10 March 2017: The past few weeks were marked by significant developments in the areas of resilience and adaptation planning, including the adoption of a landmark regional disaster risk reduction (DRR) plan for the Americas, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Expert Group (LEG) national adaptation plans (NAPs) workshop for Anglophone Africa, and Kenya’s submission to the UNFCCC Secretariat of its NAP.

The present Update focuses on these and other adaptation and loss and damage-related activities of the recent weeks, paying particular attention to the work undertaken by the UNFCCC Secretariat and constituted bodies in preparation for the Bonn Climate Change Conference. These developments contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 (climate action).

Regions Advance on DRR

The Fifth Regional Platform for DRR in the Americas (RP17), held in Montreal, Canada, from 7-9 March 2017, culminated with the adoption of a regional action plan to address a range of natural and manmade hazards affecting over 50 countries and territories. The first of its kind, the action plan, which runs to 2019, aims to align regional, national and local strategies in the Americas with the Sendai Framework for DRR. Hosted by the Government of Canada in cooperation with the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR), RP17 also highlighted, inter alia, the role of women and indigenous peoples in curbing disaster risk. [Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 in the Americas] [Montreal Declaration] [UNISDR Press Release on Adoption of the Regional Action Plan] [UNISDR Press Release on Americas’ Regions Crafting the Regional Action Plan] [UNISDR Press Release on Americas Agreeing on Sendai Framework Action Plan] [UNISDR Press Release on Indigenous Peoples as Key Players in DRR] [UNISDR Press Release on Empowering Women to Reduce Disaster Risk] [UNISDR Press Release on Canada’s Private Sector Joining Global Resilience Effort] [UN Press Release on Region-Wide DRR Plan] [UN Press Release on Challenges in Meeting Global Risk Reduction Targets] [Fifth Regional Platform for DRR in Americas Website] [Sendai Framework for DRR]

In other DRR news, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and partners issued a publication titled ‘Pacific Islands Meteorological Services in Action: A Compendium of Climate Services Case Studies.’ The report shows how improved national meteorological and hydrological services can build climate- and disaster-ready communities in the region. [Pacific Islands Meteorological Services in Action: A Compendium of Climate Services Case Studies] [WMO Press Release]

UNFCCC Secretariat, Constituted Bodies Lay Groundwork for Bonn Climate Change Conference, Kenya Submits NAP

With fewer than two months to go before the Bonn Climate Change Conference that is slated to take place in Bonn, Germany, from 8-18 May 2017, the UNFCCC Secretariat has begun publishing relevant documents. The Adaptation Committee (AC) and the LEG advanced work under their respective mandates.

The AC held its eleventh meeting (AC11) in Bonn, Germany, from 7-10 March 2017, during which participants addressed, among other issues, support of the implementation of the Paris outcomes, including through: review of adaptation-related institutional arrangements under the Convention in 2017; methodologies for assessing adaptation needs with a view to assisting developing countries, without placing an undue burden on them; modalities to recognize the adaptation efforts of developing countries; and methodologies to facilitate the mobilization of support for adaptation in developing countries, and for reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support. AC11 also considered: work of the AC’s working group on the Technical Examination Process on Adaptation (TEP-A); technical support and guidance to Parties on adaptation action and means of implementation (MOI); and awareness-raising, outreach and sharing of information. [AC11 Webpage] [AC11 Provisional Annotated Agenda] [Adaptation Workshops and Meetings Webpage] [Decision 1/CP.21 Adopting the Paris Agreement]

At its 31st meeting, the LEG developed its two-year rolling work programme for 2017-2018, inspired by its vision of supporting the LDCs in producing quality NAPs by 2018 or 2020, at the latest.

The 31st meeting of the LEG took place in Bonn, Germany, from 7-10 March 2017, during which the LEG developed its two-year rolling work programme for 2017-2018, inspired by its vision of supporting the LDCs in producing quality NAPs by 2018 or 2020, at the latest. Participants also discussed, inter alia: modalities of accessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for NAP formulation; support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-managed LDC Fund (LDCF) for the ongoing implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs); and ways for the LEG to support the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) in the assessment of progress on NAPs. A report of the meeting will be published in April 2017.

The LEG is requested by the COP to provide technical support and advice to the LDCs on the NAPAs and the LDC work programme, and to provide technical guidance and support to the NAP process. [Adaptation Workshops and Meetings Webpage] [UNFCCC LEG Webpage] [IISD Sources]

As part of its work programme for 2016-2017, the LEG also conducted a regional training workshop on NAPs for Anglophone African LDCs in Lilongwe, Malawi, from 27 February – 3 March 2017, aiming to support countries in advancing in their NAP process. [LEG Regional Training Workshop on NAPs for Anglophone African LDCs] [Adaptation Workshops and Meetings Webpage]

Other developments on NAPs included Kenya’s submission of its NAP to the UNFCCC Secretariat and the publication of a blogpost on the role of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and NAPs in advancing climate-resilient development.

On 28 February 2017, Kenya submitted its NAP 2015-2030, titled ‘Enhanced climate resilience towards the attainment of Vision 2030 and beyond,’ to the UNFCCC Secretariat. The NAP outlines Kenya’s national circumstances, coordination of adaptation actions, a climate hazard and vulnerability analysis, adaptation actions, and adaptation monitoring and evaluation. [Kenya’s National Adaptation Plan 2015-2030: Enhanced Climate Resilience towards the Attainment of Vision 2030 and Beyond] [UNFCCC NAP Central]

WeADAPT published a blogpost titled ‘Using NDCs and NAPs to Advance Climate-Resilient Development’ based on a presentation originally made by the NAP Global Network Secretariat, hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), on 13 November 2016, during the Development and Climate Days in Marrakech, Morocco. [Using NDCs and NAPs to Advance Climate-Resilient Development Blogpost]

In preparation for the Bonn Climate Change Conference, the UNFCCC Secretariat issued a synthesis paper, titled ‘Human health and adaptation: understanding climate impacts on health and opportunities for action’ (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/2), based on the information submitted by Parties and organizations, as well as on inputs from participants during and after the tenth Focal Point Forum on health and adaptation. [Human Health and Adaptation: Understanding Climate Impacts on Health and Opportunities for Action]

Europe Fosters Adaptation in Cities, Alpine Area

The Advisory Committee on the Alpine Climate (Alpine Climate Board (ACB)) of the Alpine Convention convened for its constituting meeting in Vienna, Austria, from 22-23 February 2017. The ACB consists of experts from national administrations and observer organizations, and, over the next two years, will define common adaptation and mitigation actions to achieve a resilient and climate-neutral Alpine area by 2050. The ACB was set up by the 14th Alpine Conference in October 2016. [Alpine Convention Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]

The European Environment Agency (EEA) issued a report titled ‘Financing urban adaptation to climate change,’ outlining innovative ways pioneered by some municipalities to overcome the challenge of meeting the costs of adaptation measures. The report discusses lessons learned from the most successful approaches, the difficulties encountered and overcome, and success factors in financing local adaptation action. [Financing Urban Adaptation to Climate Change] [EEA Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]

Must Reads

A number of recent publications address adaptation in the agricultural sector: