The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Forging coastal resilience in Kiribati
UNOPS is working with the government of Australia to develop practical and sustainable climate solutions that build coastal resilience for Kiribati’s future.
Kiribati, a Pacific nation of 33 low-lying coral islands, is one of the most vulnerable countries at the frontline of climate change. Most of its narrow islands sit less than two metres above sea level. The population is concentrated along the coast and its communities are among the world’s most vulnerable to climatic threats. Rising sea levels and increased climate volatility have threatened homes, infrastructure, food and water security. Without effective climate adaptation efforts, most of the major islands could become flooded by 2050.
With funding from the government of Australia, UNOPS is implementing the Australia-Kiribati Climate Security Initiative. The project will deliver high-quality, inclusive and nature-based sustainable coastal protection, enhancing Kiribati's resilience against climate change.
Climate change is one of the gravest threats to the security and survival of Kiribati people, but we cannot win this battle alone. The support from the Australian government and UNOPS exemplifies the global solidarity we urgently need.
The project will implement both resilient infrastructure and nature-based solutions to create a model for long-term climate adaptation in the country. Central to this initiative is the development of sustainable coastal protection measures in South Tarawa, home to more than half of Kiribati's population. Participatory community consultations throughout the project lifecycle will ensure that the needs of marginalized groups are considered throughout the infrastructure’s design, construction and maintenance.
“UNOPS stands together with Kiribati and all island communities in this climate emergency. We work to build resilience and safeguard their homes, culture and well-being,” said Tokumitsu Kobayashi, Pacific Small Island Developing States Advisor, UNOPS Southeast Asia and Pacific Multi-Country Office.
In addition to identifying and implementing coastal adaptation solutions, the project will also enhance the capacities of local communities and the government of Kiribati to plan, execute and maintain climate-resilient solutions. The project is expected to introduce a framework for scalable solutions, supporting Kiribati in mitigating coastal flooding impacts and enhancing climate resilience.