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Africa: Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans: What have we achieved and learned during program implementation?


November 2020 - With the FAO-UNDP joint programme on Integrating Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) phasing out in 2020, the momentum and work achieved under the 5-year programme have not. NAP-Ag supported 11 partner countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The four African countries, Kenya, Uganda, the Gambia and Zambia recently shared their programme highlights and lesson learned during the NAP-Ag and how the work achieved over the past five years has built foundations and better positioned these countries in their overall climate change adaptation work.

Leveraged funding in Kenya

The NAP-Ag achievements in Kenya were built on strong foundations and capacity development from on-going and past initiatives in the country. Through the programme, Kenya developed a number of policy documents, including the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy and its implementation Framework. The first-ever capacity needs assessment for climate change adaptation planning in five ministries was conducted.

The most recent knowledge product from Kenya is the Assessing agroforestry practices and soil and water conservation for climate change adaptation in Kenya: A cost-benefit analysis. This study used cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to analyze the economic worthiness of adaptation measures currently being practiced by some farmers on their land in Kenya. 

Kenya approached its adaptation work by building on in-house expertise in all key ministries to create stronger ownership. Thanks to support from the NAP-Ag programme, Kenya leveraged additional US$ 3 million from the Green Climate Fund’s Readiness and Preparatory programme in 2018 and US$ 100 000 from the UNITAR UNCC Learn programme. The project is currently under implementation and will run until August 2021.

The footprint in Uganda

A major footprint that NAP-Ag left in Uganda was the formulation of the National Adaptation Plan for Agriculture, which provides a framework for adaptation action in the country and is part of the overall Ugandan strategy to build their overall plan through sectoral strategies.

Another major achievement was the sensitization on gender responsive adaptation planning and budgeting of technical staff at local and central government levels, parliamentarians and non-state actors. This work was guided by a capacity needs assessment conducted under the programme.

In Uganda, capacity building was also extended to local government staff and was focused on imparting skills for mainstreaming climate change risks and opportunities into the agriculture sectors. There were two specialized training sessions organized on Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Impact Evaluation.

Uganda developed a performance monitoring and evaluation framework with baseline indicators for monitoring the implementation of the NAP-Ag. Uganda’s NAP, launched in November 2018, has a suite of adaptation actions, organized under eight themes. A number of knowledge products were produced under the NAP-Ag programme in Uganda, including a country case study on Safeguarding livelihoods and promoting resilience through National Adaptation Plans: Case study Uganda. This case study shows the links between long-term adaptation planning and activities supported by the NAP–Ag programme as well as the resulting impacts.

Building foundations in the Gambia

In the Gambia, the work started with an assessment on institutional gaps that need to be filled, as well as strengths of these seven institutions. It was followed by an assessment of skills, which is being finalized.

The main activities under NAP-Ag programme included the training of stakeholders on hydro-information gathering and dissemination, an activity run by the UNFCCC focal point at the Department of Water Resources.

Initial work was undertaken to review The Gambia’s current situation with regards to climate-sensitive budgeting and sensitizing key stakeholders on the issue. This resulted in an assessment of gaps and a suggested way forward, while linking to other national efforts being made on adaptation and mitigation.

Creating an evidence base in zambia

The NAP-Ag programme in Zambia gave the country an opportunity to build the capacities of key government stakeholders on CBA for analyzing and assessing the adaptation options; impact of evaluations and lastly, gender adoption into adaptation planning. Zambia also developed a number of case studies, including the latest one Conservation agriculture for climate change adaptation in Zambia: A cost-benefit analysis.  The case study was developed to generate empirical evidence about adaptation options in agriculture and to inform adaptation policy dialogues in Zambia. 

The CBA analysis was a key part of the evidence base needed to engage policymakers and convince them to mainstream adaptation options. Zambia was able to incorporate lessons learned over the past 2-3 years on the type of evidence that was needed to fit into their adaptation work and processes.

Much of the groundwork laid under the NAP-Ag programme has allowed these four countries to start building upon their adaptation work, through mainstreaming and integrating adaptation considerations into the budgeting of forthcoming planning process. Through additional resources and new initiatives, this momentum will be built on to continue their efforts to develop long-term climate-resilient plans. These include the new FAO and UNDP Programme, Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through NDCs and NAPs (SCALA), which will include Uganda as one of the twelve participating countries from 2020 to 2025 and the NAP GCF project in Kenya. The Gambia and Zambia are also preparing proposals to access resources from the GCF to advance their adaptation planning.

  • SDG 13