The Africa Adaptation Programme was launched in 2008 by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) and with US$92.1 million support from the Government of Japan. The AAP was established under the Japan-UNDP Joint Framework for Building Partnership to Address Climate Change in Africa, which was founded at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in May 2008.
Over a 3 year period, concluding at the end of 2012, AAP instituted transformational changes in the 20 African countries in the areas of 1) long-term planning; 2) leadership and institutional capacity; 3) climate-resilient policies and measures; 4) innovative finance; and 5) knowledge generation and sharing. AAP’s support helped enhance the adaptive capacity of the AAP countries, promote early adaptation action and lay the foundation for long-term investment to increase resilience to climate change across the African continent.
The 20 AAP countries were: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome Principe, Senegal, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It will exacerbate the economic, political and humanitarian stresses that countries in the region already face, and greatly reduce their capacity to eradicate extreme poverty. The poorest segments of society will be the most severely affected because they are also the least able to adapt. Responding to the threat of climate change will require concerted action on an unprecedented scale. Systematic action will be required across all levels of development planning and implementation (regional, national, sub-national, and local) if development in a number of countries is not to be reversed.
Some African countries have identified key vulnerabilities and priority adaptation measures, and others have initiated demonstration adaptation projects. However, countries continue to face a number of challenges including the following: (i) adaptation initiatives are limited in scope and scale, and their impacts are neither cohesive nor sustainable; (ii) institutional capacities, relationships, policies and practices to assess and manage climate change risks are not developed sufficiently to create an enabling environment, with corresponding political and social champions to support the formulation and implementation of efficient solutions to a problem that has complex multi-sectoral effects; (iii) limited knowledge of the most appropriate adaptation policies and measures hinders countries from preparing themselves with the necessary institutional capacities to support climate risk management; (iv) limited financing options to sustain scaled-up adaptation remains a constraint; and (v) it is difficult for countries to learn from each other about their experiences with different approaches to adaptation.
Key results and outputs
During the three years of its implementation (2010-2012), AAP laid the groundwork for an ongoing, dynamic adaptation process in harmony with each country’s social, environmental and economic priorities. In all 20 countries, AAP has nourished an environment in which decisions and activities in support of adaptation can be evidence-based, strategic and appropriate to the goals of sustainable development, resulting in long-term investment to increase resilience to climate change.
Strengthening Long-Term Planning Mechanisms
AAP’s Data and Information Management Component (DIMC) assisted countries to develop the infrastructure and capabilities needed to access, analyse and apply climate data and information for decision-making. Overall, over 10,000 people were trained in climate data analysis under AAP’s DIMC. AAP’s support under DIMC helped increase countries’ capacity to support vulnerability and risk assessments and use climate data and information to integrate adaptation into national development planning.
Building Institutional and Leadership Capacity
AAP assisted in enhancing professional leadership capacity and institutional effectiveness in countries by increasing awareness of climate change issues, developing multi-stakeholder approaches and implementing national adaptation strategies that address the needs of men and women equally. For example, under AAP, Kenya established a National Climate Change Secretariat to coordinate the different climate change focal points in key government ministries. Through this multi-ministerial coordination, Kenya has facilitated the National Climate Change Response Strategy and ensured adaptation interventions take a multi-sectoral approach.
Implementing Climate-Resilient Policies and Measures
AAP provided assistance to countries to implement policy measures that protect climate sensitive sectors and encourage private sector investment in adaptation, such as adaptation pilot projects and national climate change strategies. For example, Nigeria, with the support of AAP, adopted a National Policy on Climate Change and Response Strategy, which will ensure a coordinated approach to addressing climate change.
Under AAP, innovative financing options to meet national adaptation costs were expanded at the local, national, sub-regional and regional levels. For example, AAP supported Morocco to expand public-private partnerships to mobilise funds for future climate change projects in local communities. Through a public-private partnership developed through AAP, a solar lighting project was completed in a rural community. Additionally, AAP trained stakeholders to undertake cost-benefit analyses of adaptation options.
Generating and Sharing Knowledge
Through AAP, knowledge on adjusting national development processes to fully incorporate climate change risks and opportunity was generated and shared across all levels across all 20 countries. For example, the production and broadcast of television and radio segments (e.g. Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Namibia, and Tunisia) and documentaries (e.g. Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania) effectively shared information and concerns on climate change adaptation.
Programme meetings and workshops