United Nations
Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project
by Climate Change Policy & Disaster Coordination Unit, Tuvalu (Government)
Tuvalu is the fourth smallest nation in the world, comprising nine inhabited islands with a population of 10,640. With an average elevation of only 1.83 meters, it is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change. The combination of two manifestations of climate change continually intensifying cyclone events and sea level rise threaten to have dire impacts on Tuvalu. In 2015 Cyclone Pam displaced 45% of the population. The purpose of this project is to reduce the impact of increasingly intensive wave activity, through the compounding effects of sea-level rise and intensifying storm events, that is amplifying coastal inundation and erosion. It is evident and well accepted that the effects of climate change will only worsen coastal inundation and erosion in Tuvalu. This project will increase the coverage of coastal protection from the baseline 570m to 2,780m benefiting nearly 29% of the entire population. Investments on coastal protection are directed at coastlines in three islands (Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga) along areas that have a high concentration of houses, schools, hospitals and other social and economic assets (henceforth referred to as high-value coastline).

Despite the extreme level of vulnerability, Tuvalu currently does not have a single engineered coastal protection infrastructure project that is designed to withstand current and future impacts of sea-level rise and intensifying tropical storms. The only exceptions are two interventions that are currently being designed for a length of 570 m in Funafuti and Nukufetau. The combined factors of high upfront investments required for coastal protection, the public good and non-revenue nature of the required solutions, and the inability of the Government to service loans, have permitted the Government and the community to implement the recognized solutions only at a slow pace and in a highly fragmented manner in the past. Because available resources are generally far smaller than what is required for implementing appropriate response measures, the past initiatives have often resorted to community-scale interventions that hardly withstand the current wave energy, let alone integrating climate change risks into the design. Without support, this sub-optimal practice is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This project is proposed so that Tuvalu can, finally, take comprehensive and systemic steps to manage coastal inundation risks.

The "Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project" will enable the Government of Tuvalu to implement measures to reduce the impact of increasingly intensive wave action and associated impacts of sea level rise and the intensification of storm events on key infrastructure as a result of climate change induced sea-level rise and intensifying extreme events. The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalus nine inhabited islands, managing coastal inundation risks. 2,780m of high-value vulnerable coastline will be protected, reducing the impact of increasingly intensive wave action on key infrastructure. The investments will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including eco-system initiatives, beach nourishment, concrete and rock revetments, and sea walls. National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyse additional coastal adaptation finance from other donors
Progress reports
Strengthening of institutions, human resources, awareness and knowledge for resilient coastal management.
Vulnerability of key coastal infrastructure including homes, schools, hospitals and other assets is reduced against wave induced damage.
A sustainable financing mechanism established for long-term adaptation efforts.
Other, please specify
$36 million by GCF with co-financing of $2.6 million by the Tuvalu Government
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 - 2020
Climate Change Policy Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Green Climate Fund
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Pepetua E Latasi, Director of , pepetua@gmail.com, 688 20836
Funafuti Tuvalu
Other SDGs
United Nations