Tuvalu (meaning a ‘cluster of eight’ islands) is the fourth smallest country in the world with a population of around 11,000 and a land area of only 25.9 km2, while its exclusive economic zone covers 900,000 km2.
As is the case with other Pacific Island Countries, Tuvalu faces a unique set of development challenges posed by its small size, notably narrow production and export bases, insularity, remoteness, and fragmented, limited resources and capacity constraints; and proneness to natural disasters and vulnerability to climate change. These characteristics heighten Tuvalu’s susceptibility to economic and climate related shocks, which are likely to increase in frequency and intensity with climate change and globalization. Climate change has been identified by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders as the greatest threat facing the small island countries. Tuvalu faces key climate vulnerabilities including scarcity of freshwater, coastal erosion,soil salination, reduced fish habitats due to ocean acidification, coral bleaching, rising sea water levels and increasing extreme climate events (typhoons, wave surges)
Tuvalu is the first country to implement LoCAL in the Pacific, and LoCAL has entered a strategic partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), especially in implementation of the capacity development and technical support to national and local governemnts (LGs) as part of the LoCAL programme. . In Tuvalu the CD support will be coordinated with a number of core initiatives such as the NAPA II and the Public Sector Reform Program.
Considering the specific context of climate vulnerabilities and risks in Tuvalu and the Pacific region at large, the LoCAL Tuvalu will address next to climate change adaptation and resilience measures, also (climate related) disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness measures (e.g. cyclones, prolonged drought).
Objectives, results and activities
The aim of LoCAL-Tuvalu is to improve the capacities of local governments to address climate change by increasing access to climate change adaptation financing through performance-based climate resilience grants. The expected outputs are as follows:
As part of the LoCAL design process a climate vulnerability and risk scan has been conducted to inform requirements of the LoCAL the planning process.
An MoU has been signed between LoCAL and Tuvalu: The LoCAL mechanism was adopted rapidly in Tuvalu and various strategic missions were held in 2015 to prepare the implementation of activities.
Adaptation measures and investments
The viability of subsistence-based livelihoods in Tuvalu is likely to be undermined significantly due to climate change.
Water: The key vulnerabilities and risks related to water are the increased variability and decreased predictability of rainfall - Water use efficiency can thus be improved by introducing cost-effective technologies and management practices to reduce pressure on water resources, as well as careful management of agricultural wastes, to reduce pollutant loads to aquifers and coastal habitats.
Health and sanitation: The fast majority of the island populations dumps their waste in the backyard or sea, therewith creating unhygienic conditions around the home, pollution of ground water, and pollution of fragile corral reefs. Activities could include Areas for improvement related to sanitation, are the use of more water efficient toilets, ensuring that fecal material does not pollute groundwater and re-use of urine and fecal material as fertilizer.
Phase I, will run from December 2015 to end of March 2018, and cover two fiscal years of the Kaupules (2016/2017). LoCAL will support the planning and budgeting process, especially before the first round of planning prior to start of the Kaupules’ fiscal year 2016.
The programme will initially be piloted in three (3) very vulnerable Local Governments reflecting the various geographical areas of Tuvalu (North, Central and South) and then from the second year of LoCAL planning and preparations of interventions for up-scaling will start, with expected coverage of additional 2-3 Local Governments and with a full up-scale for the national system from 2020 and onwards (third phase).
Number of administrative zones: 14
Phase I: 2016–2017 (USD 300,000)
Phase II: 2016 onwards (depending on availability of resources)
Lead government partners (Memorandum of Understanding): Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD)
LoCAL donors and in-country development partners: EU Global Climate Change Alliance; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); Government of Liechtenstein; UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative