The project “Addressing Climate Vulnerability in the Water Sector (ACWA) in the Marshall Islands)” implemented by the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (GoRMI) in collaboration with UNDP became operational in January 2020 with the objective to address expected impacts of climate change on water security on Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI). RMI is a small island developing state in the Pacific. The nation is a large-ocean state, with a total land area of only 182 km2, spread across over 2 million km2 of ocean. There are 24 inhabited atolls and islands, which are mostly remote and lie merely 2 m above sea level on average. There are no rivers, streams or lakes in RMI and the number of small surface ponds is very limited.
GoRMI, with the assistance of UNDP, has developed a project on adaptation to climate change impacts to water supply in RMI. The project is co-financed by GoRMI and Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project will build resilience to the impacts of climate change on water supply, particularly in 24 atolls and islands that are highly vulnerable to drought. The project will invest in improving water security, water resilience and water governance through:
Water Security – Improving household and community rainwater harvesting and storage structures to increase resilience of water supply in 77 rural communities in the outer islands and atolls accounting for approximately 28% of RMI’s population, including 7,630 (49%) women, currently at risk.
Water Resilience – Securing groundwater resources from contamination due to inundation caused by wave overtopping of seawater.
Water Governance – Strengthening the technical capacities of national and subnational institutions and key stakeholders to integrated climate change risks into water governance processes so that management of climate change risks are coordinated, effective, participatory, equitable, and sustained over the long-term when risks are expected to worsen.
The project aligns with GoRMI’s key climate change policies and strategies and has been developed through extensive consultation with government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and beneficiary communities. The proposed project is aligned with RMI’s NDC and country work programme to the GCF. The NDA has issued a letter of no-objection and the proposed project is aligned with the work programme of the AE (UNDP) selected by the NDA.
This GCF project will be executed by UNDP, in close partnership with the GoRMI, given UNDP’s extensive experience in implementing climate change adaptation projects globally. The project implementation will be led by a team based in Majuro, RMI and Suva, Fiji.