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National Adaptation Planning; A Report on Three Workshops


Climate change is one of the many challenges that developing nations face as they plan for the future. The 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reinforces findings that climate change impacts are already being felt and are projected to intensify across all continents. Climate change impacts impose risks to human health, welfare, and ecosystems, and threaten important development goals such as reducing poverty, increasing access to education, improving child health, and managing natural resources sustainably. People – and countries – who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change (IPCC, 2014). By addressing climate threats in the context of their development goals, developing countries can build resilience to climate change and improve their development outcomes.

National adaptation planning is a critical component of climate resilient development. While many adaptation actions will be taken at a local level, it is at the national level that priorities for development and adaptation are set, and coordination is conducted with donors. National governments also make many important decisions regarding taxes, expenditures, regulations, land-use, and other aspects of national policy making that can profoundly affect a nation’s development path. Thus, developing a national plan presents a critical opportunity for nations to incorporate increased resilience to climate change into national development.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) works in conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to support developing countries as they work to build climate change resilience through the UNFCCC’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process. This report summarizes the approaches used and recommendations generated during three NAP workshops held in Jamaica, Tanzania, and Ghana in 2012 and 2013. These workshops were hosted by national governments and regional institutions, in collaboration with USAID, to support the development of NAPs.

Moving forward

The Jamaican, Tanzanian, and West African workshop participants developed recommendations relevant to their country’s or region’s national adaptation planning issues and status on next steps for moving forward to continue their NAPs. Since the workshops, Jamaica’s MWLECC has prepared the country’s Climate Change Policy Framework and Action Plan, which was submitted to Parliament for approval in November 2013.

The government of Tanzania has formulated a roadmap and technical guidelines for the NAP process and has begun to develop sector plans for water resources and agriculture. Most West African countries are at the very beginning of their NAP processes. The workshop helped participants understand the process for developing a NAP for their country, provided critical recommendations for next steps, and presented ways that regional organizations and institutions can provide needed support.

The successes from these three workshops demonstrate that the NAP process works best when it is well- coordinated, integrated, and inclusive. Involving relevant ministries, different levels of government, and a broad range of stakeholders produces effective and inclusive policies. Thus, it is important for sufficient capacity, tools, and information to be developed and made available to continue to support the NAP process in these and other developing countries.

For more information on the outcomes of each individual workshop please see the detailed reports for each country contained in the report.

Suggested citation

USAID,. 2014. National Adaptation Planning, A Report on Three Workshops. Workshop Report.

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