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UNEP Website, 7th May 2018

The Cook Islands has received $3 million to help build the resilience of its residents and protect their livelihoods from disasters and climate change.

The money, a grant from the Adaptation Fund, will help the Pacific island nation strengthen its disaster risk governance, establish and implement a robust water monitoring, reporting and assessment system and revitalize its agricultural production systems.

The Cook Islands is the first Pacific nation to receive such funds directly. Previously, resources from the Adaptation Fund have been delivered via international organizations such as UN Environment.

Pacific island countries like Cook Islands are among the most vulnerable to climate change, sea-level rise and extreme events. Sea-level rise is expected to worsen floods, lead to storm surges and other hazards that threaten the islands’ infrastructure and facilities that support the livelihood of Cook Islanders and an already fragile subsistence level agricultural sector.

Cook Islands aims to use the funds to strengthen national and local capacity to reduce climate change risks, establish climate resilient water management instruments through an approach that involves communities and to revitalize agricultural production systems. The intention is to support greater food security and protect livelihoods in Pa Enua, particularly islands in the northern group, which comprises seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls and sand cays.

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Cook Islands