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GCF National Adaptation Plan project in Uruguay

GCF National Adaptation Plan project in Uruguay


This GCF-financed project will support the Government of Uruguay to advance its National Adaptation Planning process in cities and local governments (NAP-Cities). The objectives of the National Adaptation Planning process are to:  Reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, by building adaptive capacity and resilience in cities, infrastructures and urban environments; and to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation, in a coherent manner, into relevant new and existing policies, programmes and activities, in particular development planning processes and strategies that apply to cities and local planning. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment (MVOTMA).

The focus on cities and local governments has been chosen in line with the priorities set forth in the National Policy on Climate Change, particularly as climate change adaptation in cities requires collaborative problem solving and coordination across many sectors and across central and local governments (land use, housing, transportation, public health, tourism, water supply and sanitation, solid waste, food security, energy, disaster risk management, etc).

Cities and local governments are well positioned to act as conveners of a wide range of stakeholders. Indeed, adaptation efforts in cities and local governments will often involve multiple government agencies, as well as broad partnerships that include other local governments, local communities, civil society organizations - including trade unions, academic institutions, and the private sector. The project builds upon important opportunities in Uruguay, in particular the development of the National Policy on Climate Change of 2017 and an increased awareness and desire of various national agencies to improve adaptation planning.

Project details

The project will address the main gaps to integrating climate change adaptation into cities and local government planning and budgeting, as identified in a stakeholders’ consultation process that was undertaken in 2016 and in line with the priorities under the National Climate Change Response Plan of 2010 and the National Policy on Climate Change of 2017, as well as the framework of the 2012 LEG Technical Guidelines on NAP.

Underlying challenges include: Limited awareness and consideration of future climate change in local and urban planning; limited access to and integration of national and international available data on climate change, risks and socio-economic vulnerabilities; in most cases, current risk assessment of climate-related hazards do not consider future climate change scenarios; and imited linkages and synergies between adaptation actions, public and private investments and long term land planning and public budgeting.

By its very nature, the NAP-Cities project would facilitate integration of climate change adaptation into existing strategies, policies and programmes, and the project  aims at achieving this with a focus on urban and spatial planning through: Building and strengthening capacities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems in both central and local governments improving existing risk and vulnerability analyses with future climate scenarios to produce policy-relevant and actionable risk assessments for cities and local governments; the design and integration of methods, tools and information systems to effectively inform decision-making on the climate risks to development in an integrated fashion; the formulation of financing strategies and mechanisms for scaling up adaptation in cities and local governments

Whereas the reduction of vulnerability will be achieved through implementation of adaptation programmes and projects that will ultimately emanate from the NAP-Cities, project aims to strengthen institutional coordination and capacities, and build the foundation for integrating climate change scenarios and climate risks to inform planning and decision making both at central and local governments.

It will further identify pathways to reduce vulnerability through the implementation strategies to be defined in the NAP-Cities. The project will ultimately contribute to the GCF Fund level impacts of (i) Increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities, and regions, (ii) Strengthened institutional and regulatory systems for climate- responsive planning and development, (iii) Increased generation and use of climate information in decision making, and (iv) Strengthened adaptive capacity and reduced exposure to climate risks.

Disaster Risk Reduction, Infrastructure/Climate Change Risk Management
Level of intervention
  • National
Key collaborators
  • Local Governments
  • National Governments
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations
  • Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente
  • Green Climate Fund
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Project status
Funding Source
Green Climate Fund
Financing amount
US$2.7 million


Project Launch: 24 May 2018
Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Secretariat: 8 January 2018
Project submitted to GCF Secretariat: 13 February 2017
Framework Readiness and Preparatory Support Grant Agreement: 2 September 2016

Uruguay’s cities make headway towards sustainability through adaptation planning
16 October 2018, Uruguay - The National Adaptation Plan for Cities and Local Governments project (NAP-Cities) presented on progress and anticipated challenges for the next few months at a Sustainable Cities event on October 11 in Uruguay. Español

Government of Uruguay launches new project to boost resilience of cities and reach targets outlined in Paris Agreement
24 May 2018, Uruguay – The “Integrating adaptation into cities, infrastructure and local planning in Uruguay Project” (NAP-Cities) was launched May 24, 2018 under the leadership of Uruguay’s Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment (MVOTMA), with support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Available in Spanish.

Uruguay comenzó elaboración de plan que busca la adaptación al cambio climático en las zonas urbanas - Audio
El Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente lanzó el Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático en ciudades e infraestructuras, como parte de las acciones para cumplir con los ODS 2030. Implica tres años de trabajo para la elaboración del plan. Se centrará en el enfoque de adaptación en ciudades, infraestructura y el ordenamiento territorial en Uruguay, informó la ministra Eneida de León. Leer mas.

Ministra de Vivienda Se lanza hoy el programa Ciudades Sostenibles
El 93% de la población de Uruguay vive en zonas urbanas y un 70% en zonas costeras. El Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático en ciudades e infraestructuras se centrará en ciudades de más de 10.000 habitantes (40 ciudades, incluida Montevideo).

Connecting people with planning in Uruguay
As Uruguay advances in its commitments toward climate-resilient and low-carbon development, the country embraces social inclusion, sectoral adaptation plans and a coordinated approach to reaching its goals. To plan for the impacts of climate change - and support the nation in achieving its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, and its highly successful poverty reduction efforts - the Government of Uruguay is looking toward improved sectoral plans, social inclusion and increased coordination as key mechanisms for climate-smart economic development.


Key results and output

Output 1 - National mandate, strategy and steering mechanisms are in place and gaps are assessed

1.1 Launch the NAP-Cities process and establish institutional arrangements for coordination

  • Establish a coordination mechanism, with a clear scope and mandate, to steer the development of NAP-Cities, and establish and fund a secretariat to coordinate the development and implementation of the plan
  • Integrate and harmonize climate change messaging in communications of sectoral agencies to local government and develop targeted climate change adaptation information products for urban areas
  • Develop specific climate change information products to raise and strengthen awareness of key decision makers at central and local level on needs for adaptation planning
1.2 Stocktake of urban adaptation planning, and assess gaps in available information on climate change impacts at city level
  • To inform adaptation planning (risk, hazards, vulnerability, gender, socio-economic and environmental) and assess obstacles and limitations to its use and shareability for urban planning with the objective of developing an integrated information management system
  • Conduct an inventory and stocktaking of on-going and past adaptation activities by all sectors in urban areas (Health, Water, DRR, Development Planning) with a rapid assessment of their effectiveness
  • Identify, document and analyse existing national experiences and best practices that have successfully integrated climate change in urban planning and develop options to scale them up
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses of current institutional planning mechanisms with regards to urban areas and identify potential barriers and disincentives to the planning, design and implementation of adaptation


1.3 Identify capacity gaps and weaknesses in implementing  NAP-Cities 

  • Undertake a capacity needs assessment for planning, decision making and implementing adaptation in urban areas, both at central government agencies, local governments and other target groups


1.4 Comprehensively and iteratively assess development needs from a climate perspective

  • Screening of existing development and investment plans of central agencies that involve cities (e.g. spatial planning, health, tourism, water, sewage treatment…) and existing local land-use plans to identify needs regarding the assessment and integration of climate-related risks. 


Output 2 - Preparatory elements for the NAP in place to develop a knowledge-base and formulate a NAP

2.1 Undertake multi-hazard risk assessments addressing major climatic hazards to cities

  • Carry out multi-hazard risk assessments addressing flood and extreme weather events, and other major climate related risks in selected Uruguayan urban areas, building on existing information and taking account future climate scenarios to inform planning, preparedness and adaptation actions in at least 4 urban areas (The multi-hazard risk assessments will include gender and age disaggregated data whereas possible)


2.2 Assess new and important climate-induced vulnerabilities in urban areas

  • Analyse vulnerabilities to water-born diseases, heat islands, heat waves and vector-born diseases that relate to climate variability and change.


2.3 Identify and appraise adaptation options for major hazards affecting Uruguayan cities

  • Evaluate the adaptation potential of urban ecosystems, urban green areas and urban forestry, including the cost-effectiveness of conservation measures and design ecosystem-based adaptation strategies to buffer the impact of extreme weather events and heat waves
  • Analyse effectiveness and cost/benefit of the on-going pilot urban flood adaptation measures to improve urban water planning in mid-sized cities, and develop a strategy to scale up implementation of the most effective measures
  • Analyse current climate related early warning systems for urban environments and develop a strategy to strengthen the development of those systems for scaling up their implementation.
  • Review, appraise and prioritise adaptation options for water-born diseases heat islands, heat waves and vector-born diseases that relate to climate variability and change, as well as adaptation options related to water and sewage managements.
  • Identify and analyse adaptation options in relation to infrastructure and built environments, in particular improved building codes in relation to climate variability and change.
  • Review and design of adaptation options for other climate hazards identified in activities 2.1.


2.4 Formulate and disseminate the NAP-Cities

  • Carry out participative workshops to discuss and formulate the NAP-Cities, including participation of national and local governments, civil society, academia, private sectors and other relevant stakeholders
  • Compile the NAP-Cities integrating review comments and process the adoption of the Plan at the national level
  • Develop a communication strategy and tools for NAP-Cities


2.5 Integrate climate change adaptation into national and local development and sectoral planning and budgeting

  • Develop and test interactive and multi-criteria decision support tools to help national and local governments and communities to assess, visualize and understand the potential impacts of climate change and develop adaptive solutions. (The decision support tool will include gender and age disaggregated data whereas possible)
  • The engagement with the private sector is an essential strategy to include climate resilience aspects in their investment in urban areas and infrastructure and also contributing to climate adaptation on the ground.





Output 3 - NAP implementation facilitated

3.1 Prioritize climate change adaptation in national and local planning and budgeting

  • Develop and pilot a standardized method, and policy recommendations, to integrate adaptation planning in city and local spatial plans and budgets for the medium-term period, considering gender and age, as appropriate.
  • Develop and test criteria for screening urban public investment programmes in adaptation, and prioritising budget allocations of public and private investments with adaptation benefits


3.2 Develop an implementation strategy for NAP-Cities

  • Develop an inter-institutional management model for the NAP-Cities implementation and adaptation mainstreaming in infrastructure design and investment and urban land planning.
  • Design integrated Geographic information systems that enables sharing and utilising data to inform urban planning and incorporating gender and age-disaggregated data.
  • Advance on a specific effort to find areas of revenue in the NAP Cities and Infrastructure where private capital equity might find interesting to invest, such areas might be associated with urban built environment and infrastructure insurances; built environment technology development; among others.


3.3 Enhance capacity for planning, budgeting and implementation of adaptation

  • Develop and execute a three-year work plan for capacity building of local and national authorities to address the gaps and priorities identified in the capacity needs assessment. The capacity building programme should target at least 100 officials and planners from local governments and 100 officials from central agencies
  • Undertake specific trainings for at least 60 planners in central and local agencies on methodologies for planning under uncertainty
  • Develop training tools and undertake training on integrating gender and age through the use of gender and age disaggregated data and gender and age analysis tools in programme formulation and monitoring
  • Training and building awareness of the private sector, national and local professional associations and trade unions on investing in adaptation planning, both in their businesses through risk reduction measures and climate proofing their supply chain, and exploring new market opportunities and investments for the development of resilience building goods and services.
  • Technical assistance to local governments on the preparation of local adaptation frameworks or options.
  • Training and building awareness to local communities and local education institutions regarding climate risks in urban environments and in relation to early warning systems.
  • Develop capacities to evaluate the prioritization of actions and projects through training courses at national and local level for adaptation options appraisal (e.g. Cost Benefit Analysis/Multicriteria Analysis etc).




Output 4 - Mechanisms for Reporting, Monitoring and Review of NAP-Cities and adaptation progress in place

4.1 Enhance capacity to monitor the NAP-Cities process and adaptation progress

  • Collect data and develop indicators for adaptation planning, readiness, and resilience of infrastructure and urban areas. These indicators will be integrated with the National Climate Change Response Plan, and the National Climate Change Policy and with other urban and territorial planning tools.


4.2 Review the NAP-Cities process to assess progress, effectiveness and gaps.

  • Develop and implement mechanisms to monitor and update the National Policy on Climate Change, and the NAP cities building on the above mentioned indicators


4.3 Conduct outreach on the NAP-Cities process and report on progress and effectiveness

  • Undertake an outreach programme to local government to present the NAP cities and its various tools, and assess progress and effectiveness at the local level.


Output 5 - Funding strategy for the NAP-Cities and climate change adaptation is available

5.1 Conduct studies to inform future investments in adaptation across sectors at the cities and local level

  • Identify suitable incentives, and evaluate their costs and effectiveness to foster private investment in new climate-sensitive and resilience-building approaches and to encourage public-private partnerships to implement climate adaptation measures in the Uruguayan planning and budgeting context


5.2 Identify, analyse and recommend policy options for scaling up financing for adaptation, including through public-private partnerships

  • Undertake a policy analysis for future financing instruments/options for adaptation including identification of alternative funding sources (private, local, etc.) as well as municipal level financing instruments that can be leveraged for financing in cities


5.3 Develop a financing strategy for the NAP-Cities

  • Develop a financing strategy for the implementation of NAP-Cities. The strategy will be updated iteratively in the framework of the NCCRS after the Readiness is concluded.
  • Develop a funding strategy for the NAP Readiness which will include more traditional approaches regarding funding from international climate related sources, such as the GCF, and/or national sources such as the national and subnational budgets.  


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