Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are experiencing the negative impacts of climate change, such as rising sea level, increasing frequency and intensity of drought and storm events, ocean acidification, and damage to coral reefs and fisheries. Recognizing and responding to these impacts, AECOM has developed a multi-faceted approach to support governments of 12 partner PICs. Through the USAID Climate Ready project, AECOM works to support partner governments and stakeholders to: draft and implement policies to achieve national adaptation goals; access and manage international sources of financing for resilience projects; and, improve capacity and systems to better manage and monitor resilience projects.

Selected Outcomes

  • Four national institutions have an improved capacity to address climate change risks as a result of trainings/workshops provided by the project.
  • Six programs, projects, and activities with facilitated access to international climate financing.
  • 332 persons, including 151 women, trained in global climate change adaptation.
  • Four tools and systems developed or improved to strengthen project management, monitoring and reporting.
  • US$81 million mobilized for climate resilience.
  • US$4 million in assets built/rehabilitated according to climate resilience codes.

Project Highlight: Supporting Samoan Businesses in Disaster Proofing

In Apia, Samoa, local businesses attend the first in a series of Business Continuity Planning trainings offered in partnership by the USAID Ready project and the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This particular training was officially launched by the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Tony Greubel (fourth from the right, bottom row.

 

Like other Pacific Island Countries, Samoa is particularly prone to natural disasters and faces the yearly threat of cyclones from November-April. Earlier this year, the country was hit by Tropical Cyclone Gita, which caused widespread devastation, and in 2012, Tropical Cyclone Evan made landfall in Apia, Samoa’s capital, causing damage across all economic and social sectors. Assessments undertaken by the Government of Samoa and the World Bank, put the value of durable physical assets destroyed at an estimated value of USD103 million, with 45 percent of those damages falling under private enterprises and individual ownership.

To enable Samoan businesses better prepare themselves before, during and after natural disasters, the AECOM-implemented USAID Ready project, in partnership with the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, launched a series of Business Continuity Planning trainings in late September. Through this partnership, USAID Ready supported strengthening the resilience of businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, with a training program that focused on business continuity planning, business disaster proofing, explaining the role of first responders and discussing how climate variability affects businesses.

Participants of the USAID Ready and Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry supported Business Continuity Planning training in Savaii, Samoa.

The one-day trainings were held in three locations across Samoa, in Apia, Aleipata and Savaii, with a total of 49 participants (30 women), which included representatives from local banks, finance institutions, the tourism sector and goods/services providers. After these trainings, businesses are now in a better position to contribute and respond effectively to disaster rehabilitation efforts and stay open for business when disasters strike.

Thus far, USAID Ready has held a total of seven Business Continuity Planning trainings, with the first four taking place in Fiji (in partnership with the Fiji Businesses Disaster Resilience Council and Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation) earlier this year. The project plans to continue working with these partners on sustainability planning, with another training planned in Fiji for 2019, in the town of Levuka.

Overall, the project works in 11 Pacific Island countries, strengthening the capacity of governments and institutions to develop and implement effective environmental and disaster mitigation policies and strategies.

For additional information, contact monica.battiste@aecom.com or lindsey.roberts@aecom.com.

This story/publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content is the responsibility of AECOM and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.