… still more needed

YK Poudel

Bhutan along with 10 other UN parties submitted their national adaptation plans (NAPs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat in 2023.

This is one of the positive outcomes of COP28 aimed towards actions against climate change.

The NAP is a guideline which will guide the relevant departments, sectors and policymakers involved in identifying national priorities that are crucial for adaptation and guide the implementation process.

The 11 NAPs received by UNFCCC were from the Marshall Islands, Burundi, Argentina, Zambia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Ecuador and Haiti.

This call for action underscores the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for countries to move beyond planning and into implementation.

The first ever NAP was submitted by Burkina Faso in 2015 and, as of today, 52 NAPs have been received from developing countries, and one from a developed country.

In doing so, these countries demonstrated their commitment to adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change, outlining prioritised actions for a given period, informing implementation, monitoring and evaluation efforts.

Bhutan launched its first NAP, its long-term plan to adapt to adverse impacts of climate change, on September 16.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, acknowledging the parties at the COP28, said that the progress made and emphasised the importance of adaptation in building resilience against climate disasters.

“Climate adaptation is a fundamental component of development strategies. National adaptation plans are key for developing countries to identify their resilience-building needs and access the necessary funding to implement adaptation action,” Simon Stiell said.

Chair of the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Expert Group, Gabriel Kpaka said that NAP Expo 2024 is planned to be hosted in Bangladesh to exchange experiences and plans to implement the adaptation actions identified in these important documents.

“We look forward to the implementation of NAPs and to seeing their outcomes in reduced vulnerability, strengthened resilience and boosted capacity,” she said.

The NAP Country Platform, taking place at the NAP Expo 2024, will provide a platform for collaboration to accelerate progress and drive adaptation actions globally.

Each NAP contains details about national adaptation planning processes and information on how the process will continue, leading to increased actions. These plans are crucial for building resilience to climate change and reducing vulnerability.

For funding and implementation, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) plays a critical role in supporting the implementation of NAPs. As of November 2023, 44 developing countries with submitted NAPs had received approval for 83 adaptation projects from the GCF. This records to a total of USD 18.6 billion, with USD 5.3 billion directly provided by the GCF.

According to the 2023 progress report on NAPs published by the LEG at the end of November 2023, 142 developing countries that are Parties to UNFCCC are undertaking measures to formulate and implement NAPs.

The number of NAPs submitted in 2023 is promising, continued progress is needed. Parties are encouraged to continue refining their NAPs, adopting an iterative approach that allows for improvement and adaptation over time.

The process to formulate and implement NAPs was established in 2010. It is the main delivery mechanism for coordinating and driving the climate actions of all actors and stakeholders in pursuit of adaptation goals at the national level.