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Integrating climate change adaptation into development co-operation: policy guidance

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Tackling climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges humanity faces today. This report provides essential information and advice on how to facilitate the integration of climate adaptation into development processes. The guidance provides a key reference for Development Cooperation and Environment Ministries and Agencies in their co-operation with developing country partners in support of adaptation to climate change. The guidance is specially tailored for policy makers and practitioners in development co-operation agencies and their counterparts in developing country governments as well as for non-governmental stakeholders.The objectives of the policy guidance are to:

promote understanding of the implications of climate change on development practice and mainstreaming climate adaptation in development co-operation agencies and partner countries
identify appropriate approaches for integrating climate change adaptation into development policies at national, sectoral and project levels and in urban and rural contexts
identify practical ways for donors to support developing country partners in their efforts to reduce their vulnerability to climate variability and climate change.

The publication has the following implications for developing country policy makers:

at the national level, a holistic approach needs to be adopted by involving the key stakeholders, improving the coordination with existing mechanisms for disaster risk reduction and the implementation of relevant multilateral and regional environmental agreements
adaptation should be incorporated at several stages of the national policy cycle by applying climate perspectives at the policy formulation stage to national visions, strategies and policies
at the planning stage, proactive inclusion of programmes and projects specifically aimed at enabling adaptation to climate change is vital
at the resource allocation stage, reallocating funding to more vulnerable sectors and regions and funding adaptation specific activities is important
applying a climate perspective to sectoral strategies, policies and plans is critical to avoid maladaptation risks and to allow for the identification of new opportunities emerging from climate change.
at the resource allocation and programming stage, three interventions are suggested:

The following are the relevant research priorities for CDKN:

how and through what means is government engagement with key stakeholders best facilitated to ensure sufficient participation and engagement with relevant national climate plans/strategies/processes?
through what means, resources and expertise can effective instruments be put in place to discourage mal-adaptative policy making and forecasts?
what climate change risk screening criteria can be used to assess project proposals before their inclusion in investment programmes?