Session 3.2: Planning, Designing, and Building for Climate Resilience

June 9th, 2020

Description:Building resilience in FCAS and SIDS requires concerted, coordinated and measured solutions. This session showcased examples of climate adaption planning and solutions, and post-conflict emergency responses. Speakers shared insights into developing the Marshall Islands roadmap for aid-effectiveness in climate and energy; highlighted lessons in providing rapid and sustainable response to water and power shortages in the wake of the Marawi conflict that destroyed infrastructure, and threatened health and safety; and described a method to grow ‘living breakwaters’ that protect coastlines and increase bio-diversity in local marine eco-systems, using renewable energy. Panelists talked about Nepal’s market-based business model for adoption of sustainable energy strategies by end-users and ADB’s Climate Adaptation Pathway in the Pacific.

Moderator: Olly Norojono, Energy Division, PARD, Asian Development Bank (ADB)          

Scene-Setter Talk: Samuel Tumiwa, Advisor (Fragile and Conflict-Afflicted Situation), Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Scene-Setter Talk: Arghya Sinha Roy, Senior Climate Change Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Improving Coordination for Strategic Energy Investment in SIDS/ FACS - Case Study of Republic of the Marshall Islands Electricity Roadmap
Presenter: Nicole Baker, Principal, Nicole Baker Consulting

Over the last decade, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has experienced a proliferation of development partners and projects, with a resulting increase in the transactional burden on national personnel and government departments. Projects have tended to be stand-alone, with limited cooperation between funders. In 2018 the RMI developed a long-term electricity roadmap -  a strategic framework for coordinating energy-sector investments to better enable the RMI to meet their ambitious climate change targets and development goals. This session explored the RMI roadmap process and drew insights into how energy sector strategies and roadmaps can assist SIDS through developing a shared vision, crafting a robust technical plan, and establishing ongoing mechanisms for donor coordination. While this approach requires substantial effort, the payoff is in a potentially transformational increase in investment effectiveness and development outcomes, including enhanced resilience.

Keeping the Lights On: Keep the Hopes High
Presenter: Divina Chingcuanco, Sr. Energy Policy Specialist, RTI International

Following a 5-month long conflict between armed groups and the Philippines government security forces in Marawi City, USAID advanced a multi-pronged menu of sustainable and targeted solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) across different sectors. The package of quick response development assistance was designed to alleviate the sufferings and improve the plight of roughly 360,000 IDPs. In line with the Philippine military’s strategy of keeping the lights on aimed at not only averting covert regrouping of violent extremists but instilling safety and security in IDPs, USAID through B-LEADERS rapidly deployed 205 units of solar-powered streetlights in selected transitory shelters that benefited 8,000 IDPs. The units were turned over to Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) after a series of trainings and workshops on repair and maintenance for sustainability. The technical assistance to LASURECO included a Vulnerability and Risk assessment report and a Resilience Compliance Plan. B-LEADERS likewise installed solar rooftops in four rural health clinics that provided basic electricity services to more than 22,000 patients using these facilities. The impact of USAID’s development assistance went beyond safety and security of IDPs but touched so many lives transforming a seemingly depressing situation to a brighter future filled with so much hope.

“Growing” Low Cost Engineered Barrier Reefs for Coastal Protection and Beach Restoration & Erosion Control
Presenter: Harald van Hoeken, COO, Ocean Life Foundation

Coral reefs protect against natural hazards by reducing wave energy by an average of 97%. Reef crests alone dissipate up to 86% of this energy.

Mineral Accretion Technology, which is more than 40 years old, can be used to grow protective barrier reefs using pre-fabricated steel structures and low-voltage electricity (similar to that used for charging mobile phones) to grow CaCO3 (limestone) using minerals dissolved in seawater. These living breakwaters can be seeded with corals, shellfish and other native calcium carbonate secreting organisms, to create permanent “living breakwaters” that protect coastlines and increase bio-diversity in local marine eco-systems.

Living breakwaters are substantially lower cost than any other form of shore protection and powered entirely with renewable energy, have a very low total carbon footprint. In addition to the scalable climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits, these engineered reefs also provide new opportunities for mariculture on a commercial basis.


  • Noelle O'Brien, Principal Climate Change Specialist, PARD, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Bishal Thapa, Managing Director, Saral Urja Nepal