Country

Solomon Islands

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Solomon Islands.

Adaptation

Solomon Islands’ greenhouse gas emissions are only 0.01% of global emissions. However, climate change impacts affect the very existence of the Solomon Islands. According to the Solomon Islands National Adaptation Programme of Action, climate change is the most important developmental and environmental issue for the country and poses a significant impediment towards meeting its development goals. The country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution report estimates that the total cost to implement the National Adaptation Program would be US$125,650,000. This includes money for agriculture, food security, water, sanitation, human settlements, human health, education awareness, low-lying islands, waste management, coastal protection, fisheries, marine resources, infrastructure development and tourism. The report also indicates that for a majority of this cost, funding is expected to come in the form of grants from the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility, Adaptation Fund, and from various bi-lateral climate programs. 

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Strengthen farming techniques, particularly on steep hillsides to reduce soil erosion.
  • Develop salt and/or drought tolerant crop species.
  • Strengthen the country’s agricultural extension services and rapid response centers to address disease and pest outbreaks more effectively.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the country’s meteorological services to produce and distribute weather forecasts particular to agriculture.
  • Build flexibility into the water-provisioning systems to address future climate change.
  • Improve water management infrastructure and planning.
  • Increase water use efficiency in the agriculture sector.
  • Develop a repository of the potential incidences of climate-related diseases, including research that establishes causal linkages between meteorological data and these.
  • Implement awareness-raising activities on the potential impacts of climate change on health, including projected changes in the outbreaks of water- and insect-borne diseases, as well as appropriate response mechanisms for dealing with these.

Gaps and Needs

  • Responding to climate change in the health sector is hampered by a limited understanding and awareness of climate change. Research is desperately required on the links between climate change and diseases in the context of small islands, including the collection of a robust baseline datasets that offer a village perspective on current and potential impacts. Furthermore, education and awareness activities that address the country’s unique cultural diversity are required.
  • Detailed assessments of climate change impacts and risks focusing on food security, water resources, and coastal resources are required. Water supply and demand studies need to be conducted across the country. Currently, the only available one of such detailed assessments is the one conducted by the Water Resources Department in Honiaria, and this needs to be expanded to other critical urban areas in order to appropriately address issues and problems with water resources management.
  • Almost no work has been done to downscale climate models to individual islands. Realistically, it may not be possible to derive more accurate climate change information due to the small size of these islands; however, more work needs to be done to address the “island dilemma”. New information should be credible and useful to decision making at the island scale.
  • A very limited instrumental record makes extensive analyses of the natural variability of cyclones difficult to assess. Establishing a robust observation network is a critical first step towards addressing potential cyclone risks.
  • The limited integration of climate change considerations into current development activities needs to be addressed by strengthening coordination among the country’s relevant institutions.
  • Responding to climate change requires that a significant effort is made to raise education activities and awareness regarding current and projected climate variability and change. Integrating climate change into formal education curricula, as well as community awareness programs, could help in meeting these goals.
  • The technical and financial capacity of existing institutions needs to be augmented to address the needs of the country’s more remote islands.
  • Legislative policies and development activities need to take into account climate change. For example, according to the Department of Transportation and Public Works, existing infrastructure projects, including wharf and bridge building, need to be properly climate-proofed to deal with projected climate risks.
  • According to the Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction’s 2011 Climate Change Profile, capacity (terms of human resources, technical and financial capacity) in key government roles and institutions is lacking, as is donor coordination. Both of these issues need to be addressed in order to support the government in addressing its climate change risks.
  • A general lack of sector-specific data, including on fisheries and agriculture, which needs to be addressed in order to develop appropriate response measures.
  • Anecdotal evidence of changes in climate need to be formally catalogued across the country. For example, there is evidence that water quality and quantity is being reduced, but these dynamics are not well understood due to a limited understanding of the country’s hydrometeorological systems. In many cases, there are no weather monitoring sites that could provide key information on flash floods and water flows to managers downstream.
  • Addressing sea level and storm surge risks will require the use and interpretation of the information that is coming out of the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, listed above.
  • The use of existing meteorological information is limited to specific agencies, and this information needs to be tailored to decision makers across a wider series of sectors, including water resources management. This may improve as the new Climate Change Division evolves, but as noted above, this should be supported.
  • Technical capacity and human resources are also lacking in terms of spatial data in the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). There is a clear need within the NDMO and across government more broadly to develop a geographical information system (GIS) spatial database that would assist the work of numerous initiatives and coordination on a national scale .