By switching to dark mode you can reduce the energy consumption of our digital service.

EU-Canada Session 1. National Adaptation Strategies: Lessons Learned from the International Adaptation Community

This event explored lessons learned from KE4CAP countries, including tools for effective engagement of partners in the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) process, governance mechanisms, and M&E.
Multiple Authors
KE4CAP logo


This session, held on May 11th 2021 (10am EDT) explored lessons learned from KE4CAP countries, including tools for effective engagement of key partners in the NAS process, governance mechanisms, and monitoring and evaluation. This event was part of the wider series of knowledge exchange events hosted by Canadian colleagues onEnhancing Connections Across Platforms.

These discussions are helping to inform the development of a NAS in Canada.

The Final Report from this event is available to download (also on the main event page). The final report is also available in French.

The agenda, key messages and presentations from this event can be found below.


  • 10:00-10:15 Welcome and Introduction to Canada’s efforts to develop a National Adaptation Strategy
    • Jeff MacDonald, Director General, Environment and Climate Change Canada
    • Roger Street, University of Oxford
  • 10:15-11:30 Presentations sharing lessons learnt on the development of different nation adaptation strategies (slides from these presentations are provided below)

  • 11:30 -11:55 Fireside chat: Latest trends and considerations for national adaptation strategies
  • 11:55-12:00 Concluding Remarks Jeff MacDonald, Director General, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Key messages

Throughout the session, presenters highlighted a number of best practices and opportunities, synthesized below, which will be useful for Canada to consider as it develops its own first National Adaptation Strategy.

  • Setting appropriate indicators. Multiple presenters emphasized the value in taking time to develop good indicators and to secure buy-in. This allows implementation progress to be monitored and adjusted as needed, and evaluations are credible and can inform future planning.
  • Horizontal and vertical integration. Governance structures, whether formal or informal, that integrate federal departments and agencies horizontally, and integrate different levels of governments vertically are key for communication, buy-in and implementation. Adaptation cannot be addressed by one organization alone.
  • Leadership. It is useful for one organization, typically the federal ministry of the environment, to lead the national adaptation strategy development process. Pressure agents are also useful to increase the prominence of climate adaptation more in climate change discussions, and change agents to drive adaptation implementation.
  • Resources. Resources, both financial and human, are critical to achieving plan implementation.
  • Stakeholder engagement. Meaningful engagement, especially with local non-traditional actors, is needed to develop an effective adaptation strategies. Capacity building should precede engagement, so that all players understand their climate change risks and vulnerabilities before providing input to an adaptation strategy.
  • Science and Indigenous Knowledge. Adaptation strategies should be based on the best available science. Science should also inform the monitoring process. Strategies should also include Indigenous Knowledge. Indigenous expertise is an essential element in the implementation of adaptation measures and actions.
  • Equity. Canada should commit to using Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and Diversity and Inclusion lens in developing its national strategy. There needs to be an understanding of how people are differentially impacted by both climate change and by climate change policies, but also opening the conversation to see what solutions different communities can bring to the table. Representation from diverse communities should be built into the governance structure.


These presentations share lessons learnt on the development of nation adaptation strategies. The presentations showcase the different approaches that have been taken by different countries, their achievements, and some challenges they have faced.

Innovative approaches and common challenges in OECD countries in developing and implementing national adaptation strategies

Presentation by Dr. Catherine Gamper, OECD.

View on SlideShare: OECD KE4CAP session 1_may 11

Lessons learned from developing a German adaptation strategy

Presentation by Dr. Thomas Abeling, German Environment Agency.

View on SlideShare: Germany KE4CAP Session 1_may 11

Formulation of National Adaptation Plan in Japan

Presentation by Shohei Okano, Ministry of the Environment, Japan.

View on SlideShare: Japan KE4CAP Session 1_may 11

Add your project

Exchange your climate change adaptation projects and lessons learned with the global community.