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Adaptation and UNFCCC

At the 7th Conference of Parties (COP 7) in Durban, guidelines on the preparation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) for LDCs was adopted. NAPAs were meant to provide a process for the LDCs to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs with regard to adaptation to climate change. By 2014, 50 countries had submitted their NAPAs to UNFCCC and had begun to put in place national and local adaptation initiatives through this process.

Building on these experiences, the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process was established in 2010 under the Cancun Adaptation Framework at the 16th UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 16) in Cancun. This framework is meant to enable countries to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change by building countries’ adaptive capacity and resilience. It also facilitates the identification of medium- and long-term climate change adaptation needs and the development and implementation of strategies and programmes to address these needs. It is a continuous, progressive and iterative process, embracing a country-driven, gender-sensitive and participatory approach.

Overview of UNFCCC decisions on national adaptation plans at the Conference of Parties

COP 21, Paris (2015)
A historic agreement to address climate change was adopted by 196 countries recognizing an increased role for adaptation. Climate action will be taken forward in the period leading up to 2020 with countries in a process looking at mitigation opportunities but with an added focus on adaptation opportunities. The Paris Agreement underwrites adequate support to developing nations and establishes a global goal to significantly strengthen adaptation to climate change through support and international cooperation. Go to the UNFCCC newsroom for more information.

COP 20, Lima (2014)
The Lima call for climate action issued at COP20 encouraged countries to prepare and implement adaptation commitments and actions by mainstreaming adaptation into national policies. The programme responds directly to countries’ requests for advancing their respective NAP processes, and in the case of LDCs targeted by this programme, building on prior work on NAPAs including associated follow up priority projects. 

COP 19, Warsaw (2013)
COP 19 placed emphasis on the undertaking of a national adaptation plan process and encouraged individual sectors to develop technical guidelines to supplement the LEG NAP Technical Guidelines. In addition, the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme was established.

COP 18, Doha (2012)
At Doha, the COP provided guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to enable support by the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of activities for the preparation of the NAP process by LDC Parties. The COP also urged support for developing countries that are not LDCs, through bilateral and multilateral channels, including through the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), in the preparation of the NAP process.

COP17 (2011)

COP17 (2011)

COP 17, Durban (2011)
At COP-17, Parties adopted initial guidelines and principles for the NAP process and agreed that enhanced planning on adaptation should:

  • Be a continuous, progressive and iterative process, the implementation of which should be based on nationally identified priorities, including those reflected in the relevant national documents, plans and strategies, and coordinated with national sustainable development objectives, plans, policies and programmes;
  • Follow a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems;
  • Be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional and indigenous knowledge, and by gender-sensitive approaches, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate;
  • Not to be prescriptive, nor result in the duplication of efforts undertaken in-country, but rather facilitate country-owned, country-driven action.

COP16 (2010)

COP16 (2010)

COP 16, Mexico (2010)
COP 16 produced the Cancun Agreements. Among the highlights, Parties agreed to: commit to a maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels; make fully operational by 2012 a technology mechanism to boost the development and spread of new climate-friendly technologies; establish a Green Climate Fund to provide financing for action in developing countries via thematic funding windows. They also agreed on a new Cancun Adaptation Framework, which included setting up an Adaptation Committee to promote strong, cohesive action on adaptation.

COP13 (2007)

COP13 (2007)

COP 13, Bali (2007)
COP 13 adopted the Bali Road Map a two-year process towards a strengthened international climate change agreement. The Bali Road Map includes the Bali Action Plan that was adopted by Decision 1/CP.13. It also includes the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) negotiations and their 2009 deadline, the launch of the Adaptation Fund, the scope and content of the Article 9 review of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as decisions on technology transfer and on reducing emissions from deforestation

COP11 (2005)

COP11 (2005)

COP 11, Montreal (2005)

COP 11 addressed issues such as capacity buildingdevelopment and transfer of technologies, the adverse effects of climate change on developing and least developed countries, and several financial and budget-related issues, including guidelines to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which serves as the Convention’s financial mechanism. The COP also agreed on a process for considering future action beyond 2012 under the UNFCCC.

COP7 (2001)

COP7 (2001)

COP 7, Marrakech (2001)
COP 7 addressed urgent and immediate adaptation needs through National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and the establishment of the LDC work programme which included NAPAs. The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was also established.