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Mainstreaming National Adaptation Programmes of Action



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Bubu Pateh Jallow Bubu Pateh Jallow describes how efforts to mainstream adaptation are bearing fruit, in project design and in capacity to plan policies.
The author is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group.

National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) should complement, and be integrated into, existing national development plans. Effective mainstreaming, so that NAPA policies and measures are integrated into national and regional development policies and processes, requires cross-sectoral cooperation, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches and considerable political will.

To achieve this goal, it is necessary:

  • to engage other development sectors (particularly ministries and agencies responsible for national development) from the beginning and throughout the preparation and implementation process;
  • to raise awareness from a scientific and socio-economic perspective of the implications of climate change for various sectors and groups within a country, to engage key stakeholders on this issue;
  • to link adaptation efforts to established policy-making processes; and,
  • to promote cross-sectoral and interdepartmental coordination, accountability and transparency in implementing NAPAs.

All the NAPA Teams are multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary with a varying number of key sectors. For example, the NAPA Project Steering Committee of The Gambia is chaired by a Permanent Secretary and includes Desertification and Biodiversity Convention Focal Points, the Global Environment Facility Focal Point, National Assembly and Civil Society. Comoros went further to establish a NAPA Island Committee, created to coordinate the NAPA process at the island level.

All NAPAs submitted so far relate to existing national plans and programmes. In selecting priority NAPA projects in Bhutan, one of the criteria was to assess whether the projects complemented country goals such as overcoming poverty, or enhancing adaptive capacity or other multilateral environmental agreements. Key activities laid out in Mozambique's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper include measures to manage its vulnerability to disasters and strengthen its capacity to respond to them. This resulted in disaster risk management and reduction being the highest priority in the Mozambique NAPA.

All NAPA teams conducted stakeholder consultations at regional and island levels to solicit perceptions about impacts and vulnerability to climate variability and change. Comoros evaluated vulnerability and adaptation using a sample of 1000 people. In Malawi, participatory rural appraisal methods were used during the consultations, and in Samoa, the community vulnerability and adaptation tool was the main approach used in the national consultation.

Further information

Bubu Pateh Jallow, Department of Water Resources, 7, Marina Parade, Banjul, The Gambia. Fax: +220-225009. Email: bubujallow@hotmail.com.

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Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Updated: April 12th 2013