Canberra/Port Vila, 22 May 2022 (TDI): Save the Children has launched community-based climate change adaptation in one of the world’s most vulnerable areas. This will be the largest investment ever in the Pacific area.

A $32.6 million climate finance deal with the Green Climate Fund has been reached (GCF). The organization is grateful to the Vanuatu government and the Australian government. The scheme will benefit Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation of over 80 islands.

The country has adjusted to the rising threat of climate change. Vanuatu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change. It is vulnerable to rising sea levels, which could result in land disappearing.

Extreme weather occurrences such as cyclones, storm surges, landslides, flooding, and droughts could result. The country filed an appeal with the International Court of Justice last year.

They demanded that current and future generations’ rights be protected from climate change. Over the next six years, the Vanuatu Community-based Climate Resilience Project will assist 282 villages across the country.

Community-based Climate Resilience Project:

This will be accomplished via increasing knowledge access. The project will provide climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries with technical help and equipment. In addition, this will increase rural and distant communities’ livelihood opportunities.

More than 90,000 people will be directly impacted by the project. Across Vanuatu’s six provinces, it will reach roughly half of the country’s rural population.

Remarks by the acting CEO of Save the Children Australia:

Mat Tinkler, the acting CEO of Save the Children Australia, said, “For children in Vanuatu, climate change isn’t some far away prospect, it’s placing them in harm’s way on a daily basis. Children and families in Vanuatu are experiencing increasingly fierce storms, longer droughts, and stronger heatwaves.

To help children to thrive, we need to work with whole communities to adapt to the immediate and unavoidable impacts of climate change. This project will empower some of the most climate-vulnerable communities in Vanuatu to meet the challenges of climate change head-on, so children are protected from the worst impacts of this escalating crisis.

This is believed to be the biggest locally led climate adaptation project in the world to date, and it is the first of many such projects that Save the Children plans to support globally in the coming years.”

Remarks by Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change:

Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change, Silas Bule Melve, said, “We in Vanuatu know that the world must listen to the scientific consensus and act quickly to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. But we also know that simply reducing emissions is no longer sufficient to ensure communities in Vanuatu are safe from climate change impacts.

Adaptation is the top climate priority for Vanuatu. For years we have been seeking increased international finance to help our people address these impacts, which they are now experiencing – through no fault of their own. It is positive to see projects like this, which are so needed in Vanuatu, finally receiving funding.”

Remarks by GCF Executive Director:

Yannick Glemarec, GCF Executive Director, stated, “GCF is proud to partner with Save the Children Australia on this project, which will help highly vulnerable rural and coastal communities to increase their resilience to climate change and to protect their livelihoods with a range of innovative and targeted adaptation measures. It will make a real difference in a country which is being severely affected by climate change.”

The plan of action: 

Local government and community organizations will undertake the Vanuatu Community-based Climate Resilience Project. Following thorough conversations with affected communities, this decision will be made.

Its goal is to establish the long-term adaptive capacity needed to pursue sustainable development paths in a variety of possible climate futures. These programs will make climate information and early warning systems more accessible to the public.

This will be done as part of disaster readiness efforts. The project will also support locally driven food security adaptation plans. It will restore and safeguard coastal areas in order to create climate-resilient livelihoods.

It will assist climate-resilient agriculture and fishing approaches, as well as women-led businesses. At a board meeting this week, the Green Climate Fund approved funding for the project.

On Thursday, May 19, representatives from the Green Climate Fund, Save the Children, and the Government of Vanuatu signed the project agreement in a virtual ceremony.