U.S. Government Awards Grants to Help Marshall Islands Adapt to Climate Change

Majuro, the Marshall Island –The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM) has awarded grants to the Namdrik Atoll Development Association (NADA) and Aquaculture Technologies of the Marshall Islands (ATMI) to help island communities adapt to the negative impacts of climate change and improve their livelihoods.

The USAID grant to Namdrik Atoll Development Association (NADA), a community-based NGO focused on sustainable livelihoods and conservation in the Namdrik Island, will develop pearl farming as a new source of income for the people of Namdrik, where the traditional livelihoods of farming of banana and taro have suffered due to the contamination of ground water tables. Project activities will include training pearl farmers, increasing the number of pearl oysters from 3,000 to 20,000 – the minimum amount required to generate positive cash flow – and developing pearl products and their marketing and sales.

The USAID grant to Aquaculture Technologies of the Marshall Islands (ATMI) will support a three-year Aquaculture Fisheries Project on two atolls, Majuro and Rongelap, to improve the two communities’ economic resilience. The project will manufacture fish feed to support the aquaculture sector, grow fish to improve food security on the two atolls, and train the local workforce to establish small aquaculture farms.

“I commend your country’s leadership in combating climate change, when in 2013 in the 44th Pacific Islands Forum summit, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony deBrum proposed a Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership to galvanize concrete action on climate change,” said Thomas H. Armbruster, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. “Today, with the launch of these projects, we work hand in hand to build the resiliency of your communities to deal with the impact of a changing climate.”

The Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM) is a grant-making facility funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that assists twelve Pacific island countries to reduce long-term vulnerabilities associated with climate change. PACAM awards grants to civil society organizations in support of climate change adaptation measures and related “co-benefits”, such as livelihoods enhancement, food security, improved health, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable natural resources management.