National Adaptation Plans Readiness in Democratic Republic of the Congo


The “National Adaptation Plans Readiness in Democratic Republic of the Congo” support grant from the Green Climate Fund will provide resources for readiness and preparatory activities and technical assistance to build capacity to undertake GCF-related activities and develop a strategic framework for engagement with GCF.  

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is endowed with enormous natural resources potential that could drive its economic development and the continent’s growth. It also has favorable climatic and geological conditions and an extensive network of rivers including the River Congo. Yet, it was ranked as the poorest nation in the world in 2013.

The newly created Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development – where the Nationally Designated Authority (NDA) is hosted – lacks both human and financial capacity. The Ministry’s staffs lack relevant technical and operational skills, making it difficult to effectively engage with the GCF. The readiness grant will support stakeholder engagement across the country and DRC’s efforts to plan for climate change impacts and align on-going development processes for the National Adaptation Programme (NAP), Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA), and Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) with the GCF’s investment criteria.

Through the grant, the DRC expects to see the capacity of its NDA strengthened to carry out GCF-related tasks and a smooth engagement with the GCF arising from the implementation of the country programme to be developed as a result of this support.

Project details

The DRC is the second largest country in Africa (almost two-third the size of Western Europe) with a landmass of 2,344,799 It is endowed with enormous natural resources potential that could drive its economic development and the continent’s growth. The country has more than 130 million hectares, including 11 million ha of forest making up 10% of global tropical forest. Only about 3% of its landmass is hither to exploited. It also has favourable climatic and geological conditions (making it possible to harvest 3-4 crops annually) and an extensive network of rivers including the River Congo (2nd in the world in terms of flow rate, which helped build the powerful Inga hydropower dam). DRC has over 1,100 minerals and precious metals.

Yet, it was ranked as the poorest nation in the world in 2013, with a GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity basis of less than US$400. Also, it remains a fragile state that is slowly recovering from over two decades of political and economic instability. It also continues to face rebellions, which threaten its institutions and the population’s security. DRC’s main challenge is to lift itself out of its fragile situation and rise to a new level of development commensurate with its potential.

The country also has a high rate of deforestation – within the top ten in the world. Most of this loss of forest cover is due to family/small-scale farming for energy needs. CO2 emissions nationally are around 3 million metric tons per year, equating to around 0.04 metric tons per person. Between 1960 and 2010 the population of DRC more than tripled to 64 million people. Approximately 70% of this population rely on agriculture for their nutrition and livelihoods, but only around 7% of the country’s area, mostly around cities, is cultivated or has livestock.

Due to climate change, temperatures are set to increase between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius. Changing temperatures are likely to have a detrimental impact of human health, especially by changing the geographical distribution of diseases. Additionally, malaria incidence is expected to rise. The national adaptation capacity will need to increase significantly to absorb these changes.

Rainfall changes are less certain – models predict both increases and decreases in different parts of the country. Models do agree, however, that crop yields will increase in some areas of the country, such as Kivu and decrease in others, like Bandundu. Water scarcity is not an issue for the DRC, due to substantial existing resources, however people’s access to this water is an ongoing problem. Heavy rains are causing erosion and are damaging infrastructure and settlements.

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index ranked DRC as 161st out of 180 countries in terms of vulnerability at second to worst (183rd out of 184th) with regard to readiness.

Previous engagement with GCF

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been actively engaged with the GCF from its inception, starting from the nomination of an alternative member of the GCF Board from DRC. The country then appointed a Focal Point on 18 August 2014. Later on, a National Coordination Team for the Green Climate Fund, within the Ministry of Environment, Natural Conservation and Tourism was nominated as National Designated Authority (NDA) for DRC (11 April 2015).

The DRC has actively been engaging the GCF since the designation of the FP in various ways (meetings in the margins of the COP in Lima, emails, skype calls, etc.).

As one of the first REDD+ target countries, due its huge forest ecosystem potential, DRC has been implementing REDD+ readiness activities and making pilot investments to mitigate some of the key drivers of deforestation and forest degradation since 2011.

Level of intervention: 
Key collaborators: 
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations: 
Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development Democratic Republic of the Congo
Green Climate Fund
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Project status: 
Funding source: 
Financing amount: 
US$1,270,000 GCF grant

Key results and outputs

Outcome 1: NDA capacity strengthened to undertake GCF-related responsibilities

1.1 Presentations or other climate and development-related information materials

1.2 Summaries of meetings of country coordination mechanism and multi-stakeholder engagement, including list of participants

1.3 Annual report on activities of the Fund and other relevant funding mechanisms and institutions in the country

1.4 Information materials on the operational procedures of the Fund in local languages (where relevant) and distribution lists of recipients

Outcome 2: Strategic framework for engagement with the GCF developed

2.1 Country programme, including elements provided in the Fund’s Initial Guidelines for Country Programme

2.2 Summaries of meetings of multi-stakeholder engagement, including list of participants


Julie Teng