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Digital training tackles future threats in Tuvalu

This media release was originally published on TCAP's website.

Tuvalu’s coastline is under threat. New training tools cover shoreline monitoring to track change over time. Credit: UNDP/TCAP.

The Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project (TCAP) continues to roll out its plan to train government officials in the use of a coastal hazard modeling tool, to detect and mitigate coastal risks. This software will support government officials in the Pacific region to mitigate threats like sea-level rise in the long-term.  

The training has also offered individuals the benefit of interacting with different experts within Ocean and Maritime divisions, thus breaking barriers among country experts working closely on coastal resilience to boost collaboration and networking efforts.  

Coastal risk monitoring officer of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community at the Geo-Science Energy and Maritime Division, Ms. Naomi Jackson, told Tuvalu news that the training focused on transferring technical skills in Geospatial Information Services, using open software and data collection to support coastal risk capacity.   

This work is a follow-up to a workshop carried out in May to June this year by TCAP, on disaster risk for vulnerable communities and coastal risk assessment. Trainings will continue to the Marshall Islands, Niue, and the Cook Islands in the coming months.  

Sapolu Tetoa, Minerals Officer from the Tuvalu Lands and Survey Department examines an output from the platform developed by SPC and TCAP 2023. Training in the use of a coastal hazard modeling tool has been extended to detect and mitigate coastal risks. Credit: Merana Kitione/SPC.

Mineral Officer at the Lands and Survey Department of the Government of Tuvalu, Sapolu Tetoa, said: “It has been an exciting attachment training for me personally, the knowledge gained through the two months within the two projects has helped me as an individual working for the Government to better my skills. I really enjoyed my time at SPC as individual staff within the Organization made me feel at home, which motivates me to do things that are out of my comfort zone.” 

Building intelligence for risk management  

Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project manager, Alan Resture, said: "This new technology is supporting the people of Tuvalu to build capacity about potential climate hazards that could affect the island in future. “This kind of data gathering through new Geographic Information System tools, is supporting us to get ahead of the curve on climate change, so that we can find and deploy better solutions to support Small Island Developing States like Tuvalu in building a more resilient future."  

He added that the training is part of a wider goal within the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project to build the capacity of government officials and men and women on the island, so that technical skills to mitigate climate risks can be tapped locally. Participants in the training have so far included representatives from the Metropolitan Police office, and the Departments of Climate Change and Disaster, Environment and Lands and Survey.  

Training is an ongoing element of the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project. Credit UNDP/TCAP.

State-of-the-art online platform  

This digital training follows the recent hand-over in July of a state-of-the-art online platform which, in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), for the first time, allows the atoll nation to clearly identify, plan for, and reduce risks associated with sea level rise and more frequent intense storms driven by climate change.  

The free, publicly available platform enables the government, communities, and other users to make sound, risk-informed development decisions including where to build, as well as providing a crucial tool to plan adaptation into the future. Special effort has been made to ensure the platform is easy to use and will integrate seamlessly with SPC’s national training programme under TCAP, while incorporating feedback from users into the platform.  

In the coming months, more potential users in addition to government departments will be trained in routine use of the dashboard, and how to add data layers to the shoreline monitoring component of the system, to track change over time.  

About the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project

With US$36 million financing from the Green Climate Fund and US$2.9 million co-financing from the Government of Tuvalu, the 7-year Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project is contributing to strengthening the resilience of one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change and sea-level rise. Implemented by the UN Development Programme in partnership with the Government, the project is improving coastal protection in key locations on the islands of Funafuti, Nanumea and Nanumaga. While new measures will act as a buffer during storms, the project also strives to build the capacity of national and island governments and local communities in adapting to climate change in the longer term. Learn more at Follow the project on Twitter @TCAPforTu8 or on Facebook

About the United Nations Development Programme

UNDP is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at

About the Pacific Community (SPC)

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by 27 country and territory members.

SPC is a key project partner to TCAP, undertaking Environmental and Social Impact, Geotechnical, Sea Level Measurement and Wave Inundation Assessments in support of TCAP’s work programme. SPC will also deliver a hands-on training programme for Tuvalu government officers and other interested parties in 2023. Among various subjects the training will cover use and improvement of the hazards dashboard.

Additional photos from the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project also available on Flickr: *Please credit as indicated