Integrated Water Resources Management Plan 2015-20130 for Samoa

The greater Apia area, its communities and environmental values are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, in particular cyclones, storm surges and flooding. This vulnerability will only increase with a changing climate. There have been many assessments, projects and programs undertaken, particularly in recent times, to come to terms with the extent of this vulnerability, and to take measures to address it.

Climate change, disaster risk management, land use, coasts, water and the environment are all cross-cutting issues. Given the fragmentation of the Government and non-governmental responsibilities and funding sources, it is not surprising that a geographically ‘integrated’ approach to planning and management has been difficult to achieve.

This integrated water management plan will therefore outline the risks posed to the communities living in the greater Apia area, and recommend measures to manage these risks. It follows a ‘Ridge-to-Reef’ approach, whereby the interactions of all activities and forces on a catchment area are taken into account. This approach recognizes the importance of an integrated approach to building resilience to disasters and climate change. It also aims to support community livelihoods through the inclusion of aspects such as water, environment, land and coastal management within an overarching framework.

The IWMP attempts neither to re-invent the wheel, nor to replace other initiatives. Plans for the water and sanitation sector and the environment sector, as well as plans for disaster risk management, establish strategic directions and actions for those sectors. Key elements are emphasized in this IWMP, but not comprehensively restated. There have also been several detailed and seminal studies in recent years under the auspices of the UN, ADB, World Bank and other development partners.[1]

This Plan works with these and other previous studies, such as the draft 2011 Water and Sanitation Master Plan for Greater Apia, and the 2006 Drainage and Wastewater Master Plan, and places them in the context of the greater Apia area. It paints a picture of the status and issues relating to disaster risk management, land, water, coastal and environmental management in the greater Apia area. Building on previous work, it brings together strategies t

o address these issues in a structured and integrated framework. It is intended to help inform and prioritize sector planning activities, and to identify key investment opportunities.

The plan integrated ridge to reef approach as well as linked Sendai Framework for DRR; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and Paris agreement on Climate Change.



Group Work Governance.JPG

[1] Including, for example:

  • Samoa Climate Resilience Investment Program (CRIP) – Situation Analysis (de Berdt Romilly et al, 2013, under the PPRC, itself established under the Multi-donor Climate Investment Fund CIF);
  • Apia, Samoa – Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, (United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat, 2014)
  • Samoa Post-disaster Needs Assessment Cyclone Evan 2012, Government of Samoa, March 2013
  • Apia City Development Strategy, UN Habitat and PUMA, 2015




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