While it is anticipated that most nations will ultimately suffer the adverse consequences from climate change, Niue remains one of the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. As such, the island faces the most dire and immediate consequences.Tropical cyclone Heta in 2004 caused major damage to infrastructure and agriculture estimated as NZ$37.7 million, which is close to three times the value of Niue's GDP. To be able to address these growing concerns, Niue will need a guiding policy to provide a comprehensive framework to bring all stakeholders together to address climate change issues.
According to the Director of Environment Mr. Sauni Tongatule; "one of the major issues that Niue faces is lack of coordination to address the many facets of climate change and the climate change policy will provide that national framework".
The policy deals with mitigation and adaptation.
"Even though Niue's global Greenhouse Gas emission is very minimal, we would like to do our part in mitigating climate change."
The climate change policy work in Niue was supported from technical assistance by the SPREP and SOPAC and funded by the GEF/UNDP funded Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change project (PACC) as part of its mainstreaming activity.
"The success of the climate change policy hinges on putting in place a workable institutional arrangement," said Mr. Seve Paeniu, the Sustainable Development Adviser of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC) is being implemented in 13 Pacific Island countries. PACC funding will help start adaptation projects on the ground in three major climate change concerns; food security, water and coastal management.