The Kiwa Initiative aims to strenghten the climate resilience of ecosystems, communities, and economies in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories by using Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to protect, restore, and sustainably manage biodiversity.

Pacific Island Countries and Territories owned an exceptional terrestrial and marine biodiversity that offers unvaluable services to communities. But this part of the world is particularly vulnerable to climate change: ecosystems and traditional ways of life are directly impacted.

The Kiwa initiative is a multi-donor program which operates in 19 Pacific Island Countries and Territories : Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Cooks Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Tokelau, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna.

The Kiwa Initiative provides funding to national and local authorities, public institutions, regional organizations, local and international NGOs based in Oceania..


The Initiative aims to :

  • Reduce the vulnerability to climate change of Pacific communities and ecosystems.
  • Facilitate access to NbS funding for climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation.
  • Support sustainable management of natural land and marine areas.
  • Improve coordination between donors, Pacific Island Countries and Territories and regional organizations.

The Initiative was launched by France and the European Union at the 2017 One Planet Summit. It now has five donors: the European Union, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with a budget of nearly €41 million managed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

WHY "Kiwa" ?

Kiwa is a symbol of ocean protection and biodiversity. She is one of the seven guardians of the ocean in the Māori mythology.

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The Initiative simplifies access to climate/biodiversity funding and offers:

  • Calls for local projects managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with grants ranging from 25,000 to 400,000 euros.
  • Calls for regional projects (involving at least two eligible countries or territories) with grants ranging from 1.5 to 5 million euros. The AFD oversees these projects with support from the Kiwa Initiative Secretariat.
  • The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) provide technical assistance : capacity building, support for developing and implementing regional Kiwa projects and for the integration of SFNs for climate change adaptation into public policies.

Nature-based Solutions contribute to climate change adaptation and offer many other co-benefits such as food security, reduction of gender inequality, better health, preservation of water resources, economic resilience and disaster risk diminution (erosion, flooding, etc.).


Three regional projects have already been selected, regarding :

  • agroecology/agroforestery development, led by the Pacific Community (SPC),
  • ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP),
  • the watershed integrated management and the links between the preservation of biodiversity and human health, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).


Following a call for small and medium-sized grant projects in 2021, 13 local projects have been selected, including 9 in Pacific island states and 5 in French territories.

The governance and management of the Kiwa Initiative are organized around two key bodies: 

  • A Secretariat supervised by the AFD, tasked with supporting project assessment, monitoring and implementation, providing technical, administrative and financial management for the Initiative, and reporting back to partner donors on the contents and implementation of the Initiative's communication strategy.
  • The Initiative’s Steering Committee (SC), with representatives from five donors and three Pacific sub-regions representatives (Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia), which decides on the selection of regional projects submitted to the AFD following calls for projects, on the basis of a consensus decision.


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