Government of Samoa and UNDP initiate activities for a “whole-of-government” response to climate change

Representatives from all line ministries of Samoa, civil society organizations and development partners participated in an all-stakeholder meeting to officially launch a new initiative aimed to address climate change in all economic sectors of Samoa. The “Economy-wide Adaptation to Climate Change” programme, is implemented by the Government of Samoa, with assistance from UNDP and financing of US $12.3 million from the Least Developed Countries Fund, of the Global Environment Facility. The programme is designed to enable Samoa to further strengthen the resilience of community level infrastructure and livelihoods on the ground. In addition, the Government of Samoa will make use of the financial resources to improve inter-ministry coordination for planning, budgeting and implementation of climate change efforts.

“In Samoa, we recognize the need to respond effectively to urgent community needs in terms of adequate flood protection infrastructure, that takes into account climate and disaster risks ”- said Mr. Suluimalo Amataga, Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE). “But we will also channel LDCF resources to strategically address long-term resilience, advancing our National Adaptation Plan process by working with all sectors to incorporate climate risk in planning and budgeting processes. MNRE cannot undertake this effort alone, but rather will engage collaboratively with all sectors.”

“Our Government recognizes that advancing in climate finance readiness efforts will have a positive impact in economic growth. This LDCF initiative will serve as a stepping stone to improve national frameworks to be better equipped to access additional climate finance, including from the Green Climate Fund.”- said Ms. Noumea Simi, ACEO of Aid Coordination of Ministry of Finance (MoF).

“UNDP has a long-standing partnership with the Government of Samoa in tackling climate change concerns as they continue to impact poverty-reduction efforts.” – said Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, UNDP Resident Representative in Samoa, “Through this programme, we will continue to provide support in ensuring that communities, especially women and youth are at the forefront of the implementation and that national institutions are capacitated to plan for and achieve climate resilience in all economic sectors.”

During 2015, MNRE, MoF, Land and Transport Authority, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, along with line ministries and national NGOs, will carry out activities on two main fronts: i) addressing climate-induced floods of the Vaisigano river in Greater Apia (in fact, feasibility studies are already underway) and ii) establishing micro-enterprises that aim to improve the welfare of targeted women and youth groups. In parallel, UNDP will support MNRE and MoF in advancing the National Adaptation Plan process in Samoa, to improve climate finance readiness frameworks and institutional capacities, at the national and sub-national levels.