Australia is supporting Pacific governments, businesses and communities to strengthen climate change and disaster resilience. At the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum, Australia pledged to spend $500 million over five years to strengthen resilience in the Pacific from 2020. This builds on the commitment to spend $300 million over four years from 2016.
Australia is committed to working in partnership with the people of Nauru to increase climate change action and disaster resilience across the country. We are integrating climate change and disaster resilience across the aid program in Nauru, including in our economic and social infrastructure programs.
- Most of Nauru’s population and critical infrastructure is located on the coast. As sea levels continue to rise most homes, hospitals, schools and businesses will need to be relocated inland in the future. Australia is helping the Nauru Government to ensure that critical infrastructure, like schools and the power station, are protected.
- At least 90 percent of all food consumed on Nauru is imported. As climate change impacts crops, less food is likely to be available for export globally, damaging food security. Australia is supporting an upgrade to Nauru’s port to facilitate more reliable and secure shipping services.
- Average temperatures in Nauru are increasing and heat waves are lasting longer. Very hot days and humid nights mean people are experiencing higher rates of heat stress. Australian support to the education and skills sectors is helping build the skills Nauruans will need to adapt as impacts escalate.
- Access to clean drinking water in Nauru is already challenging, and as sea levels rise and storm surge increases, fresh water is more likely to be polluted. Australia has helped increase the availability of freshwater through the provision of community rainwater catchment and storage facilities.
Nauru is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The country is susceptible to a range of challenges that will be made worse by climate change, such as stronger and longer-lasting droughts and heat waves, coastal erosion, increased acidity of ocean waters, sea level rise, wind-driven waves and king tides.
Australia has provided approximately $4.7 million in bilateral climate change and disaster resilience support to Nauru since 2016. This support is built into many programs, including the ones below.
- Through the Nauru Infrastructure and Services Program ($21.7 million, 2017-2020) Australia supports the government to safeguard critical infrastructure. This will help ensure hospitals, schools, government buildings, businesses, police headquarters, the power station, the water desalination plant and the airport are more resilient to impacts such as sea level rise and coastal flooding.
- Through the Nauru Infrastructure and Services Program ($21.7 million, 2017-2020) Australia is also supporting an upgrade to the Nauru port so that it can better withstand the impacts of climate change to make sure Nauruans continue to have access to food and critical goods.
- Through our contributions to Nauru’s education budget, Australia is helping Nauru’s Ministry of Education to integrate climate change across the school curriculum. This will ensure that the next generation of school leavers understand the risks climate change presents to their country and locally relevant adaptation actions they can take.
Regional and global programs
Australia’s regional programs are changing the way people manage the impacts of climate change and disasters. Under the Australia Pacific Climate Partnership, Australia’s aid program is supporting Pacific island governments to build resilience and shift to low-carbon development by investing in climate-and-disaster-informed education, health, infrastructure, energy, and food and water security.
The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific Phase 2 ($23.3 million, 2018-2022) works in Nauru with the National Meteorological Service to provide seasonal forecasts and weather warnings to alert people about disasters.
The Pacific Resilience and Governance Program ($10 million, 2019-2022) supports governments across the region to include climate change and disaster risk factors in their planning, budgeting and implementation to ensure they are building resilience into government initiatives across a range of sectors.