Building Resilience to Climate Change for maritime facilities in Papua New Guinea



Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has received a USD24.25 Million grant with the goal of implementing the BRCC project – Building Resilience to Climate Change in PNG” (2018-2021) to achieve transformational change in addressing the current and future threats from climate change and related hazards.

The project is intended to improve the accessibility of the provincial town of Alotau for the low-income population residing in remote outer islands. Reliable maritime infrastructure is an essential pre-requisite for trade, economic development, health services and poverty reduction in the outer islands.

The Ports Enabling Framework Consultants (PEFC) package supports the PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNGPCL) with the development of an enabling framework to reinforce climate change interventions. In the long run, the project will increase the capacity to manage climate change risks through establishment of early warning systems, access to finance by communities, and the development of database and knowledge management systems.

How we are doing it

With the goal of successfully accomplishing the contract’s objectives, NTU already developed climate change projections to guide climate proofing of ports infrastructure in PNG

In this regard, NTU has:

  • Established the adaption objective
  • Constructed climate change scenarios
  • Identified vulnerabilities, biophysical and socioeconomic drivers of vulnerabilities
  • Identified all potential adaption options
  • Establish arrangements for implementations
  • Identified the needs for technical support and capacity building
  • Designed and monitored an evaluation plan with suitable performance indicators.

Maritime facilities and associated infrastructures need to be made resilient to the adverse impacts of climate change. Recognising this, NTU has developed climate change projections to guide the development of policies and hard engineering standards for climate proofing of maritime infrastructure.

Further structural considerations for climate proofing of port facilities and associated maritime infrastructure include i) raising the height of the causeway road, ii) improving the structural strength of drainage systems since uncertainty in projected rainfall makes replacement of drainage financially unviable, iiii) incorporating sea level rise projections into future port infrastructure designs to ensure infrastructure is built higher than expected rises during the design life, and iv) reinforcing rock walls built to withstand stronger, higher wave surges.


NTU built upon previous climate change projections conducted in the context of the PNG Bridge Replacement for Improved Rural Access Project for developing district level climate change projections addressed to vulnerable districts and having the aim to inform the climate proofing process of port infrastructure managed by PNGPCL and Provincial/district governments.

To date, NTU already supported in improving climate change resilience of the vulnerable social and economic support system of isolated island communities, while proposing climate proofing solutions for existing critical infrastructure.

The project has also already established modalities to integrate climate change risk management into the day-to-day operations of PNGPCL and other agencies responsible for operating and maintaining costal assets.

At this stage, the outcome of the project is already a model to replicate and build-on for other key maritime infrastructure authorities and agencies in Papua New Guinea.