Restoring and Protecting Biodiversity, Coastal Landscapes and Climate Change Resilience through Nature Based Solutions, Women and Youth Entrepreneurship in New Caledonia, Tonga and Vanuatu

Restoring and Protecting Biodiversity, Coastal Landscapes and Climate Change Resilience through Nature Based Solutions, Women and Youth Entrepreneurship in New Caledonia, Tonga and Vanuatu


Pacific Islands are among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change as they are affected by repeated volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, droughts, and invasive sea level rise, which are rapidly eroding nations’ exceptional terrestrial and marine biodiversity, green coastal lands, nearshores, blue reefs and other aquatic resources. Economic development, and demographic pressure on land and marine resources, including overfishing,have already exacerbated these challenges. The loss of biodiversity, coastal lands, and aquatic life, has also had major societal and gender implications in shaping the quality of life for women, girls, boys and the elderly, including reduced livelihood opportunities, which are undermining women and youth’s voices in the conservation and management of communities' global commons.

New Caledonia, Tonga and Vanuatu, are uniquely more vulnerable than the rest of the Pacific, for reasons related totheir exposure to climate variability and in turn natural disasters. Moreover, the decreasing intervals between disasters impact the ability of communities to recover, with approximately two cyclones occurring between September and April every year. The 2022 volcanic eruption in Tonga, and its impacts, is symbolic of how biodiversity, coastal lands, nearshores and reefs are under severe threat across these island countries. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened resilience, by narrowing existing incomes and overall socio economic opportunities. It is also important to note that the lack of data, for example baselines, is a crippling factor for interventions in this context. Against this background, prioritising Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to enhance protection against climate hazards and support low emissions climate resilient development, combined with economic development opportunities for vulnerable groups,offers a long term solution to these countries’ ability to develop effective, efficient and equitable solutions for climate adaptation, mitigation, sustainable economic development and biodiversity.

Project objectives and activities: The main objective of this project is to improve climate change resilience, food

security and livelihood opportunities throughcommunity led NBS in coastal communities in New Caledonia, Tonga and Vanuatu. The project design is centred around the following results:

Result I

Result II

Result III

Result IV

NBS for women and youth

Women and youth led NBS

A gender sensitive policy to

Public communication


entrepreneurship established

adequately manage coastal

campaign promoting NBS


for about 5,000 households.

ecosystems is developed and

developed and implemented




via knowledge sharing.

Result I and the associated activities” applies a community based approach, to ensure that the project is built on NBS traditional knowledge and practices for restoring and protecting biodiversity, coastal lands, nearshore and aquatic resources. “Result II and the associated activities” ensures that the project contributes to improving gender equality by facilitating access to income for women and youth. Result III and the associated activitiesstrengthens institutional frameworks for managing coastal resources, while improving gender equality by facilitating the participation of women and youth in the conservation of coastal resources. “Result IV and the associated activitiesdemonstrates an important ingredient of sustainability, while linking the project with the FAO managed ‘Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Solutions Platform’, which facilitates knowledge sharing over scalable solutions contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in SIDS. In line with this, the project proposes an integrated approach that advances the SDGs, ensuring no one is left behind.1

The proposed partnership between UNOPS and FAO is well placed to successfully deliver the proposed project and associated activities. UNOPS has an excellent comparative advantage to operationally deliver projects with efficiency. This is a perfect marriage with FAO, which has proven technical capacities to work with local stakeholders to restore and protect biodiversity, coastal lands, nearshore and aquatic resources. Moreover, in practical terms, FAO has offices and project teams currently working in Tonga and Vanuatu on these subjects. UNOPS in turn has an office in Noumea.



Project Status: 
Project Contact: 
Project Sites: 

KIWA- FAO Project

Port Vila - Efate 
Latitude: 17.000000
Longitude: 168.000000

KIWA- FAO Project

Santo - Luganvile 
Latitude: 15.000000
Longitude: 166.000000

KIWA - FAO Project

South Pentecost 
Latitude: 15.000000
Longitude: 168.000000