Energy and Environment

Speeches Shim

Energy and Environment

USAID bolsters the human and institutional capacity of Pacific Island communities, civil society, governments and regional institutions to mitigate the impacts of, and prepare for, natural disasters. USAID's community-level projects serve as models for replication and scale-up by national governments, regional institutions and other donors and stakeholders. U.S. assistance supports reinforcement of community infrastructure, disaster risk reduction and innovative resilience measures undertaken by civil society organizations. At the national and regional levels, USAID strengthens the capacity of governments and regional institutions to develop and implement effective environmental and disaster mitigation policies and strategies. USAID assistance fortifies the capability of governments and regional institutions to gain global funding to boost their disaster mitigation and preparedness, ultimately reducing the cost of future disaster response and recovery. USAID implements projects through partnerships to increase the reach and effectiveness of our assistance. Some of our partners include U.S. Peace Corps, the Pacific Community and other donor countries, such as New Zealand, Australia and Germany. USAID has the lead responsibility for disaster mitigation, relief and reconstruction in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands under the Compacts of Free Association. USAID’s disaster assistance in these two countries complements resilience measures that help them better prepare for and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.


Climate Ready
Due to extreme variations in climate, Pacific Island countries are experiencing sea level rise, increasing frequency and intensity of droughts and storms, ocean acidification and consequent damage to coral reefs and fisheries. Many governments within the Pacific region have requested additional support to address these issues. USAID’s Climate Ready (Ready) project is helping Pacific Island countries to become more environmentally and disaster resilient to protect the lives and livelihoods of their peoples. The project works with government partners and other stakeholders to draft and implement policies to achieve adaptation goals; access larger amounts of financing from international adaptation funds; and improve the skills and systems within each country to better manage and monitor adaptation projects.

To date, Ready has helped Pacific Islands countries access over $200 million from various international climate funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environmental Facility and the Adaptation Fund. Ready is currently in the process of supporting the development of a pipeline of projects that will unlock an additional $390 million worth of climate funds to strengthen the adaptation goals of Pacific Island countries. Apart from a focus on targeted technical assistance for project proposal development Ready has also supported the accreditation efforts of regional organizations such as the Pacific Community and the Micronesia Conservation Trust and national entities like the Fiji Development Bank to become accredited Direct Access Entities of the GCF.

Disaster Resilience in the Compact Nations (RESILIENCE)
RESILIENCE will increase governance capacity for disaster management and expedite the delivery of preparedness, relief, and reconstruction assistance to respond to U.S. presidentially declared disasters in the FSM and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. RESILIENCE will provide technical assistance and training to increase the disaster preparedness and management capacity. It will also maintain prepositioned assets, such as emergency supplies and electrical generators, and deliver those and other resources for life-saving and early recovery assistance. A well-established, pre-positioned structure will help jumpstart relief distribution. The project will also deliver a package of culturally appropriate reconstruction assistance in the event of declared disasters.

To support the COVID-19 response, this activity is also facilitating the development and production of communication campaigns, providing technical assistance to monitor and manage points of entry; supporting the procurement, storage, and distribution of critical supplies, including water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) supplies, cleaners and disinfectants; constructing and installing handwashing and sanitation facilities; and providing technical assistance, equipment, and operational support to package and transfer laboratory samples in Republic of the Marshall Islands and FSM.

The activity will increasingly shift responsibilities for response and reconstruction to the host governments over the five-year implementation period to help advance the path to self-reliance.

Energy Regulatory Partnership Program (ERPP)
The activity supports the USAID-Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership (PEP) objective of strengthening energy regulatory capacity. Support serves as a bridging activity until the larger USAID-PEP project starts. Through the project, USAID supports PNG in 1) developing competitive power procurement processes; 2) creating a regulatory framework for off-grid electrification; 3) improving safety and technical management; and 4) enhancing capacity for tariff review and pricing. This activity will also support PNG’s participation in regional training events through the USAID Asia Gas Partnership activity.

Institutional Strengthening in Pacific Island Countries to Adapt to Climate Change (ISACC)
This boosts government capacity to manage their climate finances more effectively, promotes regional coordination, and builds multi-sectoral approaches to climate resilience. Key results to date include support for training courses to strengthen climate finance, public financial management, and monitoring and evaluation; helping national governments develop important climate change laws, policies and regulations; supporting the recruitment of key climate staff in various countries; and completing climate change and disaster risk finance assessments for a number of countries, which are now better equipped to build harmonized national plans and priorities and strengthen public financial management systems that are relevant and sustainable. ISACC also supported the accreditation of Tuvalu’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as a National Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund. Tuvalu is the second country in the Pacific, after the Cook Islands, to receive accreditation to the Adaptation Fund.

This activity also improves the governance capacity of PICs to reduce threats to food security because of the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID will provide capacity building and technical assistance to national and local level government units, as well as civil society to mainstream a people-centered approach to food security programs; and support local level governance on people-centered food security and COVID-19 response.

Lukautim Graun "Look After the Environment"
The Lukautim Graun project will reduce threats to PNG’s rich biodiversity, which is among the most threatened in the world. At the national level, we will help promote transparent policies, including environmental safeguards, for effective stewardship of natural resources. At the site level, USAID will preserve biodiversity in priority places by supporting local governments, civil society, and communities to reduce key threats.

The project is also a recipient of the Women’s Global Development Prosperity Initiative. This component, in conjunction with our Women’s Business Resource Center run by The Center for International Private Enterprise, will equip women entrepreneurs with the skills to run businesses, particularly in natural resource-based industries. It will employ a whole family-based approach that creates support for women’s business initiatives among men in their communities.

OurFish OurFuture
This activity will address the drivers of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and overfishing that are degrading coastal fisheries and biodiversity, negatively impacting community livelihoods, and threatening maritime security and sovereignty in the region. The activity will improve sustainable coastal fisheries management to create the enabling conditions for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM), enhance monitoring, control, and surveillance in coastal fisheries to inform EAFM, reduce IUU fishing, demonstrate private sector partnerships to promote sustainable supply chains; and strengthen the resilience and engagement of marginalized actors (e.g., women and youth) in sustainable coastal fisheries.

Pacific American Fund
The impact of COVID-19 in the Pacific is forecast to be felt over the next five years through extreme economic contraction, loss of livelihoods and jobs, and severe financial strains for government and communities. COVID-related economic challenges have also exacerbated existing development challenges related to climate change and disaster vulnerability, food security, natural resource management, limited access to quality health care, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and democratic governance challenges. The Pacific American Fund will strengthen the capacity of locally established civil society organizations in the Pacific Island countries to address second order impacts of COVID-19. The activity will support the region’s most vulnerable communities and prevent development backsliding. Sub-grants to locally established civil society organizations will support communities' unique challenges, as well as recovery from COVID-19 second order impacts. Sub-grants will be multi-sectoral and offer communities increased resilience to disasters and climate risks, enhanced livelihoods, increased food security, access to water, improved health and education, better governance, and more sustainable natural resources management and biodiversity conservation.

Pacific Coastal Fisheries Management and Compliance
This activity will advance sustainable coastal fisheries co-management in the Pacific Islands by strengthening appropriate, effective, and collaborative monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS). The activity will support critical interventions to achieve the following outcomes: Fisheries agencies have appropriate MCS programs with the capacity, training, and systems to support sustainable coastal fisheries co-management at all levels; The enabling environment has been strengthened to enhance compliance with coastal fisheries laws and policies at all levels; National fisheries agencies have effective and appropriate mechanisms operating to facilitate and coordinate with civil society in support of local-level coastal fisheries co-management; and MCS frameworks, best practice guidelines, operating procedures, and training and outreach materials developed for the Pacific Islands’ context.

Strengthening Competitiveness, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment (SCALE): Natural Resources Management (SCALE-NRM) activity for the Solomon Islands
This project aims to improve natural resource governance in the Solomon Islands by providing targeted technical assistance to national level government agencies to address environmental safeguards. It will also support strong community engagement, constituency building, and economic livelihoods related to non-timber forest products. These interventions will lead to improved management of forest resources and curtail the rapid degradation of this important resource.

U.S. Peace Corps Small Project Assistance
USAID works with the U.S. Peace Corps to raise environmental awareness among remote communities and increase their resilience to extreme weather events. In Vanuatu, Peace Corps volunteers train with community members on environmental adaptation measures and disaster preparedness. Peace Corps volunteers also train community members to design and manage projects that address these issues. In Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, volunteers work with their communities to build seawalls, improve water and sanitation, construct safe houses for use during extreme weather events and integrate sound environmental practices into project planning.

USAID-Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership (PEP)
In PNG, only about 13 percent of the population has reliable access to electricity. During the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby, the United States, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, entered into the PNG Electricity Partnership, which aims to increase PNG’s electricity access to 70 percent by 2030. Delivering on its promise, the PEP project aims to provide electricity to at least 200,000 households in PNG. The project will strengthen PNG Power Ltd’s capacity to expand connections, reduce system and commercial losses, and increase its revenues, as well as develop at least 10 viable off-grid electrification models in select remote communities. The project will also help promote efficient delivery of energy services by enhancing the institutional capacity of key PNG energy institutions and develop bankable projects for private investment in the sector. USAID will also catalyze private investment for energy projects by helping develop a pipeline of bankable projects, providing transaction advisory support and collaborating with financial institutions on energy project opportunities.

Last updated: November 25, 2022

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