The remoteness of the Asian Development Bank’s Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) makes connectivity one of the region’s highest development priorities. Added to the geographical constraints, the DMCs are also the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural hazards and the effects of climate change.

To this end, ADB is working with its Pacific DMCs to build new, or upgrade existing, transport infrastructure that is more resilient to natural hazards. The Pacific Transport Update 2022 outlines 12 ways ADB is strengthening the climate resilience of the Pacific’s transport systems.

  1. The Fiji Transport Infrastructure Investment Sector Project is rehabilitating more than 100 kilometers of roads, as well as 30 bridges that will improve pedestrian access, rain or shine. ADB is contributing more than $100 million to the project and its associated TA for Strengthening Transport Coordination Capacity, which is building the capacity of Fijian government staff in climate change adaptation, among other areas.

    Road works along Queens Road in Fiji under the Transport Infrastructure Investment Sector Project
    Road works along Queens Road in Fiji under the Transport Infrastructure Investment Sector Project. Photo: ADB
  2. The Kiribati Outer Island Infrastructure Investment Project is not only improving the safety of interisland navigation in Kiribati, but also strengthening resilience to climate change and severe weather. ADB is providing $12 million financing to the project, which is building and refurbishing ship-to-shore maritime infrastructure on the outer islands along the Gilbert Islands Chain.

    Stacked stones causeway in Tabiteuea Maiaki, Kiribati
    Stacked stones causeway in Tabiteuea Maiaki, Kiribati. Photo: Project Implementation Unit
  3. The Nauru Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Connectivity Project is building a climate-resistant wharf that will decrease waiting time for shipping vessels, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and increase the transit safety of people and goods in Nauru. Aside from providing almost $30 million to the project, ADB also assisted Nauru to access international climate financing from the Green Climate Fund.

    The original Nauru Port could not accommodate large shipping vessels, and containers had to be transferred one at a time by barges. Unloading approximately 200 containers took anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on weather and other conditions.
    The original Nauru Port could not accommodate large shipping vessels, and containers had to be transferred one at a time by barges. Unloading approximately 200 containers took anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on weather and other conditions. Photo: ADB
  4. Building Resilience to Climate Change in Papua New Guinea is developing and investing in climate change adaptation plans for 21 islands and financing a climate-proof wharf in Alotau, which will benefit an estimated 170,000 people. ADB is contributing $5 million to the project, which is also building Papua New Guinea’s capacity to effectively plan for, and respond to, the effects of climate change.

  5. The Enhancing Safety, Security, and Sustainability of Apia Port Project is increasing the climate resilience of Samoa’s Apia Port by extending the port’s existing breakwater, among other upgrades. ADB is providing more than $65 million for the improvements to better protect the port against sea swells or crashing waves during typhoons.

  6. The Samoa Central Cross Island Road Upgrading Project is rehabilitating and climate-proofing the Central Cross Island Road, which connects the north and south of Samoa’s capital Island, Upolu. The road was heavily damaged by Cyclone Evan in 2021, and portions of the road still need to be restored. ADB is providing almost $41 million for road improvements, which will also strengthen local disaster risk resilience because the road is used as an evacuation route during severe weather and also a transport route for post-disaster relief goods.

  7. The Solomon Islands Land and Maritime Connectivity Project is strengthening key land road and maritime infrastructure threatened by earthquakes, changing weather patterns, and rising sea levels. ADB is contributing almost $150 million to the project that will increase the climate resilience of infrastructure, including upgrades to two provincial wharves, which are at risk from rising sea levels and severe waves, and the reconstruction and improvement of an existing wharf in Honiara International Port to make it more resilient to earthquakes.

    Civil works on maritime infrastructure will significantly increase safety and climate resilience of people and goods in transit, under the Solomon Islands Land and Maritime Connectivity Project
    Civil works on maritime infrastructure will significantly increase safety and climate resilience of people and goods in transit, under the Solomon Islands Land and Maritime Connectivity Project. Photo: ADB
  8. The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project is rehabilitating degraded infrastructure at the cargo wharves of Tonga’s main port, which is highly exposed to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. ADB is contributing $45 million to the project, which will improve the port’s capacity to cope with demand for the next 20 years and strengthen its safety and resilience to the effects of climate change.

    The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrading Project will rehabilitate all degraded infrastructure at the cargo wharves to bring wharf 1 back into commercial operation and extend the overall lifespan of the Queen Salote International Wharf
    The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrading Project will rehabilitate all degraded infrastructure at the cargo wharves to bring wharf 1 back into commercial operation and extend the overall lifespan of the Queen Salote International Wharf. Photo: ADB
  9. The Tuvalu Outer Island Maritime Infrastructure Project is helping Tuvalu overcome connectivity challenges by improving maritime facilities on three outer islands and building government capacity to maintain transport infrastructure. ADB is providing more than $47 million to the project, which will enhance the climate resilience, safety, and efficiency of domestic maritime transportation.

    Construction of a workboat harbor in the outer island of Nukulaelae, Tuvalu
    Construction of a workboat harbor in the outer island of Nukulaelae, Tuvalu. Photo: R. Singh
  10. The Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction Project reconstructed and climate-proofed damaged portions of the Efate Ring Road following Cyclone Pam in 2015. ADB provided almost $21 million to the project, which was completed in July 2020, and helped increase climate resilience through increased protection from soil erosion and water surges and improved drainage. The project also built government capacity for climate and disaster risk preparedness.

    Completed in July 2020, the Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction Project helped increase climate resilience by protecting sealed pavement against erosion, improving drainage, and fortifying riverbanks to cope with surges.
    Completed in July 2020, the Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction Project helped increase climate resilience by protecting sealed pavement against erosion, improving drainage, and fortifying riverbanks to cope with surges. Photo: ADB
  11. The Vanuatu Interisland Shipping Support Project is constructing and repairing island wharves and building a new terminal at Port Vila, with climate-proofing measures integrated into the design. ADB is providing almost $27 million, with a proposed additional $40.6 million financing to the project, which will also increase all-weather access to safe and reliable transport services for outer islanders.

    The Interisland Shipping Support Project is constructing one new domestic wharf, undertaking dredging works and building a new terminal at Port Vila, constructing two new island wharves, and repairing two island wharves.
    The Interisland Shipping Support Project is constructing one new domestic wharf, undertaking dredging works and building a new terminal at Port Vila, constructing two new island wharves, and repairing two island wharves. Photo: ADB
  12. The Regional TA Preparing Projects to Enhance Transport Connectivity and Resilience in the Pacific is integrating climate resilience in Pacific transport projects by assisting in project and roadmap preparation. ADB is providing $5 million financing to the TA to address the vulnerability of Pacific transport infrastructure to climate and disaster risks.

As the climate crisis becomes more critical and disproportionately affects Pacific DMCs, ADB stands ready to continue supporting the region in improving the resilience of its transport infrastructure, a position reflected in ADB’s Pacific Approach which emphasizes the integration of climate change action as part of resilience planning for the region.

SHARE THIS PAGE