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Water Adaptation in NAPAs. Freshwater in climate adaptation planning and climate adaptation in freshwater planning. A UNDP Side publication to WWDR3

Publication date:
G. Björklund (ed)
Type of publication:

The Report looks at water adaptation aspects in ongoing processes of formulating and implementing National Adaptation Programmes of Action – NAPAs. The authors discuss that the NAPA’s main objective is to serve as a direct channel where the least developed countries (LDCs) may communicate their urgent and immediate needs, which by nature is urgent but which does not necessarily have to comply with more long-term needs. They further note that the main weaknesses in almost all of the NAPAs prepared are:

the lack of clear linkages between what is in the content of the NAPA and what is in the content of the PRSPs, NDSs, IWRM plans, Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) Action programmes
the lack of recognition of institutional barriers
the lack of specificity as regards to climate change impacts, adaptation measures and quantification of associated cost
the lack of discussion of a strategy to overcome existing barriers and of how to implement such a strategy.

On the other hand, the NAPA process has its main advantages in that it is a participatory process where governmental representatives, NGOs and people concerned together identify and develop adaptation projects and capacity.The paper states that generally, NAPAs have a project-based bias and even if they should have a linkage to MEA strategies they are not very often integrating long-term development strategies to address water-related adaptation impacts.The authors recommend that:

the governance system should ensure coherency, equity, responsiveness and integration so that implementing different adaptation projects would ensure that they are becoming integral parts of the long-term objective
there is need to shift focus from identifying short-term single projects towards projects that are parts of a long-term strategy corresponding to long-term needs
ensure that the long-term adaptation strategy for a country when developed also links to what is developed for the larger region as the impacts do not respect any political boundaries and therefore transboundary cooperation is needed
build capacity, both institutional and human capacity, to implement not only projects that are founded in a long-term adaptation strategy but also the adaptation long-term strategy itself
ensure that water policies, strategies and plans properly integrate climate change adaptation policies, strategies and plans.