GEF PACIFIC IWRM PROJECT
"Implementing Sustainable Water Resources and Wastewater Management in Pacific Island Countries"
Pacific Island countries have uniquely fragile water resources due to their small size, lack of natural storage, competing land use, and vulnerability to natural hazards. In most Pacific countries, even small variations in water supply can have a significant impact on health, quality of life, and economic development.
Entitled “Implementing Sustainable Water Resources and Wastewater Management in Pacific Island Countries” (GEF Pacific IWRM Project) this Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project is being executed by the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) in cooperation with 14 Pacific Island countries. The project is developing “Ridge to Reef – Community to Catchment” IWRM in the participating countries. The full project documents are available for download here.
The Goal of the project is aligned with the GEF Pacific Alliance for Sustainability umbrella program and will ‘contribute to sustainable development in the Pacific Island Region through improvements in natural resource and environmental management’.
The overall Objective is ‘to improve water resource and wastewater management and water use efficiency in Pacific Island Countries in order to balance overuse and conflicting uses of scarce freshwater resources through policy and legislative reform and implementation of applicable and effective Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plans’. This will be based on best practices and demonstrations of IWRM approaches.
The project consists of four components.
Component C1 will use country-driven and designed demonstration activities focusing on sustainable water management to utilize Ridge to Reef IWRM approaches to bring significant environmental stress reduction benefits. Demonstration projects will act as catalysts for replication and scaling-up approaches to improve national water resources management, and regionally to support the Pacific in reducing land based pollutants from entering the ocean.
Component C2 will develop an IWRM and WUE Regional Indicator Framework based on improved data collection and indicator feedback and action for improved national and regional sustainable development using water as an entry point.
Component C3 will focus on Policy, Legislative, and Institutional Reform for IWRM and WUE through supporting institutional change and re-alignment to enact National IWRM Plans and WUE strategies, including appropriate financing mechanisms and supporting and building further political will to endorse IWRM policies and plans to accelerate and support pre-existing SAP and other Pacific Regional Action Plan work.
Component C4 provides a Regional Capacity Building and Sustainability Programme for IWRM and WUE, including Knowledge Exchange and Learning and Replication.
Links to GEF Strategic Objectives and Millenium Development Goals
The project is consistent with the GEF IV strategic objective for International Waters: (a) ‘to play a catalytic role in addressing transboundary water concerns by assisting countries to utilize the full range of technical assistance, economic, financial, regulatory and institutional reforms that are needed’, through supporting and building on existing political commitments and through promoting sustainable water use and improved water management now, making it easier to address the challenges of the future as climatic variability affects water resources further.
More specifically the project will deliver outcomes under GEF IV Strategic Programme III (SP-3) through working with communities to address their needs for safe drinking water and other socio-economic benefits of sustainable and safe water resources, including balancing environmental requirements with livelihood needs. The project will deliver across a range of MDG targets using IWRM approaches (MDG 7) as the wider development entry point, and will help countries utilize the full range of technical, economic, financial, regulatory, and institutional measures needed to operationalise sustainable development strategies for waters and their drainage basins (both surface and ground water).