Tonga : Climate Resilience Sector Project
The purpose of the Project described below (the Project) is to implement the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) prepared by Tonga under phase II of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) . The Project will mainstream climate resilience into development planning and address country priorities focusing on the most vulnerable sectors and communities. The Project will (i) build capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management at community, sector and national levels; (ii) provide information, tools, and legislative frameworks needed to introduce climate change considerations into government and sector planning and budgeting processes; and (iii) provide access to resources (technical, human, financial) to address the climate change risk priorities of the Government, as well as those of vulnerable communities through a combination of soft and hard measures.
Faotusia, Pilimilose B.
Request for information
- Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
|Climate Resilience Sector Project
|Country / Economy
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount
|Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector
Agriculture, natural resources and rural development /
|Effective gender mainstreaming
|The purpose of the Project described below (the Project) is to implement the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) prepared by Tonga under phase II of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) . The Project will mainstream climate resilience into development planning and address country priorities focusing on the most vulnerable sectors and communities. The Project will (i) build capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management at community, sector and national levels; (ii) provide information, tools, and legislative frameworks needed to introduce climate change considerations into government and sector planning and budgeting processes; and (iii) provide access to resources (technical, human, financial) to address the climate change risk priorities of the Government, as well as those of vulnerable communities through a combination of soft and hard measures. This will lead to a progressive increase in the resilience of ecosystems and infrastructure; the foundations of the country's sustainable development aspirations. The Project will be financed on a grant basis from the Strategic Climate Fund which is one of two funds within the design of the Climate Investment Fund.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Tonga reported that all key sectors are likely to be significantly affected by climate change, with major environmental, economic, and social consequences. Particular concerns include impacts on agricultural production, water supply, and coastal infrastructure and resources. The effects of climate change are exacerbating natural hazards such as tsunamis, cyclones, coastal flooding, and droughts. Over the last few decades, Tonga observed a higher variability of rainfall causing localized flooding as well as droughts related to El Nino events. Increased ocean temperatures have caused coral bleaching and destruction of habitats for reef species. Sea level rise, estimated in the order of 6 millimeter/year, is contributing to coastal erosion and subsequent damage to infrastructure and properties . Increased exposure to tropical cyclones and storm surges have caused significant economic losses to Tonga's economy (e.g. tropical cyclones Waka in 2002 and Rene in 2010 inflicted losses of $60 million and $22 million respectively). Tonga has a 50% chance of experiencing an annual loss exceeding $175 million and casualties larger than 440 people due to natural hazards .
While there is country commitment and a national strategy-the Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management-to address climate and related disaster risk challenges facing Tonga, efforts to date have been constricted due to severe resource-constraints. During the design and capacity building phase of the PPCR, the Government of Tonga and other stakeholders identified impediments to a more effective response including: (i) a limited pool of qualified and trained experts to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk management at community, sector, and national levels; (ii) lack of information, tools, and legislative frameworks for relevant sectors and stakeholders to develop and implement adaptation strategies; and (iii) challenges in accessing adequate climate change financing for priority adaptation needs. This requires a systematic and integrated approach toward climate change resilience and disaster risk reduction. The Project will build on training provided to government representatives and other stakeholders to undertake risk and capacity assessments under Phase I.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has developed a strong partnership with the Government of Tonga. Both ADB's Pacific Approach 2010-2014 , and country operations business plan 2015-2017 for Tonga , emphasize the need for integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management to deal with climate-induced natural disasters. Current ADB programming under the Integrated Urban Development Sector Project, Implementing Strategic Economic Management Technical Assistance, and Public Finance Management Road Map provides ADB with a clear understanding of the challenges Tonga faces in mainstreaming climate change considerations into government operations. This includes the need for increased capacity, coordination, whole-of-government involvement, donor harmonization as well as consideration of recurrent costs for the sustainability of critical investments.
The Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Center of the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility has been providing technical assistance for the development of a National Infrastructure Investment Plan (NIIP) which outlines the Government of Tonga's priorities and plans for major economic infrastructure initiatives over the next 5 to 10 years. A review of the NIIP supported by the Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Center, is planned for the last quarter of 2012 and will provide a broad assessment of the potential risks and vulnerability of economic infrastructure to climate change and natural disasters, based on existing studies and materials. This will form the basis for the identification of key sectors as well as the prioritization of critical climate proofing needs of infrastructure investments to be targeted under the SPCR.
Increased resilience of vulnerable communities to climate variability and change, and disaster risk in Tonga.
|Description of Outcome
Strengthened capacity of government and communities to finance, develop, monitor, and implement investments to improve ecosystem resilience and climate proof critical infrastructure.
|Progress Toward Outcome
|The project closed on 30 November 2019 and successfully mainstreamed climate resilience to Tonga's development planning and improved capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management evident at the community, sector and national levels. The project also provided information, tools, and legislative frameworks needed to introduce climate change considerations into planning and budgeting processes.
|Description of Project Outputs
1. Climate resilience mainstreamed into development planning of vulnerable sectors.
2. Monitoring and management of climate data and information improved.
3. Sustainable financing mechanism to support community-based climate responsive investments.
4. Ecosystem resilience and climate-resilient infrastructure investments developed.
5. Project successfully Managed and Implemented.
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
|Activities/Outputs: (i) US$5 million put into the established climate change trust fund (CCTF) which have successfully completed implementation of two rounds of call for proposals in 2018 and 2019. CCTF has successfully leveraged additional contribution in 2020 from the Government of Tonga from July 2020 and the Irish Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States. The Climate Change Fund Bill has been approved by Parliament and has received Royal Assent and was gazetted on 5 November 2021 and has therefore become effective as law. (ii) 2.3 kms of seawall have been completed to protect coastal communities against storm surges and extreme weather events. It served its purpose admirably during the Tonga volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami of January 2022. The design has been adopted by Government for a national coastal project to be funded by the GCF. (iii) 1 new hospital was relocated further inland out of the coastal vulnerable zone and 5 schools identified as critical facilities were re-habilitated successfully in a climate-proofed way. These acted as disaster evacuation centers when there was a tropical cyclone, evident during cyclone Gita in February 2018. In addition, the hospital continued to deliver essential services post the January 2022 tsunami. (iv) 4 roads have been rehabilitated which provide escape routes from the coast during storms. It served its purpose well also during the January 2022 volcanic eruption and tsunami. Government routine road maintenance is adopting the evacuation roads design. (v) 5 Climate Proofed Primary Schools at risks designed to withstand extreme climate conditions including, a category 5 cyclone. (vi) 7 Special Management Areas (SMAs) have been established to provide community managed sustainable fishing management areas which were completed in 2017. The WBG is building on this investment to nationalize the SMAs in Tonga. (vii) The mangrove coverage in Tonga has been established at 1,213Ha mainly on Tongatapu and Vavau compiled in a mangrove inventory established through digitized GIS. (viii)A standardized climate change vulnerability assessment methodology was established and strengthened with the joint institutional set up under the MEIDECC Climate Change Division and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to successfully roll out this initiative to communities. MIA has the official procedures and outreach in place supported by civil society. This task was completed in 2019. (ix) Provision of Hydro-meteorology and coastal monitoring and data dissemination systems has helped Tonga Met office provide more accurate forecasts in anticipation of TC Tino and TC Harold in 2020 and leveraged Japan's TOP $56 million National Early Warning System and Strengthening Disaster Communication (NEWS) started in 2019. (x) Improvement of water resource inventories and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and coastal zone monitoring. IWRM plans have been successfully developed for 4 selected communities. A rainwater harvesting manual was also developed with the successful roll out of a number of rainwater harvesting community projects in the 1st and 2nd round of CCTF applications. (xi) 20 young people completed undergraduate degrees at the University of the South Pacific (USP) through scholarships. Several of the CRSP students gained the highest academic scores of the year and were praised by USP. (xii) 20 government staff received 3 months training in climate change and 19 obtained Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Australian accredited certificates. (xiii) 38 short courses held and over 1,200 government staff and people from NGOs received professional training on climate and disaster risk management. Gender balance was well over 50% in all above cases. (xiv) Drafted and reviewed the Climate Change Fund Bill after extensive consultations. The Bill has now been approved by Parliament and has become effective on 5 November 2021.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
|The Project has three ~main components; (i) capacity building; (ii) climate change financing; and (iii) climate proofing of infrastructure and ecosystem resilience. Component 3 is the most environmentally sensitive and includes as one activity the construction of rock walls and the planting of mangroves to reduce the impacts of sea level rise, storm surge and storm events on local communities and linear infrastructure.
|The Project has three main components; (i) capacity building; (ii) climate change financing; and (iii) climate proofing infrastructure and ecosystem resilience. Core sub-projects identified under component 3 do not require Involuntary Resettlement (IR). A Land Acquisition Resettlement Framework however will still be done for any unanticipated IR issues if they should arise in implementation with potential candidate subprojects
|The project is not expected to impact any distinct and vulnerable group of indigenous peoples as defined under ADBs Safeguard Policy Statement. The beneficiaries in the project sites are part of mainstream Polynesian society and are not discriminated upon due to their language, skin color, or traditional practices. All project outputs will be delivered in a culturally appropriate and participatory manner
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
|During Project Design
|Under the previous CDTA (RETA 7827) resulting in Tonga's SPCR, several methods were used to consult with stakeholders in Tonga: meetings and workshops, semi-structured interviews with industry representatives (private sector, environment and other non-government organizations (NGOs), media, insurance, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) staff), focus groups in Vava'u, and a household survey of vulnerable communities in Vava'u and Tongatapu. Further engagement with the above stakeholders in the project is envisaged through additional workshops during project implementation.
|During Project Implementation
|Responsible ADB Officer
|Faotusia, Pilimilose B.
|Responsible ADB Department
|Responsible ADB Division
|Pacific Subregional Office in Suva, Fiji (SPSO)
Ministry of Finance
|19 Dec 2012
|08 Jul 2013 to 19 Jul 2013
|06 Sep 2013
|09 Dec 2013
|Last Review Mission
|Last PDS Update
|31 Mar 2023
|09 Dec 2013
|25 Feb 2014
|12 Mar 2014
|30 Jun 2019
|31 Dec 2022
|29 Mar 2023
|Total (Amount in US$ million)
|Cumulative Contract Awards
|30 Jan 2024
|30 Jan 2024
|Status of Covenants
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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
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|Contractor | Address
|Total Contract Amount (US$)
|Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
|METEOROLOGICAL SYSTEM AND COASTAL MONITORING SYSTEM
|08 Aug 2018
|NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF WATER & ATMOSPHERIC | GATE 10 SILVERDALE ROAD HAMILTON TONGA
|Ministry of Finance and National Planning
|HAHAKE COASTAL PROTECTION
|12 Dec 2017
|PETANI QUARRY | TONGATAPU TONGA
|Ministry of Finance and National Planning; Min.of Lands Survey Natural Resources&Environment; Ministry of Infrastructure; Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry ; Ministry of Education and Training; MEIDECC
|NEW HA'APAI HOSPITAL
|21 Nov 2017
|CHINA CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION CORPORAT | HAIDIAN DISTRICT BEIJING CHINA PEOPLE'SREP.OF
|Ministry of Finance and National Planning; Min.of Lands Survey Natural Resources&Environment; Ministry of Infrastructure; Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry; Ministry of Education and Training; MEIDECC
|Climate Resilience Sector Project