The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), working in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, recently inked a deal to further assist climate change adaptation in Solomon Islands.

The deal provides additional resource allocations from both USAID and GIZ to the existing Choiseul Integrated Climate Change Programme (CHICHAP). Choiseul province, north-west of the country’s capital Honiara on Guadalcanal, supports a population of more than 26,000 inhabitants.

CHICHAP addresses the issues of climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation and disaster risk management together.

‘Choiseul is the first of the nine provinces in Solomon Islands where a considered and systematic effort is being made to coordinate all climate change support and initiatives,’ says John Patteson Oti, High Commissioner of Solomon Islands to Fiji.

‘The Solomon Islands government decided to try a different approach,’ says Dr Wulf Killmann, GIZ’s programme Director for CHICHAP, 'one that involved moving away from the pattern of piecemeal and uncoordinated responses implemented by a multitude of players.'

The new approach is ground-breaking and has caught the attention of planners throughout the region who are grappling with the current and projected impacts of climate change.

The coordinated and collaborative effort involves national and provincial governments, development partners and others. They include USAID, GIZ, SPC, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, the Pacific Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Programme and The Nature Conservancy.

‘This [new agreement] is important to us, not just because of what it is going to do, but because it supports the multi-donor effort,’ says Gloria Steele, USAID Mission Director – Philippines and Pacific Islands.

The agreement signed between USAID and GIZ on 27 March 2014 will last up to three years at an estimated cost of up to USD 1.5 million (USAID USD 1 million / GIZ USD 0.5 million). The money will be used for activities that concentrate on crops, sustainable agriculture, mangrove rehabilitation and awareness building, according to Dr Killmann.

The project will focus on ridge-to-reef adaptation measures in the eight communities of Malagono, Nuatabu, Panggoe, Posarae, Sasamunga, Sube-Sube, Voruvoru and Vuraqo. These communities were identified as most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change after a province-wide assessment in 2012.