Climate change adaption and mitigation
We work on a wide range of development and commercial projects related to the physical, financial, economic and social aspects of climate change.
Examples include climate smart agriculture, renewable energy solutions, greenhouse gas reduction, infrastructure strengthening, biosecurity/food security risk mitigation, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian climate disaster relief in countries across the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
Our experience gives us a hands-on understanding of the complexities and issues relating to climate change impacts beyond the financing perspective – in other words, the factors that are drivers of financing needs as well as the challenges of addressing them technically, operationally and socially. That understanding is critical in order that finance availability is matched with the needs ‘on the ground’. Specifically, we have deep and wide-ranging experience in the Pacific: in public and private sector capacity building, climate finance and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Our consultancy services range from technical advisory roles to strategic and/or operational reviews of policy and/or infrastructure issues and management services contracts. We have a strongly localised approach, championing effective community engagement from strategic to grassroots levels, with in-country nationals making up over 70 per cent of our team, as well as a strong focus on gender and youth.
Natural resource management and water availability
Water availability – or lack of – can make the difference between having a reasonable harvest and total crop failure. We have a strong history of rural irrigation improvement and designing, trialing and adopting innovative new approaches to water management, especially at the community level. This include, as an example, leading the design and construction of 20 low-cost community dams in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan in 2013-14. These dams were built and maintained by farmer groups with little external assistance. After a year of improved irrigation, farmers saw an average increase in crop income of 51 per cent and an average payback period of less than one year. We also work on water supply issues for urban populations.
Climate-sensitive agriculture/protecting food value chains
Prime has managed multi-year agricultural development programs in several countries over the past two decades. Design and implementation of any such programme involves assessment of climate change impacts on food security as well as implementation of climate-sensitive agricultural practices that are both practical and affordable to the communities involved. During the Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme, which Prime implemented from 2017-2023, programme managers noted a significant increase in the adoption of climate-resilient and environmental stewardship practices (i.e., crop rotation, rotational grazing, practising minimum tillage) introduced across the target regions.
Renewable energy solutions
Our project management and technical advisory skills extend to the renewable energy sector, where we’ve been involved in biogas, solar, hydropower and geothermal energy projects. For example, between 2014 and 2017, we trained and mentored staff from a local power company in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, on behalf of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to enable staff to better run their one-megawatt solar power generation facility in Bamyan City as a profitable and sustainable business. In 2015, we developed a code of practice for the safe design, construction, operation and maintenance of on-farm biogas systems in Australia on behalf of for Australian Pork Ltd.
Mobilizing finance to respond and adapt to climate change
We have successfully prepared climate financing proposals for several Small Island Developing States (SIDs) in the Pacific. For example, in 2018-2019 we prepared a proposal in conjunction with Rarotonga-based Pacific Consultants Ltd to secure US $3 million from the international Adaption Fund to help Cook Islanders living on the remote Pa Enua islands adapt to and prepare for hazards such as coastal erosion from sea level rise, ocean acidification, tropical cyclones and drought. Our skillset includes environmental economics, climate change planning and implementation, climate finance, strategic planning, financial modelling and feasibility studies/business plans in a range of industries, investment or industry analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis including risk simulation, non-market valuation including Choice Modelling, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, evaluation of projects and performance and research (both primary research, such as surveys, focus group workshops and structured interviews, and secondary research such as statistical databases).
Carbon footprinting and emissions mitigation
Through Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprinting of the Fiji and Zambian dairy industries in 2019, conducted in collaboration with New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries and AgResearch, we proved that increasing productivity of animals is a great way to reduce GHG emissions produced per unit of milk and meat. We’ve also had involvement with the emissions trading scheme, as part of ongoing governance and management supervision for a New Zealand commercial forest operation on behalf of offshore owners, as well as research and collaboration on biochar and carbon trading fintech. We are currently in the process of completing the first inventory of GHG emissions from cattle in Zambia (1994-2022) calculated using the IPCC Tier 2 method.
Public sector capacity building in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
As well as climate finance initiatives, we have a track record of successful foundational work on public finance, programme design and capacity building of counterpart organisations in the Pacific region. This work often involves conducting extensive, culturally appropriate consultations with a wide variety of stakeholders on complex, technical and sensitive topics in the Pacific Islands. In 2020, we mentored staff at the Government of Kiribati to assist with the development of a four-year national development plan, covering all aspects of the economy and government services, to help the Pacific Island nation address serious challenges caused by its remote location, small land area, high population growth and climate change-related sea level rise.
Examples of past work
♦ Developing a code of practice for Australian Pork Limited, for the safe design, construction, operation and maintenance of on-farm biogas systems in Australia. The aim was to facilitate and encourage greater uptake of biogas in the pork industry. The final On-Farm Biogas Code of Practice was published in 2015.
♦ Completed a comprehensive commercial feasibility assessment in relation to the global modular geothermal desalination market for a private client in 2020, which identified four market opportunities for further exploration.
♦ Trained and mentored staff to sustainably run a 1MW solar power generation facility in Afghanistan, run by Bamyan electricity supply company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), on behalf of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 2014-2017.
♦ Technical study and revision of a Green Climate Fund pre-feasibility study and concept note on the impact of climate change and transboundary/invasive species on food security in the Pacific Islands, on behalf of SPC; 2021.
♦ Prepared a successful proposal in conjunction with Rarotonga-based Pacific Consultants Ltd to secure US $3 million from the international Adaption Fund to help Cook Islanders living on the remote Pa Enua islands adapt to and prepare for hazards such as coastal erosion from sea level rise, ocean acidification, tropical cyclones and drought; 2018-2019.
♦ Introducing climate-resilient agricultural and good environmental practices to dairy farmers in Zambia, as part of the Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme (2017-2023), to help farmers mitigate the negative effects of climate change, such as such as a reduced and often later wet (growing) season. Introducing these practices – through advice, training, information materials and instructional videos - has enabled smallholder dairy farmers to improve fodder production by adopting labour-saving techniques (potholing, nutrient recycling like using cow manure in crop and fodder production field). Manure application has helped improve soil texture and, ultimately, the soil's water-holding capacity. Conservation farming has helped to promote the idea that agricultural land should be used sustainably so that it retains its long-term productivity beyond the lifespan of the present users.
♦ Greenhouse gas footprinting of the Fiji and Zambian dairy industries in collaboration with New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries and AgResearch, which proved increasing productivity of animals is a great way to reduce GHG emissions produced per unit of milk and meat (Prime produced a video for COP24 in Poland, exploring this concept further); 2019.
♦ Designed an environment and climate change trust fund for Vanuatu, on behalf of the Asian Development Bank, which utilised small charges on tourists to build an endowment fund for the long-term sustainability of environment/climate change and disaster risk reduction programmes and projects at the community level, on behalf of the Vanuatu Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation and ADB; 2014.
♦ Work with the Government of Kiribati develop a four-year national development plan, covering all aspects of the economy and government services, to help the Pacific Island nation address serious challenges caused by its remote location, small land area, high population growth and climate change-related sea level rise; 2020.
♦ Contracted by ADB to design interventions aimed at improving water security across Afghanistan’s water-challenged provinces, i.e., this involved developing a framework, strategy and guidelines for the implementation of several sub-projects to modernise existing community-based irrigation schemes, demonstrate climate-resilient farming approaches and support farmer communities to increase the efficiency of their irrigation systems in terms of water and energy use; 2020-2021.
♦ Led the design and construction of 20 low-cost dams in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, designed to be built and maintained by farmer groups with little external assistance, with the aim of improving water resource availability for irrigation (after a year of improved irrigation, farmers saw an average increase in crop income of 51 per cent and an average payback period of less than one year); 2013-2014.
♦ Establishment of the Sovi Basin Trust Fund in Fiji, on behalf of Conservation International, to support the conservation of the Sovi Basin Forest; 2001-2002.
♦ Developed and conducted a technical study using proven scientific and analytical techniques to assess and more clearly illustrate the chain of causation between climate change and its biosecurity/food security impacts in the Pacific, specifically in Samoa and Tonga, as part of the revision of a Concept Note and pre-feasibility study for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), on behalf of The Pacific Community, formerly the South Pacific Commission (SPC); 2021.
♦ Provided technical oversight to a World Bank / AECOM consultant team for the design of the Samoa Climate Change Adaptation Trust Fund; 2012-2013.
♦ Design of sustainable financing for Tonga’s Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, Climate Change, and Natural Resources/SPC; 2014-2015.
♦ Assisted the National Implementing Entity in Cook Islands (MFEM) to prepare its first direct-access funding application to the Adaptation Fund in the Pacific; 2017-18.
♦ Supporting the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) with a health and climate change specialist and economic analyst to prepare a direct-access project proposal to the Green Climate Fund for the country's Ministry of Health, a first globally; 2022-2023.
♦ Provided support to the Working Committee of the ADB Pacific Developing Member Country Finance Ministers related to improving access to climate change financing; included preparing a technical report on climate change financing (CCF) in the Pacific region, facilitating a workshop for Finance Ministers in Rarotonga and supporting Ministers at the ADB Annual Meeting in Delhi; 2013.
♦ Preparation of pre-feasibility study and development of full proposal to seek funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MEFM) in the Cook Islands as National Direct Access Entity to enhance the capacity of the health system of Cook Islands to protect and improve population health, especially climate change sensitive health risks for the remote outer islands; 2022-2023.
♦ Involvement with the emissions trading scheme, research and collaboration on biochar and carbon trading fintech and governance and management supervision for a New Zealand commercial forest operation (2019-ongoing).