Our Work

GOAL: To maintain and enhance Pacific Island countries’ ecosystem goods and services (provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural) through integrated approaches to land, water, forest, biodiversity and coastal resource management that contribute to poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods and climate resilience.”

The Pacific Ridge to Reef programme is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) multi-focal area programme guiding coordinated investment of GEF grant funding across its focal areas of biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, sustainable land management, sustainable forest management, and international waters in Pacific SIDS. It is a multi-agency initiative involving the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as GEF implementing agencies.

Executed regionally by the Pacific Community through the GEF Pacific Ridge to Reef International Waters project (GEF Pacific R2R IW), the operations of the R2R programme is supported in areas of science-based planning, human capital development, policy and strategic planning, results-based management, and knowledge sharing. Implemented through the GEF Pacific R2R IW project the R2R IW national pilot projects are designed to strengthen R2R integration by establishing synergies between sector agencies and the GEF National R2R STAR Projects, governments and communities, civil society and the private sector.

The Programme Coordinating Unit (PCU), hosted by the Pacific Community’s Geoscience Division based in Fiji, is tasked with the provision of technical, operational, reporting and monitoring support as requested by the participating PacSIDS.

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Programme Components

Given the close inter-connections between land, water and coastal systems in PacSIDS, the planning and management of freshwater use, sanitation, wastewater treatment and pollution control, sustainable land use and forestry practices, balancing coastal livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, hazard risk reduction, and climate variability and change is best achieved through integrated and coordinated efforts.

Building on already effective cross-sectoral coordination and planning established through the GEF Pacific Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Project, the R2R Programme embraces the inter-connections between the natural and social systems in a whole of island approach from the ‘ridges’, through coastal watersheds and habitats, and across coastal lagoons to the fringing ‘reef’ environments.

Inherent in the approach is the need for the integration of stakeholders - including communities, and national governments within such a cross-sectoral planning framework which is described by PacSIDS as a ‘community to cabinet’ approach. This emphasizes effective engagement and participation of stakeholders in the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of initiatives aimed at fostering integrated approaches to natural resource and environmental management in PacSIDS.

Each national R2R Program project will feature a representative, multistakeholder Steering Committee including relevant local and national government agencies, NGO/CBO, private sector and UN system participants (known as a national inter-ministry committee (IMC) building on the structures that have already been established in each PIC through the existing UNDP/UNEP/GEF IWRM project). National IMCs will meet bi-annually to review progress, provide strategic advice and support adaptive project management.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Ridge-to-Reef approach achieved in demonstration sites through the scaling up of IWRM and introduction of ICM towards integrated management of natural resources and to reduce watershed and coastal pollution in priority catchments;
  2. Improved terrestrial and marine biodiversity conservation in priority catchments and linked coastal areas;
  3. Carbon stocks restored and enhanced in priority catchments and coastal areas;
  4. Sustainable forest management (SFM) achieved through institutional strengthening, demonstration pilots andinnovative schemes in priority catchments;
  5. Sustainable financing schemes developed to support biodiversity conservation and integrated approaches,including REDD+ in priority catchments Improved resilience to climate change of island ecosystems and communities in priority catchments

Expected Outputs:

  1. Catchment level and coastal area integrated approaches (ICM/IWRM) introduced and/or scaled up in priority sites for 14 PICs;
  2. Measurable pollution reduction, enhanced water use efficiency, other measureable IWRM impacts, and SLM implemented in Ridge-to-Reef national pilot demonstration sites in14 PICs;
  3. New terrestrial protected areas declared and protected in at least 6 PICs Coastal ‘blue forest’ conserved incritical sites in around 7 PICs;
  4. Reforestation and restoration of degraded forests in 7 watersheds in at least two PICs (Fiji and Tonga) resulting in the sequestration of CO2;
  5. Support for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness through country dialogues and other schemes in around 4 PICs;
  6. Innovative system-level sustainable financing plans and schemes (e.g., PES, trust funds) supported by valuation studies for protected areas and landscapes developed in around 5 PICs;
  7. Climate change risk and vulnerability assessments conducted / updated / refined in priority sites in around 10PICs and integrated into ICM-IWRM and land and forest management plans as well as diagnostic analyses.
  8. Integrated (including ecosystembased) and community-based approaches implemented in sites in PICs as noted in local plans

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Enhanced policies, regulations and institutions for integrated Ridge-to-Reef approaches in place in PICs;
  2. National and local capacities for ICM, IWRM, SLM and SFM improved to enable best practice in integrated, climate resilient Ridge-to-Reef approaches in natural resource management.

Expected Outputs:

  1. Integrated policy frameworks at the national and sub-national levels towards combined land, water, forests and coastal and biodiversity management formulated and adopted in all PICs;
  2. Climate smart policies and approaches mainstreamed in broader policy frameworks for an expected at least 4 PICs to reduce vulnerabilities of communities and enhance the resilience of land, water, forest and coastal resources to climate fluctuations;
  3. Inter-ministerial committees developed and functioning in at least ¾ of PICs to facilitate national coordinated action required for integrated Ridge-to-Reef approaches and incorporation into national budget planning;
  4. Training needs assessment conducted and effective mechanisms for transfer of knowledge and skills in integrated approaches in environment and natural resources management implemented in all national R2R projects and the regional project;
  5. Advanced training in ICM/IWRM and other integrated (SLM, SFM) approaches to natural resources and environmental management and climate change adaptation conducted to benefit government staff in all PICs in collaboration with internationally-recognized institution(s) for the conduct of the training and use of training tools;
  6. National human capacity strategies for mainstreaming R2R (ICM, IWRM, SLM, SFM) formulated and adopted in 14 PICs to accompany innovative post-graduate training program and mentoring/leadership programs;
  7. Local ICM plans show integration with IWRM and land and forest management plans in around 10 PICs;
  8. National ICM policies demonstrate integration with national IWRM, SLM and SFM policies in around 10 PICs National coastal diagnostic analyses integrated with existing IWRM related diagnostics in 14PICs National ‘State of the Coast’ Reports produced by year 3 in all 14 PICs.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. National/local indicators and M&E system(s) for simplified and integrated approaches for R2R;
  2. National and regional platforms for sharing of best practices and lessons learned in R2R.

Expected Outputs:

  1. National indicators and simplified M&E systems developed towards national level adoption and reporting by national inter-ministry committees and assembled annually for reporting by year 2.
  2. Integrated and simplified tracking tools developed for multi-focal area projects and communicated to GEF;
  3. Informed decision makers at the national and local levels implement and mainstream integrated R2R approaches and climate adaptation;
  4. Previous SIDS experience, best practice and lessons with ICM/IWRM demo best practices reviewed, codified and disseminated for a PIC-wide capacity building tool to be included in web portal.
  5. Lessons learned from soon to be completed GEF IWRM project captured and disseminated through various forms of appropriate media targeting policy makers, practitioners, the public and other audience;
  6. One percent of IW budget supports the regional knowledge platform and contribute to IW:LEARN activities; appropriate amounts for knowledge related platforms in other focal areas allocated to operationalize an integrated Ridge-to-Reef knowledge platform.

The R2R programme as a whole will be guided by an R2R Program Steering Committee (PSC) which will meet annually to review progress, provide strategic guidance and advice, and facilitate program level coordination and communication. The R2R PSC will include representatives from each PIC.

The regional project will provide overall R2R coordination support and will be executed through the Pacific Community (SPC). UNDP has a firmly established partnership with SPC as an Executing Agency with strong comparative advantage in water and coastal resources management and this R2R programme component will build on and complement the existing UNDP/UNEP/SPC efforts and partnerships.

The Regional Programme Coordinator leads the R2R Program Coordinating Unit (PCU) which provides technical and programmatic support not only for the regional project activities but also for the national R2R projects as may be requested by the countries.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Effective coordination of overall programme, national and regional projects delivers enhanced program effectiveness, efficiency and delivery.

Expected Outputs:

  1. Functioning overall program coordination unit contributing to coordinated effort among STAR national projects in Yr 1;
  2. Technical and operational support provided to national R2R projects to facilitate timely delivery of overall program goals;
  3. National inter-ministerial committee oversight of integrated approaches and national reporting;
  4. Pacific Ridge-to-Reef Network, online capacity building modules, and web portal consistent with GEF IW:LEARN guidance in place by year 2.


The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.

The GEF Pacific R2R programme was developed to provide an opportunity for PacSIDS to develop and implement integrated approaches for the sustainable development of island economies and communities. Partnerships are key to realizing benefits at the local, regional and global levels.

GEF Implementing Agencies

UNDP is on the ground n 177 countries and territories and partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of live for everyone.

FAO has 194 member nations working to achieve food security for all, to make sure people have a regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives.

UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the environmental agenda and promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system.

Executing Agency

The Pacific Community is an international development organization with 26 member countries and territories. It is the principal scientific and technical agency proudly supporting development in the Pacific regional since 1947.

Capacity Building

Pacific Community (SPC) R2R programme partners with James Cook University to deliver the Post Graduate Program in Ridge to Reef Sustainable Development. The R2R post graduate programme provides educational pathways from 2 years for the certificate to an additional year for the diploma. Participating countries include: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia , Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshal Islands , Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.