Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) in Tuvalu

  • Tuvalu
  • Pacific

ENTRY DATE: 09.03.2012 | LAST UPDATE: 09.03.2012


  • Sub-national Level



  • Project Implementation


  • Water Resources Management


  • USD 500,001 - USD 1,000,000

Description of Intervention

This project’s focus is on enhancing, and where necessary, developing water infrastructure for the island of Funafuti, since the current water infrastructure design and management is not able to cope with changes in rainfall regimes including its storage, distribution and sustainable use.

Problems to be Addressed

• Water insecurity during prolonged periods of droughts. Funafuti Island, with a population of over 5000, depends entirely on rainwater and is highly vulnerable to changes in rainfall regimes and sea level change linked to extreme events, which affect the quality and quantity of potable water.
• Lack of adaptability of villages and communities to the impacts of climate change.
• Coastal erosion and infrastructure development—increase in population and the growth in demand for permanent housing and infrastructure in Funafuti has resulted in an increased demand for sand and gravel for building and construction purposes. The sourcing of sand from coastal environments may increase the risk of coastal erosion, flooding and environmental damage in the future. Thus, selection and sourcing of aggregate removal has become a concern.
• Housing, land availability and population growth—the rapid increase in population in Funafuti is putting tremendous pressure on land.
• Food and health: The population is increasingly depending on imported food due to population pressure and limited land for subsistence farming. This has led to an increase in the so-called lifestyle diseases.
• Growth of cash economy: The development of a cash economy in Tuvalu is increasing the material expectations and aspirations of the people. Although, subsistence activities and sharing and reciprocity with extended family and the community are common features of the Tuvaluan traditional life, people are increasingly participating in the cash economy. • Pollution from solid and liquid waste: Poorly controlled waste and waste disposal are commonplace and are contributing to increased health risks and environmental degradation.
• Overexploitation of marine resources, especially in the capital, Funafuti.
• Water resources are continuously affected by droughts, and seawater intrusion.


• Improve the resilience of communities in Funafuti to climate variability and change; and
• Better adapt villages and communities to the effects of climate change and sea level rise.


• To improve water conservation and management strategies;
• To increase household and communal rainwater storage;
• To increase the use of groundwater;
• To improve sanitation systems;
• To promote coordination and exchange of information; amongst all stakeholders in the disaster risk management process;
• To develop a methodology that takes into account technical issues on climate change; |
• To form a mainstreaming team to integrate climate change into government policies;
• To carry out community-based vulnerability assessments and identify adaptation options in the event of droughts;
• To develop guidelines for climate-proofing existing water reservoirs and water tanks;
• To improve community awareness about water resources, water use and climate change;
• To manage and plan use of water resources using climate data;
• To conduct research on energy efficient technologies for alternative water sources (e.g. desalination plants, offshore water storage);
• To protect water storage facilities on land from contamination; and
• To establish and regulate water reservoirs or ‘engineered groundwater protection/storage zones.

How it fits into the EbA concept

For Tuvalu, 16 adaptation projects have been identified in the vulnerable sectors of coastal zones and resources, water resources, human health, fisheries, agriculture and natural disasters. Tuvalu’s initial national communication, under which a vulnerability and adaptation assessment was conducted, indicates that the key development sectors likely to be affected by climate change and sea level rise include water resources, agriculture, coastal areas and resources, fisheries and human health.