Regional International Waters R2R Project


The purpose of the project is to test the mainstreaming of ‘ridge-to-reef’ (R2R), climate resilient approaches to integrated land, water, forest and coastal management in the PICs through strategic planning, capacity building and piloted local actions to sustain livelihoods and preserve ecosystem services. This regional project provides the primary coordination vehicle for the national R2R STAR Projects that are part of the Pacific R2R Programme, by building on nascent national processes from the previous GEF IWRM project to foster sustainability and resilience for each island through: reforms in policy, institutions, and coordination; building capacity of local institutions to integrate land, water and coastal management through on-site demonstrations; establishing evidence-based approaches to ICM planning; improved consolidation of results monitoring and information and data required to inform crosssector R2R planning approaches. This project will also focus attention on harnessing support of traditional community leadership and governance structures to improve the relevance of investment in ICM, including MPAs, from ‘community to cabinet’.



Regional Project Steering Committee (RPSC)

The Regional IW R2R Project is governed by the R2R Regional Project Steering Committee (RPSC). RPSC is composed of the GEF implementing agencies (FAO, UNDP and UNE), SPC, and PICs GEF focal points. The RPC as head of the RPCU coordinates and serves as the secretariat. The RPSC meets annually with the following functions: 

  • To facilitate the achievement of the goals and objectives of the UNDP/SPC project entitled “Ridge to Reef – Testing the Integration of Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods in Pacific Island Countries”.
  • Serves as the primary policy-making body for the Regional IW R2R project;
  • Provide managerial and governance advice to the project, and to guide the Regional Program Coordination Unit (RPCU) in the implementation and monitoring of the overall regional project.
  • Provide a regional forum for reviewing and resolving national concerns, reviewing and approving annual work plans and budgets, and provide a regional forum for stakeholder participation.

Regional Scientific and Technical Committee (RSTC)

Ensuring the technical aspects and feasibility of the R2R Program is the Regional Scientific and Technical Committee (RSTC). RSTC also serves as the over-riding scientific and technical body which provides sound scientific and technical advice to the RPSC regarding matters requiring decisions and shall provide strategic direction and guidance to the national level activities of the R2R Program initiative as required. Specifically, the RSTC has the following functions: 

  • Review and co-ordinate regional scientific and technical activities of the R2R Program initiative; Review and evaluate, from a scientific and technical perspective, progress in implementation of the R2R Programme initiative, and provide guidance for improvement when necessary;
  • Provide the RPSC with recommendations on proposed regional activities, work plans, and budgets;
  • Provide the RPSC with technical guidance and suggestions to improve project activities where necessary, including reforms of national and regional policy and planning frameworks for integrated approaches to environmental and natural resource management;
  • Facilitate co-operation with relevant international, regional, and national organisations and projects to
    enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the R2R Programme initiative;
  • Monitor the progress of the project’s regional activities and ensure the quality of outputs.

National Inter-Ministry Committees (IMC)

In each PIC, Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) are forged between SPC and the participating country. This MOA together with the agreed logical frameworks serves as basis for the implementation of the national IW R2R projects. Provided for under the Memoranda of Agreement signed between the SPC and PICs, both the child projects and the national IW R2R project shares the same project board. The national IW R2R project manager provide secretariat services.

IMCs are composed of various national stakeholders. It provides overall national oversight functions and directs the implementation of each child projects. It is responsible for the primary governance of the national project/s in making management decisions where deemed appropriate and also ensuring close coordination and cooperation between the child project and the national IW R2R project.

Organization and Management


A Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) is signed between SPC and UNDP which provides the legal basis for the implementation of the Regional IW R2R Project. Project implementation is guided by the approved Project Document and its annexes. The PCA was signed by the SPC Deputy Director General and UNDP Resident Representative. Operationally, the Regional project is under the auspices of the Disaster and Community Resilience Program (DCRP) of the Geosciences, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division, then SOPAC. The project reports directly to the Project Focal Point of UNDP Pacific Office with office in Suva, Fiji. It is under the UNDP focus area – Resilience and Sustainable Development.

Regional Programme Coordination Unit (RPCU)

The RPCU is the overall management and operational unit for the Regional IW R2R project. It is also tasked with coordination, capacity building and knowledge sharing platform for the Pacific R2R Programme. The Unit comprises of staff with different expertise. Headed by the Regional Program Coordinator (RPC), the RPCU is composed of the following technical and administrative personnel: Science and National Project Leader (SNPL) including two science interns; Communication and Knowledge Management Adviser (CKMA); Graphics and Multi-Media Assistant; Country Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser; Administration Officer; and Project Accountant.

Project Demonstration Sites

The Regional IW R2R project operates in 14 Pacific Island Countries, each with a project demonstration site.

Cook Islands Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji Kiribati
Nauru Niue
Palau Papua New Guinea
Republic of the Marshall Islands Samoa
Solomon Islands  Tonga
Tuvalu Vanuatu

Regional IW R2R Project Indicators

As mentioned above, there are 27 outputs that are expected to be delivered at various stages of the project implementation. These outputs serves as the building blocks and as basis for achieving the 10 outcome indicators. 

Stress Reduction Indicators

Specifically, a number of these indicators are meant to contribute to the identified stress reduction and process indicators.

There are six (6) stress reduction measures that are tested in one or several PIC/s which will be expected to generate and contributes to the IW focal area. The six stress reduction measures are the following:

  1. Municipal waste pollution reduction
  2. Restoration of habitat
  3. Wetland conservation/protection
  4. Introduction of alternative livelihood
  5. Catchment protection; and
  6. Pollution reduction in aquifer

The stress reduction measures above should contribute to an aggregate of 34,187 hectares of habitat restored, wetland and catchment conserved/protected; 5,782.92 kg per year of pollution reduced; and at least 40% of the participating population have shifted to sustainable alternative livelihoods, refer to figure 15 for the detailed contribution of each PIC with its corresponding stress reduction measures tested.

Process Indicators

The project also is expected to contribute to four (4) GEF-IW process indicators. The process indicators are:

  1. National inter-ministry committees (14 PICs)
  2. National/ local reforms implemented (14 PICs)
  3. Development of strategic action plan (14 SAPs)
  4. Implementation of specific measures from the SAP (xx over 14 PICs)
  5. Incorporation of the SAP priorities to national frameworks and/or appropriate policy documents (xx over 14 PICs)

Environmental & Socio Status indicators

The project is also expected to support the countries in establishing mechanisms for monitoring the environmental and socio-economic status of the waterbody cognizant to the fact that some national/regional monitoring mechanisms do not satisfy the project related indicators.

IW: LEARN Indicators

As an innovative project, participation to the International Waters (IW) events such as the International Waters Conference (IWC), communities of practice (CoP) and the International Waters: Learning Exchange and Resource Network (LEARN).