and NGOs, with policy support to plan for and respond to climate change risks in coastal areas and settlements
    • Output 1.1: Financial provisions are reflected in the national budget, public sector asset management plans, and National Development Plan for climate change risk management in coastal areas.
    • Output 1.2: A coastal zone management policy is developed and related project plans and sector development strategies are modified to incorporate climate risk management provisions on the basis of specific climate risk scenarios.
    • Output 1.3: A National Climate Change Advisory Board is established, trained and resourced to support community-based adaptation planning and implementation in Tuvalu.
    • Output 1.4: A national awareness and training campaign for local communities and kaupule is designed and implemented
  • Outcome 2: Enhanced capacity of local communities to adapt to  dynamic climate-related impacts and risks and to protect their livelihoods through implementation of practical community-based adaptation measures specifically tailored to each islands
    • Output 2.1: Community-based adaptation plans for coastal protection, water supply security, and agricultural livelihood sustainability are developed for all islands in Tuvalu.
    • Output 2.2: Community-based adaptation projects with a focus on participatory management of protective ecosystems and climate-sensitive natural resources are designed and implemented in at least 1 pilot site on each of Tuvalu’s 9 islands
    • Output 2.3: The results of all community-based demonstration projects are analysed and fed into the formulation of a government-endorsed replication programme
  • Outcome 3: Project knowledge and lessons learned are captured, analysed and disseminated to facilitate replication of practical adaptation solutions in all islands
    • Output 3.1: Climate change risk projections and scenarios for Tuvalu are analysed, updated and disseminated to sectoral planners and policy makers
    • Output 3.2: Lessons learned from community-based adaptation projects are collated and disseminated to communities, sectoral planners and policy makers on a continuous basis
    • Output 3.3: Project lessons are shared within and outside of the Pacific region and incorporated into the Adaptation Learning Mechanism (ALM)



Reports and Publications


BTOR - Tuvalu (August 2013)

This video is a Back To Office Report (BTOR) from Tuvalu. The video highlights the work from a training workshop for the NAPA project from 14-16 August, 2013.

Essential Adaptation: Planning for Climate Change

The fourth smallest nation in the world - Tuvalu - consists of nine low-lying islands with the landmass of 26km2 in the vast ocean of the South Pacific. While most news headlines on climate change tend to emphasize, quite rightly, the existential threats on this tiny nation from sea-level rise, there are many other aspects of climate change impacts that have received less attention by the international community than they deserve, but have extraordinary impacts on communities' vulnerability.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Project Inception Phase:
    • Work Plans and Progress Reports: Annual and quarterly work plans will be the main management instruments governing the implementation of the project. 
    • A Project Inception Workshop: will be conducted with the National Project Director, Project Manager, MNRE and other relevant ministries and implementing partners of the Project Board, co-financing partners, the UNDP-CO and representation from the UNDP Regional Coordination Unit, as well as UNDP HQ as appropriate. 
  • Monitoring Responsibilities and Events:
    • Day-to-day monitoring: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager based on the Annual and quarterly Work Plans and associated indicators, with overall guidance from the National Project Director.
    • Quarterly monitoring: will be undertaken jointly by the Project Manager and UNDP-CO through quarterly progress and financial reports, and quarterly meetings of the Project Board (or more frequently as deemed necessary).
    • Annual Monitoring: will occur through the Tripartite Review (TPR). The TPR provides for international oversight of the project and consists of the three signatories to the project document (UNDP, MNRE, and the GEF Operational Focal Point). 
    • Annual Project Report (APR): will be used as one of the basic documents for discussions in the TPR meeting. With support by the Project Manager, the Project Director will present the APR to the TPR, highlighting policy issues and recommendations for the decision of the TPR participants. 
    • UNDP Country Offices and UNDP-GEF RCUs as appropriate, will conduct yearly visits to the project field sites (based on an agreed upon schedules to be detailed in the project's Inception Report and Annual Work Plan) to assess firsthand project progress. 
    • The Terminal Tripartite Review (TTR): is held in the last month of project operations. With support by the Project Manager, the Project Director is responsible for preparing the Terminal Report and submitting it to UNDP-CO and GEF's Regional Coordination Unit. 
  • Project Monitoring Reporting
    • Inception Report (IR): should address the following issues (and others deemed necessary): i) review and finalize project institutional arrangements including the role and responsibility of various participants for achieving the project outcomes; ii) review and finalize project management arrangements of the project, including reporting lines; iii) review, agree on and finalize the M& E framework for the implementation of the project; iv) re-confirm and coordinate all co-financing sources with the project work plan; vi) review, and where necessary identify additional project risks and prepare a detailed risk management strategy for project implementation; v) prepare a detailed work plan for the first year of implementation and prepare a budget revision if necessary; vi) update on progress to date on project establishment and start-up activities; and vii) update of any changed external conditions that may affect project implementation.   
    • Annual Project Report (APR)The APR is a UNDP requirement and part of UNDP’s Country Office central oversight, monitoring, and project management. It is a self-assessment report by project management to the CO and provides input to the country office reporting process, as well as forming a key input to the Tripartite Project Review. 
    • Project Implementation Review (PIR): an annual monitoring process mandated by the GEF. It has become an essential management and monitoring tool for project managers and offers the main vehicle for extracting lessons from ongoing projects. 
    • Quarterly Progress Reports: Short reports outlining main updates in project progress will be provided quarterly to the local UNDP Country Office and the UNDP Regional Center in Bangkok by the PMU.
    • Periodic Thematic Reports: As and when called for by UNDP, UNDP Regional Center or project financing partners, the PMU will prepare specific thematic reports, focusing on specific issues or areas of activity. 
    • Project Terminal Report: During the last three months of the project the project team will prepare the Project Terminal Report. This comprehensive report will summarize all activities, achievements and outputs of the Project, lessons learnt, objectives met, or not achieved, structures and systems implemented, etc. and will be the definitive statement of the Project’s activities during its lifetime.
  • Independent Evaluations: The project will be subjected to at least two independent external evaluations as follows:
    • Mid-term Evaluation: An independent Mid-Term Evaluation will be undertaken at the end of the second year of implementation.
    • Final Evaluation: An independent Final Evaluation will take place three months prior to the terminal tripartite review meeting, and will focus on the same issues as the mid-term evaluation. 


Environment Department
Mataio Tekinene
Emma Mario
Yusuke Taishi