Major Declaration on National Adaptation Plans for Climate Change made in Africa

A major declaration on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) was made at the 5th Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).

This Declaration provides vital impetus for the NAP processes in African Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - signifying an important step forward in addressing climate change adaptation.

The high-level AMCEN meeting took place in Gaborone, Botswana in October 2013. Delegates reached consensus on the ‘Gaborone Declaration on Climate Change and Africa's Development’ . This Declaration outlines how national adaptation planning can enable all African countries to assess their vulnerabilities, mainstream climate change adaptation, as well as mitigate loss and damages from climate-related extreme events.

"African countries face critical and highly specific climate change challenges,” said Dr Richard Munang, Regional Climate Change Coordinator, Regional Office for Africa, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“The Ministers and representatives at AMCEN agreed to push forward immediately with National Adaptation Plans and are urgently seeking financial and technical support in this process." 

The Ministerial delegates declared their resolve to call on developed country parties to urgently scale up support for the implementation of adaptation measures. This process is being facilitated through the collaborating partners of the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) .

“"The National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme which was established in June 2013 is now providing some of this much needed assistance," said Stephen Gold, Global Head & Principal Technical Advisor, Green Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“We are currently working closely with 11 African LDC governments which have requested our technical and financial support. Together with our development partner agencies and national governments, we are rolling out a comprehensive and coordinated NAP assistance programme, building on ongoing and complementary adaptation initiatives.”
The AMCEN delegates also agreed that the NAP process should facilitate country-owned and country-driven processes, whilst building on existing adaptation plans.

“Country-specific National Adaptation Plans are extremely important to support ongoing development processes in countries such as the Gambia,” said Mr. Bubu Jallow, the Gambia delegate to the 5th Special Session

“A hotter, drier climate with unreliable rainfall will impact on our food security and may exacerbate floods, droughts and water pollution. The NAP-GSP has agreed to provide technical assistance, advisory services and training, to support adaptation mechanisms and enhance knowledge and skills in the Gambia to advance the NAP.”

This high profile Declaration involving NAPs marks a significant scaling up of the NAP-GSP process in Africa. This also provides a platform for African countries to further consolidate and enhance Africa’s common negotiating position for the upcoming climate change negotiations at the Nineteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) in Warsaw in November 2013.

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