Advancing medium and long-term adaptation planning in Guinea-Bissau
With financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the " Establishing a National Adaptation Planning Process in Guinea-Bissau " project will support the Government of Guinea-Bissau to develop a national climate change adaptation planning framework to guide future climate change adaptation policies and investments.
With the development of a NAP process, Guinea-Bissau will lay the groundwork for the systemic and iterative identification of medium and long-term climate-induced risks, allowing it to establish adaptation priorities and build out specific activities that ensure no one is left behind in the country’s work to reach its goals outlined through the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NAP process will contribute to the formulation of corresponding national climate-responsive indicators and targets.
The lead ministry and primary beneficiary is the Ministry of Environment and Biodiversity. Other beneficiaries are the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, The National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), the Ministry of Finances, the Ministry of Economy and Regional Integration, the National Institute of Meteorology, the Ministry of Energy, and Industry and Natural Resources—the Directorate General of Water Resources (DGRH).
The project gives special attention to vulnerable and marginalized groups, and will develop and institutionalize rigorous measures for stakeholder participation and gender inclusiveness.
The Government of Guinea-Bissau officially requested support from the UNDP-UN Environment’s NAP Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) in January 2014. The government then held a workshop to introduce stakeholders and government representatives to the process as well as attending the NAP-GSP Africa Regional Training Workshop (Anglophone) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2014. In September 2015, the country submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Paris Agreement and the following year a Stocktaking Report was produced that outlined a preliminary roadmap for advancing the NAP process in Guinea-Bissau.
This project builds upon the gaps and needs that were uncovered during these processes and identified in these policy documents and strategies. The overall goal of the project is to create an enabling environment for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into national development objectives. This will be achieved through the following three outcomes that were defined as a result of the NAP-GSP stocktaking of institutional frameworks and climate adaptation initiatives:
- Outcome 1: Coordination mechanisms and processes for adaptation planning at the national and sectoral levels established
- Outcome 2: Capacity for adaptation planning at the national and sectoral levels strengthened; and
- Outcome 3: Evidence base for adaptation planning supported.
To achieve these outcomes, significant barriers will need to be addressed. These include: fragmented institutional coordination; lack of capacity for adaptation planning and implementation at the national level; inadequate climate information; and insufficient funding to finance adaptation investments. The purpose of this project is to address these gaps, as well as some of the priorities identified in Guinea-Bissau’s NDC.
The achievement of these priority interventions will complement national, sectoral, and local government priorities, as codified in the country’s national development policies, including Terra Ranka (meaning ‘new beginning’) and its National Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is considered a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) and is located on the West African coast. It also consists of an archipelago – the Bijagós – made up of more than 88 islands. Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by political instability since it became independent in 1974, resulting in a lack of development and high levels of poverty. It is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries, ranked 178 out of 189 countries assessed in the Human Development Index (2019), with two out of three people living below the poverty line. Changing climatic conditions along with the country’s limited capacity to adapt, and the already vulnerable socio-economic context in which its people live in, threatens to exacerbate these dynamics, and as a result, Guinea-Bissau is recognised as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
In the coming decades, temperatures are projected to rise, and droughts and floods will likely become more extreme. Precipitation may become more volatile, i.e. increasingly frequent torrential rains over a short time period. A higher frequency of extreme climatic events is projected to result in more catastrophes, through loss of crops and damaged infrastructure, while the reliability and regulation of water supply is expected to decrease. For a country highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, as well as cashew exports, building resilience to climate impacts in the agricultural sector is of critical importance for Guinea-Bissau, and essential to safeguard development efforts that aim to pave the way towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Climate change is already impacting the country through biodiversity loss, desertification and land degradation, presenting substantial and real threats to all vital sectors, constraining economic growth, and exacerbating inequalities. Furthermore, sea-level rise exposes the population to risks of flooding, saltwater intrusion, shoreline changes, and coastal erosion. These risks may lead to the disappearance of beaches, farming areas, and vegetation, as well as of public and private assets, such as roads and tourism infrastructure, government buildings, schools, medical facilities, homes, and even entire villages.
Guinea-Bissau is also engaged in UNDP’s Climate Promise. An offer to support at least 100 countries enhance their NDCs by COP26 – and is currently revising its NDC through this initiative. Guinea-Bissau intends to raise the ambition of both its mitigation, as well as its adaptation to goals in its enhanced NDC. This NAP project is complementing this work.
Guinea-Bissau faces a great number of challenges which infringe on its ability to plan for and adapt to climate change and ultimately achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This project is designed to enable the government to begin integrating climate risks and adaptation considerations into national and sectoral planning processes. However, in order to do so, a number of barriers (presented below) will need to be addressed.
Barrier 1: The country lacks an effective national institutional framework for conducting climate change adaptation planning and mainstreaming climate risks into planning. The National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) is supposed to perform this function but has been unable to do so effectively due to a lack of a clear mandate and authority and a working group.
Barrier 2: A lack of technical capacity within the government to mainstream climate change risk and adaptation considerations into national and sectoral planning. This is both strategic due to a lack of awareness of physical processes associated with climate change and its impacts on sectors, economy and communities, as well as an understanding of costs and benefits of adaptation measures. There are also operational issues as the analytical capabilities of ministries and departments is low; making the identification of sectoral vulnerabilities to climate change and other such tasks challenging.
Barrier 3: Insufficient climate information for conducting risk-informed adaptation policy-making and planning. For example, there are no vulnerability assessments conducted on climate change risks and impacts, there is limited socio-economic data. As such, there is no understanding of how climate effects vulnerable groups, including women, differently and ultimately there is little to no evidence base to inform adaptation policies and planning.
Three rounds of stakeholder consultations informed the project design. Guinea-Bissau first explored launching a NAP process back in 2014 when it hosted an introductory workshop. Then, in June 2016, a workshop took place to explain what developing a NAP process entailed, as well as how a GCF Readiness proposal could support it. After this second workshop the government requested the support of UNDP to assist them in formulating the Readiness proposal that lead to this project.
Two UNDP missions engaged stakeholders from the national government, sub-national governments, academia, NGOs and the private sector. Together, these missions provided key insights on concerns and priorities for the NAP process, in respect of climate risks and impacts.
A third and final mission was held in October 2017. During this mission, high-level meetings were held with the Ministry of Environment and Biodiversity at the beginning and at the end of the mission to discuss and validate the findings and the plan for moving forward.
This project incorporates robust mechanisms for further stakeholder consultations and participation; encouraging consensus across all levels of government to define goals and a direction for NAP process. It also includes mechanisms for increasing the participation of women in adaptation planning and implementation. Improving gender equity and the space for women in governance is a key priority of the Second National Poverty Reduction Strategy and has also been included in the NDC.
Key results and outputs
Outcome 1: Coordination mechanisms and processes for adaptation planning at the national and sectoral levels established. This outcome will create a framework that enables a NAP process and will set the foundation planning for adaptation planning. This will be achieved by establishing an institutional coordination mechanism with a clear and strong mandate and defining the roles of the participating institutions.
This is informed and supported by Outcome 2 that deals with the capacity gaps and development, as well as Outcome 3, which provides data for informing the decision-making of coordination mechanisms.
Sub-Outcome 1.1: Institutional framework for adaptation planning established
Sub-outcome 1.1 focuses on clarifying and strengthening the national institutional arrangements for climate change adaptation planning. Activities will also clearly define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders with respect to climate change adaptation. This sub-outcome will also result in the establishment of a steering and national / sectoral coordination mechanism for climate change adaptation planning and implementation.
Sub-Outcome 1.2: Mechanisms for monitoring, and evaluating the NAP process established
Sub-outcome 1.2 focuses on developing the tools and data/information infrastructure that will be necessary to improve adaptation planning and implementation at the national, regional and sector levels. This includes the formulation of a framework for monitoring the impacts of climate change in the near and midterm as well as evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation investments.
Outcome 2: Capacity for adaptation planning at the national and sectoral levels strengthened
Outcome 2 is focused on strengthening the capacity of the coordination mechanism as well as ministries and other institutions responsible for conducting adaptation planning. Technical skills training will include creating the capacity to conduct vulnerability assessments, develop socio-economic scenarios, understand climate and hydromet information, and building the skills required for mainstreaming adaptation into national and sector planning processes. Training packages will be developed, housed and delivered in collaboration with national institutions. The training provided to the various groups will equip policy makers and planners to better understand how climate risks can and are impacting development and society. Furthermore, their decision-making capability will then be magnified by having a rich set of climate information that is provided in Outcome 3.
Sub-Outcome 2.1: Capacities of key agencies to conduct effective adaptation planning assessment
This sub-outcome focuses on identifying capacity gaps at key coordinating institutions, line ministries and the National Meteorological Institute for climate change adaptation planning.
Sub-Outcome 2.2: Capacity of key institutions to effectively conduct adaptation planning strengthened
The activities under this sub-outcome will build the capacity of key coordinating institutions, line ministries and the National Meteorological Institute for climate change adaptation planning.
Outcome 3: Evidence base for adaptation planning supported
The ability of the GNB to conduct adaptation planning is constrained by a lack of information on climate risks and adaptation options. As such, this outcome addresses this gap by building an evidence base to enable risk informed planning and the NAP process as established in Outcome 1 and capacitated in Outcome 2.
Sub-Outcome 3.1: Climate risks assessed and prioritized
A model for conducting risks assessments by national entities will be developed so as to enable ongoing, consistent and extensive vulnerability assessments by various in-country entities. Data and information generated from assessments will be compiled and housed in a knowledge management system that is published online and accessible to all.
Sub-Outcome 3.2 Adaptation options identified, budgeted, prioritized
In this sub-outcome, an analysis and ranking of the risks will inform the development of associated prioritized adaptation investment options. Project concept notes will be developed for the three highest ranked risks.