RTSM prepares Vanuatu for the Pacific Resilience Programme (PREP) and other potential climate change financing modalities

Vanuatu is one of the four Pacific countries to be assisted under the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP) launched on Tuesday 21 June 2016 in Suva, Fiji. The PREP is a US$32.29 million programme in grants and credits from theInternational Development Association,, World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction & Recovery Global Environment Facility Special Climate Change Fund and the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR-ClimateInvestment Fund). 

The PREP builds on other national and regional initiatives including the PPCR supported regional activities that are administered by the Asian Development Bank and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).  As PREP includes considerable investment, the tools and information generated through the PPCR support will directly influence these investments. The Regional Technical Support Mechanism (RTSM) will play an active role in providing technical support to the four Pacific countries (Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu) during implementation of the PREP.

Despite recent progress in terms of national level plans or policy to respond to disaster and climate risk such as theDisaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management National Action Plan, 2006-2016, and the Strategic InfrastructureInvestment Plan, under the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility, translating national climate resilience and DRM policyinto sector policies and resilient investments has been a significant challenge.

Vanuatu has been assessed to be the world’s most vulnerable country, based on the ranking of 111 countries using the Commonwealth Vulnerability Index. This is due to a combination of Vanuatu’s exposure to both geophysical and hydro-meteorological hazards, and its limited financial and technical capacity to prepare for and respond to the associated risks.

In that context, the RTSM recently deployed two experts to assist Vanuatu in (i) developing its Framework on ClimateServices and Climate Roadmap and (ii) upgrade the National Advisory Board portal which hosts all national information on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction programmes. Vanuatu while one of the four PREP countries will not be participating in the PREP Phase I components which includes ‘Strengthening Early Warning & Preparedness’, and ‘Risk Reduction and Resilient Investments’.

This RTSM assistance is crucial in preparing Vanuatu design and create a framework for stronger and prioritised investments in resilience programmes, looking specifically at the early warning and preparedness part of climateresilience programmes in Vanuatu. 

The Vanuatu Framework on Climate Services (VFCS) will reflect current human and technical operational capacities, issues and priorities which need addressing in the near future.  The VFCS includes a Climate Roadmap (CR); a long-term instructional matrix with recommended activities and costings, which will provide guidance for the Government of Vanuatu’s Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) Climate Division on required human resources and training needs.

The Government of Vanuatu through the VMGD carries out all climate data analysis, monitoring and forecasting for Vanuatu.  Guided by its 2014 – 2023 Strategic Plan, the VMGD’s work is critical to the understanding of climatology andclimate change in Vanuatu.  The Climate Division of VMGD provides the data collection, management and technical analysis needed to develop informed and strategic climate change mitigation and resilience programmes for Vanuatu.  The VMGD works closely with SPREP, World Meteorological Organization and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in supporting and implementing priorities as identified in the VMGD Strategic Plan 2014 - 2023. 

Both the VFCS and CR are planning documents crucial to the refinement and implementation of priorities as identified in the VMGD Strategic Plan; ensuring it is aligned closely with the Global Framework of Climate Services (GFCS) and the Pacific Island Climate Services (PICS) Panel activities which seek to connect with, and empower local Climate Services all over the world, including the Pacific region. 

It will shape long-term planning for the VMGD through giving phased time-frames for the introduction of new and necessary climatic products and services, inclusive the capability of the National Advisory Board Portal to manage and share knowledge on meteorological and climatic services and information. 

The VFCS and CR will also allow the VMGD to provide guided climate services to different sectors including agriculture,healthwater, energy, disaster risk reductiontourismfisheriesinfrastructure, business, women and children, and most importantly, the affected communities.

It is anticipated that the VFCS and CR will feed into anticipated climate resilience investment programme for Vanuatu. One of the potential climate change financing modalities targeted to fund Vanuatu’s work is the Green Climate Fund. 

A New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Principal Climate Scientist deployed and financed by the Rapid Response Fund (RRF- within RTSM) to provide this assistance is one of the registered experts under RTSM.  The second expert deployed under RTSM to upgrade the National Advisory Board (NAB) portal, is an independent consultant registered under the RTSM.


Attendees of the first National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF) and National Stakeholder Consultation on ClimateServices (Port Vila, Vanuatu, 14 – 18 March 2016) discussing how climate variations (e.g. drought) can impact on sectors in Vanuatu. Findings and recommendations from the NCOF will contribute to the development of the Vanuatu Framework on Climate Services & Climate Roadmap. The NCOF was financed by the WMO.



The RTSM is a regional mechanism hosted and administered by SPREP. Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the RTSM and RRF is a collaborative undertaking of all Council of the Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies and their associated development partners and donors.  Its work is guided by the Working Arm of the CROP Executive Subcommittee on Climate Change and Disaster Resilient Development (WARD) who reports directly to CROP Heads on RTSM’s progress in responding to urgent climate change needs of the fourteen eligible Pacific island countries.