Dr Shaw Mead is currently leading an international team of experts to undertake an environmental and Social Assessment (ESA) for Majuro and Ebeye Atolls, Marshall Islands. The team includes in-country support to undertake the project during the Covid-19 travel restriction period.

The purpose of the study is to inform further investigations of the Aggregate Study. The overall project development objective is to strengthen early warning systems, resilient investments and financial protection.

The project is part of the Pacific Resilience Programme (PREP), which is a series of projects funded by the World Bank and implemented at the regional and national level by the Pacific Community, Pacific Island Secretariat as well as Samoa, Tonga, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu.

Dr Mead surveying an inundated causeway linking parts of Woja Island on Ailinglaplap Atoll as part of a climate change resilience project in 2013.

In terms of the environmental landscape, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is comprised of very low-lying atoll islands that are becoming increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards due to climate change and sea-level rise.

The ESA assesses the environmental and social impacts of aggregate extraction from inside the lagoons to create higher land areas and increase resilience to the effects of climate change and sea-level rise. The ESA will combine existing available environmental and social data, remote data collection and analysis, including underwater video, LiDAR data, satellite imagery, and stakeholder engagement to provide a baseline of information from which to direct other components of the Aggregate study. This may include investigations of the benthic ecology in the lagoons.

If you’re interested in learning more about the PREP initiative please do not hesitate to contact us or visit the webpage here via the World Bank website.