At a glance
Approximately 70% of Samoa’s population and infrastructure are located in low-lying coastal areas, with 50% of the population living in the Apia urban area and northwest Upolu. Projected sea level rise could exacerbate coastal erosion, loss of land and property and dislocation of the island settlements. Coastal floods are also likely to become more frequent and severe. In the early 1990s, tropical cyclones Ofa and Val caused damage with costs estimates amounting to approximately four times the gross domestic product. Environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction are among the priorities of the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2008-2012, which identifies climate change adaptation as a cross-cutting issue.
Samoa has developed a framework of strategies, plans and governance structures that are considered best practice in the Pacific region. Climate change adaptation is reflected as a priority in many high-level plans and strategies. Samoa’s vision is to improve quality of life for all its inhabitants through seven key development priorities, including environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction.