Mainstreaming & NAP
Mainstreaming & NAP “at a glance”
Climate change and its impacts are long-term phenomena. In order to tackle the related challenges effectively, strategies for adaptation to climate change need to include medium- and long-term approaches. Against this background, the national adaptation planning (NAP) process was established in 2010 as part of the Cancún Adaptation Framework to complement the existing short-term national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs). The NAP process is designed to support all developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), in meeting their medium- and long-term adaptation needs.
For further information on the NAP process, refer to the UNFCCCs NAP portal and the support platform NAP Central, which will also offer an interactive version of the Technical Guidelines developed by the LEG.
NAPs are meant to reduce vulnerability, build adaptive capacity and mainstream adaptation to climate change into all sector-specific and general development planning. The NAP process can be a powerful tool for changing policy formulation procedures and facilitating the paradigm shift towards climate resilient development.
At the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban in December 2011, bilateral and multilateral agencies were invited to support the NAP process and to establish support programmes. These can take various forms, such as technical guidelines, workshops, expert meetings and regional exchanges. In December 2012, the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) published the NAP Technical Guidelines, which detail the process from initiation to implementation and monitoring. The guidelines provide a good framework for completing the NAP process, but specific tools for fulfilling the single steps and tasks are still needed.
NAP support can take various forms, such as technical advice, knowledge brokerage, financial support and regional or virtual exchanges. In providing support it is important to recognise the flexible and country-driven nature of the NAP process: depending on their individual needs, countries choose steps and activities from the Technical Guidelines as appropriate, determine their order, and add new aspects and steps to the process.
More detailed information on two tools that have been developed explicitly for supporting countries in their NAP process are:
- The paper NAP Align (Aligning NAP processes to development and budget planning) provides practical recommendations on how to integrate adaptation to climate change into a country’s planning and budgeting system. See factsheet in English and in French.
- The Stocktaking for National Adaptation Planning (SNAP) Tool helps in assessing a country’s current national adaptation planning capacities and in identifying strategic goals for NAP that feed into the preparation of a country specific NAP Roadmap. See SNAP factsheet in English and in French. The SNAP tool is one of the most widely used tools in GIZ’s armoury of support instruments for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process. The publication Stocktaking for National Adaptation Planning – Assessing Capacity for Implementing NDCs showcases the utility and use of the tool and highlights results from its application in various geographical terrains on national and subnational scale. See publication in English.
GIZ also cooperates with the GEF/LDCF financed NAP Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) which assists Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in developing their NAPs. Besides joint advisory missions, GIZ cooperated with the NAP-GSP partner organizations UNDP and UNITAR in developing a NAP country-level training. If you are interested in further details regarding the NAP country-level training, please have a look at the NAP country-level training factsheet.
The idea of mainstreaming adaptation is to systematically include climate risk and adaptation considerations in regular decision-making and planning processes instead of only implementing “stand-alone” adaptation measures. This can take place at different levels (international, national, sub-national level; sectoral and project level).
The main objective is to reduce climate risks or to check whether a decision needs to be modified due to a changing climate. This is necessary because by taking climate change into account in planning and decision-making regarding investments, we can prevent costs and destructive impacts of climate change.
The mainstreaming adaptation concept can be applied to a wide range of decision-making contexts, e.g. governmental investment decisions on infrastructure, provincial sector strategies, or community development plans. The decision-making process itself determines where to best integrate adaptation considerations (the so-called “best entry points”).
Depending on the entry points, mainstreaming adaptation can be linked to e.g. planning, assessments, financing issues, training, awareness campaigns, etc. Given this range of application, there is obviously no single “blueprint” approach, but rather a wealth of different methods and approaches. Mainstreaming can, for instance, mean the inclusion of adaptation experts into planning bodies, a mandatory climate check, or participatory planning approaches.
Irrespective of where mainstreaming adaptation is applied, it always comprises an institutional change process.
To name just a few: Examples show that easily understandable, systematic tools can support mainstreaming. At the same time, there should be enough flexibility to address different mainstreaming challenges. The process of setting up mainstreaming adaptation within an institution and participation of those who are supposed to take better informed decisions seem to be crucial. The buy-in from high level decision-makers can be very supportive. Conclusions for concrete situations can be drawn from a large number of past cases in which mainstreaming adaptation was applied.