UNDP ramps up support for National Adaptation Plans

Jul 4, 2017

Over 40 Nations Worldwide Leveraging UNDP Support for Climate Resilience Plans

July 2017, Bangkok – Efforts are underway worldwide to create improved planning for climate change. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), along with its partners, is playing a key role in advancing the process to formulate and implement effective National Adaptation Plans and build comprehensive roadmaps toward a climate-resilient, zero-carbon future.  

These efforts will fortify nations against uncertain climate outcomes, rising temperatures, rising seas, desertification, climate migration and other climate change-related impacts that can derail national efforts to support long-term equality, security, economic growth, food security, disaster risk reduction, carbon mitigation and prosperity.

“With the support of UNDP, nations across the globe are strengthening their technical capacity and building the strong institutions required to effectively formulate and deploy National Adaptation Plans and reach Nationally Determined Contributions, critical prerequisites for sustainable development,” said Adriana Dinu, Executive Coordinator, UNDP's Global Environmental Finance Unit.

Following the guidelines developed by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, nations supported through UNDP programmes are also developing integrated roadmaps for National Adaptation Plans, improving evidence-based results, and promoting improved knowledge-sharing. This will result in climate-smart policies, improved evidence-based decision making, and the regulatory frameworks required to prepare industry, society and government for a new climate reality.

UNDP’s support for National Adaptation Plans comes from several innovative programmes. These programmes provide both generalized support to National Adaptation Plans as well as specialized attention to specific sectors, such as agriculture. These various programmes are funded through the Global Environment Facility, and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. UNDP also currently supports 41 nations in accessing dedicated Green Climate Fund (GCF) finance for National Adaptation Plans.

Adaptation planning cuts across myriad sectors, and national programmes to improve climate information and early warnings, improve risk analysis and appraise and prioritize interventions have push-on effects that will improve the overall ability to create and implement these plans. 

As outlined through the UNFCCC, the National Adaptation Plan process includes laying the groundwork and addressing gaps, analyzing preparatory elements, prioritizing planning and building implementation strategies, improving regional coordination, and facilitating improved reporting, monitoring and review. UNDP supports nations along each section of this framework.

NAP Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP)

The joint UNDP-UN Environment National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) is undertaking targeted support for climate change National Adaptation Plan processes. The programme is funded through the Global Environment Facility. NAP support is being provided to more than 30 countries, in various forms on an ongoing basis, in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe – including assistance with stakeholder consultation, stocktaking, NAP roadmap formulation, sectoral prioritization and cost-benefit analysis, amongst other forms of support.

“The NAP-GSP is supporting more than 16 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa, Asia and the Pacific through stocktaking, technical assistance, capacity building and knowledge sharing. The support is country-driven, targeting specific aspects of NAP as identified by the countries,” said Rohini Kohli, UNDP Lead Technical Specialist for National Adaptation Plan and Green Low Emission Climate Resilient Development Strategies. “In Bangladesh for example, the programme supported the creation of a NAP road map, developed in coordination with a team of national experts in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment. In Cambodia, it assisted the Climate Change Department with stocktaking and NAP road-map formulation.”

Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, the Gambia, Liberia, Madagascar and Mauritania have all seen the launch of their National Adaptation Plans with NAP-GSP support.

“The NAP-GSP Programme builds bridges, bringing together Ministries of Environment and Planning, legislative bodies and civil society, as well as representatives from climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, health and water to build comprehensive plans,” said Kohli.

The NAP-GSP is also supporting more than 20 developing countries to advance their NAP process. NAP regional workshops have been held in Asia and the Pacific, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa – bringing together key ministries and target countries, to learn from each other.

Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans

A separate but interrelated collaborative programme between UNDP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is dedicated toward Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag). The programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

In all, 11 nations are supported through the programme, including Colombia, the Gambia, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay, Viet Nam and Zambia.

“Climate change affects all aspects of society. Slow onset changes will have profound impact on the choice set that farmers will have in terms of the type of crops that they can grow, timing of key agriculture-based activities and value chains in the sector. Increased climate variability will have costly impacts on key economic sectors that then have direct and indirect knock-on effects on livelihoods,  the combined effect of which will undermine poverty alleviation efforts and many key sustainable development goals,” said Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Head – Climate Change Adaptation Global Environmental Finance Unit. “UNDP’s aim is to connect key stakeholders, catalyze partnerships that will help combine and sequence in-house technical capacities to assist client countries to meet their aspirations for integrated solutions that can help tackle emerging climate change risks.”

The Nap-Ag Programme achieves these goals through various mechanisms, including capacity development on crucial prioritizing tools and approaches, roadmap building, policy dialogues, online trainings and webinars, and other knowledge sharing endeavors. A Massive Open Online Course dedicated to Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans will be launched in upcoming months in collaboration with the UNCC Learning Platform.

“Every country supported through the NAP-Ag Programme has a unique context that requires bespoke solutions,” said Kohli. “In Uganda, policymakers and implementers are working to build more gender-responsive climate change adaptation activities. In Thailand and Viet Nam, the NAP-Ag Programme is bringing in stakeholders from across the government, private sector and civil society to build next-generation climate change adaptation strategies that leverage cost-benefit analysis, ecosystem-based approaches, and other factors to build complete strategies.”

Building for the Future

Working with national governments, civil society, donors and other key stakeholders, UNDP is supporting 41 nations in accessing dedicated Green Climate Fund (GCF) National Adaptation Plans finance, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Chad, Congo (Dem. Republic of), Congo (Republic of), Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam.

With UNDP technical support and know-how, these nations will receive dedicated support to assist in the development of their National Adaptation Plans.

“Like it or not, we are probably the first generation to start seeing glimpses of what a changing climate is likely to do. Relatively speaking, we are fortunate. Our children and theirs are not, as they will likely be confronted with more hostile conditions. Looking forwards, nations need to plan for changing rainfall, increased temperature, sea-level rise and other impacts,” said Kurukulasuriya. “It’s a complicated process, but by connecting stakeholders from across economic, social and cultural segments, UNDP is looking to play its part in knowledge transfer that will allow nations to build the customized plans they need to ensure long-term resilience to climate change.”

For further details:

Rohini Kohli, UNDP Lead Technical Specialist for National Adaptation Plan and Green Low Emission Climate Resilient Development Strategies, rohini.kohli@undp.org.