INSTEAD of working on the relocation of coastal communities vulnerable to climate change, a five-year pilot project is focusing on fortifying seaside areas to protect the people that live there and their assets.
The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change or PACC is working with communities in 14 Pacific Island countries to ensure that lives and buildings were protected from tidal surges and soil erosion caused by climate change.
"We work with the communities and we work on a number of interventions or solutions such as strengthening the coastline defence mechanism to protect assets like church buildings and schools," said adaptation planning officer for PACC Peniamina Leavai.
"We do this by building sea walls and rehabilitating mangroves and planting native trees along the coastline to protect from tidal surges.
"We also design sea walls so that in-flooding from flooded rivers goes through and out to the sea.
"Because communities don't want to move, they have strong emotional and cultural ties to the land, so we have to understand that and work with them to protect their community."
The five-year PACC project is funded by Australian Aid, GEF, UN Institute for Training and Research, UN Development Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.