As Parties start to feel the effects of lack of sleep here at the COP, they might want an afternoon nap. But ECO knows Parties won’t want to fall asleep on the job when it comes to crafting a decision on the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Durban needs to deliver a decision that formalizes and elaborates this process and outlines the guidelines and modalities for LDCs and other developing countries to benefit from the process, clearly articulating the role, responsibility, and functions that the UNFCCC will offer, support, and facilitate. The process should entail such efforts as workshops, forums and expert meetings to facilitate south-south learning.
The specific form and format of national adaptation plans and strategies should be decided by each country, including whether to create a stand-alone plan or to incorporate adaptation needs and actions into existing strategic climate change or poverty alleviation and development plans. The global process should be non-prescriptive and enable country-driven, flexible, and iterative national-level planning and implementation. There are, however, a number of elements which are important when developing guidelines in order for NAPs to deliver on essential needs.
A decision on the National Adaptation Plans should include an elaboration of the guiding principles included in paragraph 12 of 1/CP.16 in order to support a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach that takes into account vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems. These principles help ensure that the NAPs process and implementation will deliver assistance for the most vulnerable, for example through comprehensive vulnerability assessments to identify and prioritise the most vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems. The process should also include robust consultations and participatory approaches to meaningfully capture the needs and concerns of most vulnerable communities. NAPs should integrate and reflect gender considerations, integrate and address ecosystems and their services, and facilitate synergies with other multilateral frameworks, such as the CBD, UNCCD and the Hyogo Framework for Action.
With regard to modalities, ECO believes a NAPs decision should enhance synergies and linkages among the different bodies involved, in particular the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, the Adaptation Committee and the Nairobi Work Programme, to enable the dissemination of knowledge, information and good practices. Modalities should include opportunities to build national, local and civil society
It is important to get the technical modalities right, and it is vital not to hold this up. However, ECO would also like to remind developed country Parties that vulnerable countries and communities cannot adapt to the impacts of climate change (which they did not cause) empty-handed. They need to be able to trust in the will of developed countries to deliver funds for preparation and implementation of the NAPs. Potential channels for funding NAPs already exist through the LDCF (for planning and projects in LDCs), the Adaptation Fund (for projects) and potentially the Green Climate Fund - they just need to be filled up.
And a well-crafted NAPs decision will be rewarded with plenty of time for catching up on sleep.