Enhancing community health and resilience to climate change and disasters in Palau
‘The ‘Enhancing community health and resilience to climate change and disasters in Palau’ project will scale up the efforts of previous projects to build resilience to water and vector borne diseases in five states of Babeldaob: Aimeliik, Airai, Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, and Ngatpang States. The project will also enhance community access to information about climate change resilience and health whilst also training teachers and students to monitor and address coastal and ocean pollution.
Project Focus: Health Sector
Direct benefit: 3,606 persons
Indirect benefit: 14,055 persons
- Geographic coordinates: Lat. 3°N – 9°N, Long. 131°E – 135°E
- Total land area 488 km²
- Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) 3,120,000 km²
- Population (2018 estimate) 17,907
- Temperatures have warmed and will continue to warm with more very hot days in the future.
- Rainfall at Koror shows no clear trend since 1948. Wet season rainfall is generally projected to increase over this century, with more extreme rainfall days and less droughts.
- Ocean acidification has been increasing in Palau’s waters. It will continue to increase and threaten coral reef ecosystems.
- Wave height from December to March is projected to decrease by the end of the century, with a slight decrease in wave period. From June to September a small decrease in period is projected, with a clockwise rotation toward the south.
Source: BOM, CSIRO, 2014, Climate Variability, Extremes and Change in the Western Tropical Pacific: New Science and Updated Country Reports
How does this project address climate change adaptation in Palau?
Palau like many island countries is experiencing the acute impacts of climate change. These include rising temperatures, varying rainfall patterns and changes in the frequency of droughts. These impacts exacerbate the vulnerability of local communities to water and vector-borne diseases as well as water scarcity and food security. The Palau National Climate Change Policy 2015 and Palau Bureau of Public Health Strategic Plan identified health and water security as areas requiring priority action.
Focusing on the people and communities living in the five states of Aimeliik, Airai, Ngaremlengui, Ngatpang and Ngardmau on the island of Babeldaob, the project will adopt a participatory and inclusive approach that addresses the vulnerabilities and the rights of all residents, whilst paying special attention to the most vulnerable. Skills in climate resilience will be enhanced, particularly for state government officers and community leaders.
The project will scale up the existing school supplementary water storage system programme to include community evacuation shelters in the five states. A water quality training and monitoring programme will be established to help households and state agencies control the spread of vectors, such as mosquitoes, and monitor and maintain the supplementary water storage systems to ensure the availability of quality drinking water.
The capacity of the National Radio Station will be enhanced to facilitate live broadcasts from communities throughout the country to share information and experiences about ways they are working to create healthy, climate resilient communities. Specific activities will include the training of teachers and students to monitor and address coastal pollution issues.
- Installing supplementary water catchment systems at selected emergency shelters across five states in Babeldaob.
- Establishing a water quality and vector-borne disease training programme for communities and State agencies in five states in Babeldaob.
- Providing training and equipment to teachers and students to monitor ocean and coastal pollution and their impacts on climate change and human health.
- Equipping the National Radio Station to conduct live radio broadcasting programmes highlighting local efforts to build community resilience and healthy environments.
- Integrating climate and disaster resilience into a national radio communications plan for Palau.
- Conducting a needs analysis and raising awareness about climate resilience for local area stakeholders.
- Building the capacity of community leaders and state government officers in climate resilience through accredited training.
- Integrating climate change and disaster risk into local area sustainable development plans.
- Assessing the impacts of past climate change adaptation projects and applying the results to national strategic planning.
- Testing an impact assessment methodology on completed climate change interventions.