Coral reefs are central to the economy and livelihoods of Palau while providing risk reduction benefits. However, climate change is posing a serious threat to the survival of corals. Rise in sea surface temperature and ocean acidification as a result of climate change is causing coral bleaching events more frequent and severe.1 Future projections also indicate that widespread coral bleaching will occur annually in Palau’s coral reefs by 2040.2 This technical assistance (TA) will therefore support the deployment of heat-tolerant corals in Palau, which can address rising sea surface temperature and assist in building community resilience to climate change. The TA will also provide capacity building of Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and involve local communities as well as NGOs throughout the process, since coral reef restoration technology is still an emerging
technology in Palau. The TA will be implemented for 12 months, and will include the following main activities:
• Develop a strategic coral restoration plan for Palau, responsive to climate change threats, in a consultative manner (including shorter-term/small-scale interventions, and longterm/ broader-scale interventions, and corresponding monitoring framework)
• Test one technology - outplanting of heat-resisting coral fragments - to be used in the short term on 1 priority site (including the preparation of protocols, management plan and M&E monitoring, and mapping for potential scale up of this technology)
• Identification of capacity development gaps and development of a capacity building plan, including implementation of urgent capacity development flagship actions (to build capacity of PICRC and target community)
In the long run, climate financing may be leveraged to scale the technology in Palau and other Pacific Islands, while having PICRC as one of the leading institutions implementing restoration activities in the Pacific.