Samoa, a small island country in the South West Pacific, was the first in the region to become independent in 1962.  The country is a group of two main islands, Savai’i and Upolu, as well as several smaller islands lying in the Polynesia region of the southern Pacific Ocean. The country consists of four main inhabited islands and six uninhabited islands.  Its total area is approximately 2,931 square kilometers, with a coastline of about 403 kilometers.  According to CIA's latest report, approximately 193,000 people live in Samoa, with an economy base on subsistence and exports that include agriculture, fishery and forestry products. Tourism is another growing industry.  There are also several food processing and automobile parts plants. However, the country  remains somewhat dependent on financial aid

The capital, Apia, is located on the second largest island Upolu and has a population of approximately 40,000 people.  The islands are of volcanic origin clearly visible in the form of several dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Approximately 70% of Samoa’s population and infrastructure are located in low-lying coastal areas. Projected sea level rise could exacerbate coastal erosion, loss of land and property and dislocation of the island inhabitants. The extreme events of tropical cyclones Ofa (1990) and Val (1991)caused damage with costs estimates of approximately four times the gross domestic product (GDP) of Samoa.

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Funded Activity Agreement - Samoa

Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa

As a Small Island Developing State in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms. In response, the Government of Samoa has adopted a programmatic approach to address the issue of climate change-induced flooding .
As part of this programme, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa project will enable the Government to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment. The river flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA), Samoa’s primary urban economic area.
The primary direct beneficiaries include approximately 26,528 people in the Vaisigano river catchment who will benefit from upgraded infrastructure and drainage downstream, integrated planning and capacity strengthening, including planning for flooding caused by extreme weather events, and flood mitigation measures especially riverworks and ecosystems solutions in the Vaisigano River Catchment. Overall, 37,000 people will also benefit indirectly. The economic net present value of the proposed investment project has been estimated to reach approximately US$15.6 million, and to yield an economic internal rate of return of approximately 15.5%. The project is expected to run from 2017-2023.
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
POINT (-168.57421877011 -13.228535498555)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
26,528 people living in the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$65.7 million total. US$57.7 million from Green Climate Fund, US$8 million from Government of Samoa (as detailed in the ProDoc, Dec 2016)

Funded Activity Agreement - Samoa


GCF Funding Proposal

Project Details: 

GCF resources will be used to implement a combination of integrated watershed and flood management works including both hard and soft measures. This includes upgrading river works to cater to increased water flows during flood events (taking into account the likelihood of the increased frequency of extreme events), ensuring that infrastructure works, and home dwellings, government and private-sector buildings are made more secure and provide adequate shelter in case of floods and their aftermaths. Additionally, the project will ensure that when floodwaters occur, the excess waters are channeled away through an effective, efficient, and fit-for-purpose drainage system. The project will consequently play a critical role in assisting the urban population and economy to effectively manage the inevitable increased intensity and frequency of flooding.

Direct benefits from these interventions include reduced risk of damage to public and private infrastructure/assets; reduced possibility of loss of life; and enhanced land value in flood-prone areas. Indirect benefits include reduced losses in income/sales; reduced costs of clean-ups, maintenance and repairs; reduced costs of relief and response efforts; and reduced possibility of health hazards. In addition to these 26,000 direct beneficiaries, the general population of Samoa will benefit from the safeguarding of critical economic assets and learning that will be generated.

In addition, mid and upstream ecosystem and community-based adaptation measures will enhance capture, infiltration, storage and delayed release of rainwater in soils and biomass, and water retention ponds will serve both climate-smart agribusiness development and combat degradation of vulnerable ecosystems through appropriate agro-forestry land-use practices.

Addressing Climate Change in Samoa

Recent extreme events have resulted in approximately US$200 million worth of damages during each event. Climate projections for Samoa suggest that the risk of climate induced events will increase, potentially undermining development progress in urban Apia where the majority of the population and economic activity is located.

Given the topography of the country, extreme events result in significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical events such as Cyclone Evan have caused significant damage to both public and private assets as a result of flooding, resulting in serious health impacts. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably from the recurrence of flooding and is unable to cope as climate change-related events are expected to become more frequent and intense.

Projected climate change scenarios cited by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) suggest that Samoa is expected to have more frequent and extreme rainfall events; more frequent and longer drought events; increased air and water temperatures; sea level rise; and more frequent extreme wind events.


Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

The project represents the Government of Samoa’s initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution for the likely consequences of extreme events in Apia, the capital with about 80,000 people. In this project, three interlinked project outputs will be pursued:

  • Capacities and information base strengthened for the Government of Samoa to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;
  • Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and
  • Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

Reis Lopez Rello
Regional Technical Specialist - Adaptation
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Funding Source Short Code: 
Programme Meetings and Workshops: 

News and Updates: 

Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Board: 14 December 2016
Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) effectiveness reached: 11 July 2017
Local Project Appraisal Committee meeting (LPAC): 4 July 2017
Project Document signature between UNDP and Government: 21 July 2017

First disbursement of funds: August 2017

'Samoa kicks off climate adaptation project to benefit 1 in 3 citizens facing flood risk' UNDP, October 25, 2017. In the lead up to COP climate talks in Bonn, the launch of a Green Climate Fund-financed US$65 million project signals strong global support for climate-resilient development in Small Island Developing States. 

'Green Climate Fund Samoa project launch and inception workshop' - UNDP Samoa, August 21, 2017. The Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Finance, and the United Nations Development Program held joint events for the GCF-funded project, 'Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience for the Vaisigano River Catchment' . The workshop presented the work plan for the project and prioritized activities ahead.

'Every dollar counts in fight against climate change - New GCF Funding for Samoa' - Samoa Observer, December 16, 2016. Op-ed celebrating Somoa's recently approved US$58 million Green Climate Fund project.

'Director General hails meeting outcome' -  Samoa Observer, December 15, 2016. The Director General of the Vailima-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P), Leota Kosi Latu, has hailed the outcome of Green Climate Fund Board meeting in Apia. With three multi-million projects proposed by Pacific...



Learn more about the climate challenges facing Samoa, and how UNDP is working to address those challenges and reduce risks.

Information in French / Informations en français: 

Display Photo: 
Flood Management in Samoa
About (Summary): 
As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms. In response, the Government of Samoa has adopted a programmatic approach to address the issue of climate change induced flooding in Samoa. As part of this programme, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa project will enable the Government of Samoa to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment. The river flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA), Somoa’s primary urban economic area.
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Output 1. Strengthening capacities and mechanisms for integrated approach to reduce flood-related risks in place.


Output 2. Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water.

Output 3. Drainage in downstream areas upgraded for increased regulation of water flows.


Civil Society Engagement: 

Samoa P-CBA Country Page


1. Purpose Statement
“To ensure that key line agencies are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to apply CBA fundamentals and implement it at a project’s inception, review period and evaluation at its completion so as to ensure a more informed report is submitted to key decision makers and in turn support improved management for development results”.

2.  P-CBA Focal Points:
Ms. Tuiolo Schuster – Principal Capacity Building Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment,
Ms Abigail Lee Hang - Principal Project Planning and Programming Officer, Ministry of Finance.

3. Ministries and institutions involved:

Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Ministry of Finance
Ministry for Women Community and Social Development


4.CBA Case Studies and Timeline:

  • PPCR Project 2 – Enhancing the Livelihoods of Communities
    Assess this project which aims to enhance the livelihoods of communities identified to be within “at risk” areas of flooding and other effects of CC.  The objectives of the CBA would be to identify the best cost option for addressing these risks as each community is susceptible to different disasters.
  • Timeline: after the in-country training Dec-Jan 2015.


5. In-Country Training and Mentoring Timeline:

The in-Country trainings should focus on the Module 1 “Overview of a CBA” for senior officials, Module 2 “the ABC of CBA”, Module 3 “The CBA Workplan”, Module 5”Environmental Valuation” and Module 6 “Train the trainers”. Timeline: after the SIDS conference Oct-Nov 2014

6. Sustainability Measures Proposed:

  • Internal: The CBA process can be transferred across line agencies through their Sector Coordination Units using the Sector Coordinators’ Meetings (bi-monthly); the existing manual will be revised and once the MOF is confident that the knowledge exists within the lead agencies of each sector, this will once again become a mandatory criteria for large public sector investment projects submitted to the CDC;
  • External: Recurring short term CBA courses to address high employee turnover. Technical Backstopping should be available also after the P-CBA will end, (possibly the RTSM)

7. Proposed Sources of funding:                                  

Source of funding need to be identified with regional development partners. One option might be harnessing the PPCR Samoa track funds as it is indicated as a case study.

8. Additional Resources

Display Photo: 

Samoa AF Project Document: March 2012

 Samoa AF Project Document: March 2012

Inception Workshop Report - Samoa AF Feb 2013

Enhancing resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change

Inception Workshop Report

Prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, February 2013


This report identifies and documents mutual agreements reached on institutional arrangements amongst stakeholders and project approach, goals and objectives as well as project activities, as discussed in preparation for and at the Inception Workshop.

Adaptation Fund Progress Report - Samoa: 2nd Quarter 2013

 Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change (Adaptation Fund - Programme)

 Progress Report, 2nd Quarter 2013 (UNDP Project ID 00079525)

 This report sets out the activities that have been undertaken as at June 2013. 


Samoa is a Small Island Developing Country located in the Southwest Pacific. The climate is tropical with uniform temperatures
ranging between 24°C-32°C, and average precipitation of about 3,000mm. As other Pacific Island countries, Samoa during the
20th Century has experienced an increase in average temperatures—a mean increase of 0.59°C—and a decrease in precipitation
by 49.28mm. Climate change projections from the First National Communication (FNC 1999) and the United Nations Framework

Samoa – GEF Trust Project Identification Form (11 December 2012)

Project Identification Form (PIF) for the project titled “Capacity Development for Implementing Rio Conventions in Samoa.”

Capacity Development for Implementing Rio Conventions in Samoa

Samoa ratified the three major Multilateral Environment Agreements (Conventions) in the early 1990s (UNCBD in1994, UNFCCC in 1994 & UNCCD in 1998). Since then, Samoa has been committed to both environmental management and implementing global Conventions. However Samoa struggles to fulfill its obligations as a result of a number of challenges such as sector coordination, fragmentation of data management systems, consistent regulatory framework, land synergies between our development objectives and environmental processes.

In direct response to these issues this UNDP-supported, GEF-Trust Fund financed project, Capacity Development for Implementing Rio Conventions in Samoa, aims to build support onto and into existing and planned initiatives, thereby achieving global environmental benefits at optimum cost.

Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
POINT (-171.760253928 -13.8540805416)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Samoa
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$550,000 (as of 11 December 2012 detailed in PIF)


Co-Financing Total: 
$500,000 (as of 11 December 2012 detailed in PIF)
Project Details: 

(More information to come)

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 


The project has the three main objectives with the following associated outcomes –

  1. Tools and mechanisms for implementing Rio Conventions are developed. This includes capacity strengthening of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment  (Corporate services /GEF) to cover all Rio Conventions (Output 1.1) and; Strengthening of existing policies and legal frameworks for the effective implementation of convention obligations (Output 1.2).
  2. Tools and mechansims for public awareness raising and information management are developed through the use of existing strategies by government to fulfill Rio conventions obligations (Output 2.1); Upgrading of existing Resource Information Center and centralized, on-line, coordinated data and information facility to share and disseminate information on the 3 Rio Conventions (Output 2.2); Setting-up of an online system to catalogue, share and disseminate information (Output 2.3) and; Generating public awareness that facilitates the participation of local populations in national efforts to implement Rio Conventions (Output 2.4).
  3. Mainstreaming Rio Conventions into development sectors including integration of the Rio Conventions into the Samoa Development Strategy  2012 - 2016 (Output 3.1); Updating the State of the Environment Plan to continue contributing to associated sector plans, such as tourism, agriculture, health, education (Output 3.2) and; Continuation of timely reports of Samoa’s obligations to to the Rio Conventions (Output 3.3).
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

(More information to come)

Tom Twining Ward
Regional Technical Advisor
Project Status: 
Programme Meetings and Workshops: 

(More information to come)

VANUMA project constructs community nurseries to promote climate-resilient agroforestry techniques

Climate change poses a set of climate induced risks to forests in Samoa.  These Climate induced risks exacerbate current pressure due to the unsustainable forestry and land use practices.  The combined effects of these reduce the resilience of forest ecosystems, which in turn affect the resilience of the livelihood of communities dependent on forestry goods and services.  The adaptation option is to introduce a set of alternative agro-forestry and forestry practices adjusted to changing climate regimes supported by an enabling environment through policy changes, institutional strengthening,