Baselines for NAPs and scaling up adaptation options discussed at NAP Expo
11 July 2016, Bonn, Germany: On the first day of the NAP Expo 2016 in Bonn, the joint UNDP/UNEP NAP-GSP together with FAO coordinated a Parallel Session on ‘Establishing baselines for NAPs and scaling up adaptation action’
NAP-GSP and FAO welcomed participants from the NAP Expo to the parallel session which was divided into two sub-sessions. The first section considered Capturing baselines: Understanding the current status of climate change adaptation and resilience. The second section was on Prioritizing adaptation options: Assessment criteria and scaling up with a focus on the agriculture sector.
Ms. Rohini Kohli, from the NAP-GSP team, provided an introduction to the first section. She said, “It is very important for countries to consider baselines as a means to assessing priorities for adaption actions. There is a need for more clarity on the type of baseline or baselines that are necessary for a country to upscale adaptation interventions.”
Country experiences in capturing baselines
Delegates from Thailand, Palau, Gambia, and Myanmar presented their country experiences.
Kollawat Sakhakara Environmental Official Climate Change Coordination and Management Division (CCMC), Thailand, presented on ‘Identifying baselines through vulnerability assessments – the experience of Thailand’. He overviewed the institutional arrangements in Thailand, and outlined six priority areas, namely, water management, flood and drought, agriculture, tourism, health, natural resource management and human health and security, before expanding on Thailand’s NAP process. He reviewed Thailand’s key constraints and opportunities, and said, “Thailand needs support for developing standardized data, marine sector research, and better engagement with the private sector.”
Xavier E. Matsutaro National Climate Change Coordinator, Office of Climate Change, Palau presented on ‘Understanding climate change adaptation opportunities: the experience of Palau’. He said “In Palau, this is an opportunity to set targets towards achieving sector priority interventions. Our NAP focuses on supporting disaster mitigation, because of the many climate risks in Palau.
Alpha A.K. Jallow, Meteorologist, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Wildlife, Gambia, presented on ‘Disaster risk assessment and climate change adaptation links: the experience of Gambia’. He outlined the climate related hazards in Gambia, including disease outbreak, draughts, floods, pest infestation storm and wildfires. In the Gambia the approach to adaptation is through linkages with disaster risk reduction - the development of a hazard mapping and vulnerability assessment and the establishment of a DRR and CCA Platform, chaired by the Ministry of Environment and climate change. He said, “The NAP process in the Gambia has been launched with the support of UNDP and the NAP-GSP, a roadmap developed and activities are already being implemented.”
Ye Ye Nyein, Director, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar, presented on Available climate data, gaps and challenges, the experience of Myanmar. He reviewed the outcomes of the national and sub national consultation workshops in mainstreaming climate change adaptation which have taken place in Myanmar, and the stocktaking analysis for the NAP process, which was conducted in September 2015 (by UNEP and SEI). He said, “The NAP process will continue to provide a basis for Myanmar’s formal adaptation contributions to global collective action, and to shape Myanmar’s strategic capacity development.”
Country experiences in prioritizing adaptation options
Delegates from Malawi, the Philippines, Kenya, Zambia and Grenada presented their country experiences.
Chimwemwe Khoswe Department of Agricultural Planning Services Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Malawi, presented on the experience on ‘Climate change adaptation for agriculture – the experience of Malawi. He reviewed specific agricultural adaptation options which are priorities in Malawi, including research on better technology, on-farm demonstration, dissemination of research results, risk management and insurance, climate smart agriculture, water harvesting technology, and conservation agriculture. He also highlighted capacity needs – including technical and financial capacity, skills development, etc. He said, “There is a lack of human and financial capacity to develop climate scenarios and for technology needs assessments in the agricultural sector. As we progress in the NAP process we are clarifying and prioritizing our adaptation options.”
Christopher Morales, OIC, Office of the Director for Field Operations Service, Department of Agriculture, Philippines, presented on ‘Criteria and processes to adopt for prioritization: the experience of the Philippines’. He emphasized adaptation as a priority in national policy, as reflected in NDC. Priority sectors and adaptation aspects in the Philippines are food security, including agriculture and fisheries, water sufficiency, environmental & ecological stability, human security, sustainable energy, climate smart industries and services, and knowledge capacity and development. He said, “Prioritization in CCA starts with local CC and DRR management & action plans, including comprehensive land-use plans, comprehensive development plans and annual investment plans, all the way up to national budget and national DRRM fund.”
Lucy Ng'ang'a, Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change Unit, Kenya presented on ‘Scaling up in specific priority areas: The experience of Kenya’, She highlighted that the NAP 2015-2016 is Kenya’s first plan on Adaptation. The NAP process is being operationalized, with adaptation priority actions based on vulnerabilities defined through stakeholder consultations and based on the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). She said, “The criteria for scaling up in specific priority areas include the urgency and ease of implementation in the short-term; compatibility with NCCAP adaptation actions, and the need to pursue low-regret options. Priority areas include livestock and fisheries, as well as capacity building and awareness raising
Reynolds Shula, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Zambia presented on ‘Linking up to available climate finance: the experience of Zambia’. He said, “There are many opportunities to support capacity building for smallholder farmers in Zambia – and we are identifying sources for adaptation finance - including GEF, bilateral aid agencies, and NGOs.”
Trevor Thompson, Land Use Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Grenada presented on ‘Prioritizing adaptation options in agriculture: The experience of Grenada’. He focused on the many climate-related challenges in Grenada, including sea-level rise and coral bleaching. He indicated the NAP process thus far and explained how all public projects must be screened for climate change risks through CCORAL (Caribbean online risk and adaptation tool), new climate-proofed 15-year development plan. He said, “The NAP process has showed us how climate actions needs to link up to individual work-plans, and with budgets. We also need to be pragmatic in our planning, working with limited data and low capacity.”
The session concluded with a round-up of the key points and outcomes. In general, countries require more clarity on the type of baseline or baselines that are necessary for a country to upscale adaptation interventions and also determine what data is necessary. In practical terms, disaster risk reduction work is often an entry point for adaptation planning, including risk and hazard mapping. For all of the countries presenting, agriculture was a priority sector for adaptation interventions and planning. Countries were in agreement that it is vital to define baselines from the beginning; it is very difficult to move forward without clear assessments and adequate data to support. In addition, countries called for prioritization criteria, to assist them to define their adaptation options