Tourism is the dominant sector of the Samoan economy contributing more than 20% of its GDP. Small to medium scaled tourism operations are mostly controlled by small beach fale (open hut) developments that are uniquely connected to the many small villages around the coastline of the two main islands of Upolu and Savaii.
The principle resource bases of tourism are the pristine beaches, coastal, lagoon and reef areas. Small scaled operators are reliant on goods and services related to agriculture, fisheries, food processing, construction, handicraft, transport, energy, water and waste management and cultural performance and village communities are reliant on the tourism operations for employment, income and capital.
There are indirect benefits as well through the extension of transport networks, upgrading of infrastructure and the provision of essential services. The value chains are therefore very strong and diverse.
Seventy percent of Samoa’s polulation live within the coastal strips with tourism operations mostly within 100 meters of the coastline. Being adjacent to the coast, many operators and reliant communities are exposed to the impacts of climate change induced extreme events and other long term incremental changes (sea-level rise, etc).
Increased vulnerability and reduced resilience to natural and human induced forces will increase due to climate change factors. Threats upon these small-scaled operations will detrimentally affect the viability and profitability of community value chanins both directly and indirectly.
The objective of the project is to enhance the resilience of tourism-reliant communities to climate change risks. This will be achieved by integrating climate change into development policy and instruments, and investing in adaptation actions supporting tourism-reliant communities. These are priorities identified under Samoa’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).
Resources will be used to establish financial support schemes and risk transfer mechanisms develop a sector-tailored early warning system and implement concrete adaptation measures in high priority tourism-reliant communities and tourism sites targeting the management of coastal infrastructure, water resources, shore line and tourism resources including recreational activities.
The expected project outcomes are:
1. Climate change adaptation mainstreamed into tourism-related policy instruments and public-private partnerships (Initial allocated budget USD 330,758)
2. Increased adaptive capacity to climate change and disaster risks of tourism-reliant communities (Initial allocated budget USD 1,437,605)