Tuvalu Launches New Coastal Protection Project

The Government of Tuvalu has launched a new coastal protection project to bolster resilience to climate change, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said in its latest release. 

UNDP-supported, Green Climate Fund (GCF) financed project will benefit one in three people in one of the world’s most vulnerable Small Island Developing States, the announcement stated.

With an average elevation of only 1.83 meters, Tuvalu is distinctly vulnerable to rising sea levels and intensifying tropical storms exacerbated by climate change.

The impacts are already being felt by the world’s fourth smallest nation. When Category 5 Cyclone Pam struck in March 2015, the storm surges destroyed homes, crops and livelihoods, displacing 45 percent of the nation’s people. Similar storms are projected to increase in intensity as the air over the planet’s oceans warms.

“The protection of our country’s vulnerable coastlines is an urgent priority of the Government of Tuvalu,” said the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga.

“The project will support integrated coastal resilience for people living on the islands of Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga. These islands have a high concentration of houses, schools and hospitals, and are the important cogs in the social and economic machinery of our nation.”

The project will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including ecosystem-based initiatives, and geo-textile and rock revetments.

National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed and the project will help to catalyze additional coastal adaptation finance, UNDP said.

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