KIRMA has promulgated amendments to the Regulations for Development Projects. The amendments give effect to the aims of the “Climate Change Act” which was passed by the Kosrae State Legislature in 2011 and gave KIRMA specific powers and duties with respect to mainstreaming climate change considerations. The Regulations now require that explicit consideration is given to the potential impacts of climate change upon a development or activity proposed to be undertaken in Kosrae State, with the project proponent required to provide details of adaptation or mitigation measures in their development application and environmental impact statement (if one is required).
The requirements direct increased attention to the potential impacts of climate change and increased extreme weather events, specifically by identifying a “coastal development risk area”. Any development proposals or activities in this area – essentially anywhere around the coast that is within 4 meters of mean sea level – which is vulnerable to inundation during high tide and large swell events and where there is an increased risk of erosion will now require a permit. KIRMA is able to provide advice and assistance to project proponents on identifying and implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
The amendments also introduce differential fees for private and commercial development review permit applications.