New National Adaptation Plans Highlight Urgent Need for Action

UN Climate Change News, 13 October 2021 – The UNFCCC welcomes 6 new National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) submitted by 4 developing countries (Armenia, Kuwait, Peru, and South Africa) and 2 least developing countries (LDCs) (Cambodia and Timor Leste). The increased number of NAP submissions highlights the growing importance of adaptation as extreme climate events multiply across the globe.

Currently, 26 countries (of which 7 are LDCs) have completed the preparation of their NAPs and shared them on a dedicated platform called NAP Central. Several other countries have also formulated sectoral plans to enable targeted adaptation in specific sectors such as agriculture, biodiversity or water.

By formulating and implementing NAPs, countries can identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs and develop and implement strategies and programmes to address those needs. The NAP process is a continuous, progressive and iterative process which follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach.

Each of the new NAPs has a clear vision, objective and guiding principles laying the foundation for adaptation planning. For instance, Kuwait’s NAP indicates as thus “the overall objective of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) is to provide an integrated development plan and subsequent programmes targeting local communities and environmental components in areas under the threat of climate change.”

The new NAPs highlight key hazards, vulnerabilities and priority activities to be implemented. For example, Armenia identified the following as priority sectors vulnerable to climate impacts: ecosystems, water, agriculture, energy, health, human settlements, and tourism.

The new NAPs also promote the integration of gender and other vulnerable groups including, indigenous peoples and local communities, into climate change adaptation measures. For instance, Cambodia intends to “ensure that a climate change response is equitable, gender-sensitive, transparent, accountable and culturally appropriate.”

As part of its principle to promote equity, Peru intends to promote the involvement of the private sector, civil society, Afro-Peruvian people and indigenous or native peoples in adaptation measures.

Additionally, some of the new NAPs have explicitly provided tentative costs for each priority project and programme. This is essential information for the process to secure funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement priority adaptation activities.

Finally, all the NAPs have detailed institutional arrangements to coordinate climate change action and ensure the cross-sectoral collaboration and integration of climate risk in national development plans and across different tiers of government. For example, Timor Leste has indicated that its National Directorate for Climate Change is the interim technical coordinating body and secretariat to coordinate the implementation of the NAP over the short term.

For countries to further showcase their newly produced NAPs and to initiate the first steps towards implementation, a NAP country platform event will be convened at COP26 in Glasgow in November.

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