Status of initiative: On track
Description/achievement of initiative

The Government of Malaysia and the United Nations for Education, Sciences, Culture and Communications Organization (UNESO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 15th November 2011 under the Malaysia UNESCO Cooperation. The MOU was initiated in 2009 by the Honorable Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia who announced at the 35th General Conference of UNESCO, the establishment of Malaysian Cooperative Trust Fund which will contribute to enhance South-South cooperation for capacity building in education and science for the benefit of the Least Developed Countries, Small Island States in Asia and the Pacific and in support of the Priority Africa agenda of UNESCO. The Malaysian trust fund essentially provided a launching grant of USD 5 million, followed by a contribution of USD 1 million annually. Programmes under this fund will be identified in cooperation with UNESCO, particularly with the UNESCO Regional Offices in Bangkok and Jakarta, and the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO in the Ministry of Education. In June 2014, the Malaysia government approved nine new projects. It should be noted that for the very first time, one particular project focuses in the Pacific SIDS entitled Towards Economic Resilience in the Pacific and Southeast Asia: Reducing Risk of Loss & Damage from Extreme and Slow-Onset Events through Improved Assessments and Education. Residual losses from climate variability and climate change are inevitable. The international community is in need for more information on climate impacts and to understand the limits of adaptation.The partnership proposal highlighted here is not really a new, however it needs to be recognized and showcased in Samoa particularly in light with recent developments and focus in the Pacific. In this case, we draw and emphasis on this particular new project initiative for the benefit Pacific SIDSThis current collaborative project will:1. Showcase loss and damage realities, experiences in LDCs/SIDS in the Pacific and Southeast Asia regions;2. Present best experiences and lessons learned as well as new insights into how to strengthen existing/new tools for reducing risk to loss and damage;3. Assess capacity needs on loss and damage in the agriculture and tourism sectors;4. Carry out capacity building and training/share information on reducing risk of loss and damage;

Implementation methodologies

The project will focus on loss and damage in the agriculture and tourism sectors of the selected LDCs/SIDS in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. It is designed and structured according to four key components. In order to improve knowledge and understanding of loss and damage ground realities, experiences, best practices and lessons learned, the project will undertake case study analysis in the respective countries and sectors. Regional and national consultative meetings/specialized workshops will be organized during the first and second phase of the project.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Capacity needs for reducing loss and damage in the agriculture and tourism sectors will be assessed using desk study, focus group discussions, expert interviews, in-depth interviews and household surveys; as well as through the meeting consultations. The project aims to improve the understanding, knowledge and capacities to deal with the risk of loss and damage through a second series of regional and national specialised meetings and training workshops. This will involve the participation of national experts, practitioners, international experts, senior advisors and climate change negotiators. Additionally, the project will develop a website devoted to sharing information and experiences on loss and damage from climate change extremes and slow onset impact hazards in Pacific and Southeast Asian countries. The project will prepare and disseminate knowledge, information and new insights through brochures, leaflets and mass media.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The partnership will be governed by the UNESCO Apia Office for the Pacific States with the support of UNESCO Office Jakarta; as well as the technical advice from the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change teams in Headquarters. Overall, the management structure and coordination of the project and partners reflect the operational interconnections and competencies of UNESCO field officers with national experts and partners. The main managements and coordination elements will involve key experts and advisors from Malaysian universities (UKM, UTM and UniSZA), national consultants in the Pacific.


UNESCO, National University of Malaysia (UKM), University of Technology Malaysia (UTM), University Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), University of South Pacific (USP), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Melbourne University, Local Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change authorities/Tourism/Agriculture Institutions.
1. Improved understanding of loss and damage realities, experiences in LDCs/SIDS in the Pacific and Southeast Asia regions achieved
3. Capacity needs for reducing loss and damage in the agriculture and tourism sectors assessed
2. New knowledge and awareness of best practices, lessons learned; as well as innovative insights in to how to strengthen the tools and methods for reducing risk of loss and damage generated
4. Improved understanding, knowledge sharing and capacities to deal with reducing risk of loss and damage achieved. This also includes empowering climate change negotiators with new insights/information from loss and damage in the agriculture and tourism sectors from climate change.
Resources devoted to implementation
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
UNESCO staff time (Apia and Jakarta)
Progress reports
  • 2016 (21 June 2016)
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: 2015/2016
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Serena Heckler,

Copyright 2016 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs