Solution Category: Resilience 4 Cities
Background and Objective
Solomon Islands is one of the world’s fastest urbanizing countries. The capital, Honiara, located on the northwestern coast of Guadalcanal, is the major centre of economic activity and as such, attracts increasing numbers of youth and adults from other islands seeking employment. The city has a growing urban footprint and is the only settlement exceeding 10,000 inhabitants. This large movement of people is overstretching the urban development and planning capacity of government entities, resulting in unplanned urbanization, associated growth of informal settlements and a lack of adequate infrastructure. Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as the Solomon Islands, are amongst the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Honiara’s coastline is vulnerable to sea level rise and lacks sufficient natural or artificial defences against the increasing intensity of storm surges and cyclones, resulting in erosion, loss of habitats and livelihoods. With a topographically difficult terrain and inadequate urban infrastructure, the rugged hill areas are facing increased risk of landslides and valley floors are experiencing regular flood events due to higher frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall. Particularly at risk are the residents of informal communities.
Actions and Implementation
UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Honiara City Council, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey, Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology and RMIT University implements the Enhancing urban resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters in Honiara project, with a budget of US4,395,877 million, implemented over four years. In line with and in support of the Honiara Urban Resilience and Climate Action Plan, the overarching goal of this project is to enhance the resilience of the city and its inhabitants to current and future climate impacts and natural disasters, putting a particular focus on pro-poor adaptation actions that involve and benefit the most vulnerable communities in the city, such as youths, women, girls, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Outcomes and Impacts
The project engages across all spatial scales with resilience actions and capacity building at city, ward, and local community levels. A combination of actions and capacity building across spatial scales ensures that actions are not stand-alone but are integrated into a resilience action plan for the city and hence more likely to be sustainable in the longer term. Important outcomes of this multi-level approach are improved institutional arrangements and working relationships between all stakeholders involved.
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