As Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Cook Islands, Niue, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Tuvalu are extremely vulnerable to increasingly frequent and intense climate-related hazards and extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, flooding and drought. Sea-level rise also poses a major threat.

Disaster risk is at its highest in Oceania. Total damage replacement costs for assets, infrastructure and crops at risk from natural disasters in the five Programme countries amount to over $7.6 billion (PCRAFI, 2019).

As these events increase in frequency and intensity, Pacific SIDS need accurate, timely and actionable information and early warnings on local weather, water, climate and ocean conditions and related risks to human and environmental health.

Approved at the twenty-seventh meeting of the Green Climate Fund Board (B.27) on 10 November 2020, the  Enhancing Climate Information and Knowledge Services for resilience in 5 island countries of the Pacific Ocean or UNEP CIS-Pac5 is a USD 49.9 million Programme (FP147) that will establish integrated climate and ocean information services and multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWS) in the Cook Islands, Niue, Palau, RMI and Tuvalu.

The Programme addresses priority needs identified in the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy 2017-2026 and the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific.

What is the expected impact of the Programme?

At least 80 percent of the populations of the five countries as direct beneficiaries

15-30 percent reduction in economic loss and damage incurred due to climate-related hazards.

The Programme will directly contribute to the attainment of selected targets and indicators of Article 7 of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the SAMOA Pathway.

Why have Pacific SIDS prioritised Climate Information and Early Warning Systems?

National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) underpin economic growth and sustainable development in Pacific Island countries. They support key economic and livelihood areas such as agriculture, health, disaster risk reduction, water, fisheries, and environmental management.

Strengthened resilience and reduced vulnerability to climate variability and climate change of key sectors and communities in Pacific Island countries cannot be achieved without scientific knowledge and data on weather, climate, water and oceans.

Early Warning Systems facilitate effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. They empower vulnerable populations to initiate timely and appropriate actions to reduce the impact of climate-related hazards and extreme weather events.

Climate services investments have an overall cost benefit ratio of one to 10. Systematic investment in the cascading global-regional-national hydrometeorological system that underpins climate services outweighs the costs by about 80 to one (WMO, 2019).