Integrating Climate Change Risks in the Agriculture and Health Sectors in Samoa (ICCRAHSS)
There are a variety of critical climate change induced impacts on Samoa. One of these is the increased prevalence of climate-related water-borne, vector-borne, and food-borne diseases which add substantive strain to an already over-burdened public health system. These impacts are compounded by adverse climate effects on agriculture and food security, which are particularly related to failing crops in conditions of increasing average temperatures and rising groundwater salinity levels. Against this backdrop, agricultural planners in Samoa lack the information and experience necessary to design long-term food security strategies and projects that focus on diversified crop choices and resilient farming methods. The health sector lacks a systematic monitoring system to analyze the connection between climaterelated trends and events and specific patterns and dynamics of disease prevalence, which translates into an insufficient knowledge base for the effective allocation of financial resources to growing climate-related health risks. These aspects are compounded by capacity gaps with policy-makers and sector planners at all levels, which makes it difficult to systematically support climate-resilience in policy and investment decisions.
In order to address these challenges, the Government of Samoa proposes an integrated approach to address climate change impacts in the agriculture and health sectors. The project focuses on the enhancement of organizational and technical capabilities in the Samoa Meteorology Division to monitor climate trends and provide regular, timely and accurate climate risk and early warning information to agricultural extension and public health services. The project will strengthen the capabilities of Samoa‟s public health workers and agricultural planners to make use of climate risk information and adopt measures that increase the resilience of communities to climate-induced food security and disease risks. Demonstration of adaptive crop management and climate-related disease prevention in four
high-risk districts will provide a knowledge base to catalyze increasingly resilient policy and investment decisions in Samoa, and enable replication and up-scaling of project lessons within the country and in the wider Pacific region. Coordination with the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project will govern this regional interface.