Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.
United Nations Development AccountUnited Nations Headquarters New York

Development Account Projects

Capacity Development to increase Asian and Pacific Cities' Resilience to Climate Change


Coastal areas of the Asia and Pacific region were identified by IPCC as particularly exposed to climate change. A large proportion of the fastest growing urban areas are in these locations. Within these cities it is the urban poor who are particularly vulnerable to climate change as their settlements are often on marginal land, with poor quality of housing and infrastructure, and they lack adequate coping mechanisms and asset security when disaster strikes.

Despite an emerging understanding of the threats, most local governments, especially those of smaller cities and towns, are still ill-equipped to face the challenges that climate change brings. There are limitations in conducting vulnerability assessments and in developing adaptation plans. Urban governance structures are already greatly challenged by the speed and magnitude of urbanization with climate change now presenting greater pressures. Meanwhile external support for cities is limited, especially in the Pacific where very limited climate change support is given to local governments.

Under the 7th Tranche of the Development Account Project UN-Habitat and ESCAP had received USD 205,000 and have successfully started addressing some of the issues outlined by supporting local governments in three Pacific Island Countries, in Sri Lanka and the Philippines to assess their climate change vulnerabilities and articulate climate change adaptation options. The project had further supported the development of a climate change Quick Guide for policy makers which is based on an assessment of good practices. The renewed partnership between UN-Habitat and ESCAP builds on two strands of this ongoing collaboration, which will come to an end in early 2013:

1. The project aims to support participating cities in Pacific Small Island Developing States, namely: Fiji (Lami), Vanuatu (Port Vila), Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby) to move from their vulnerability assessments to adaptation plans. The project will further support a limited number of quick win adaptation measures and will support cities in attracting additional climate change funding. Additional Pacific Island Cities will be supported in starting up their climate change response. The project will also aim to expand its reach to peri-urban areas given the interrelationship between the peri-urban and urban ecosystems and the political and social importance of customary authorities such as chiefs and customary landowners.

2. The project will further disseminate the Quick Guide developed under the ongoing Development Account Project and will support Asia-Pacific wide advocacy, knowledge management and capacity development.


To build and enhance capacities of local and national governments in the Asia-Pacific Region to build climate change resilient human settlements

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased awareness and capacity of local governments and their partners to develop and implement climate change plans using participatory approaches and multi-sector processes

  • Developed regional support mechanisms strengthen the capacities of local governments on cli-mate risk management

Implementation status:

In progress.