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Readiness for the National Adaptation Plan Process in Ecuador

Readiness for the National Adaptation Plan Process in Ecuador


Ecuador faces significant development challenges due to prevailing social, economic, and environmental conditions. The country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, coupled with limited conditions for effectively integrating climate change adaptation into policies and development plans at various levels, poses a significant obstacle to progress. 

Anticipated impacts include biodiversity loss, water system susceptibility, agricultural production reduction, public health challenges, and risks to infrastructure and human settlements. Climate change also exacerbates existing inequalities, especially impacting women in productive activities, and contributes to gender-based violence. Addressing these challenges is essential for Ecuador’s sustainable development and resilience.

With the support of the ‘Green Climate Fund Readiness and Preparatory Support for National Adaptation Plan in Ecuador’ project, the Government of Ecuador developed a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) constituting the basis for adaptation management at the national level, in accordance with the National Climate Change Strategy. 

Development methodologies, tools, indicators, policies, capacity-building programs and studies were foreseen to create the enabling conditions for the reduction of vulnerability and climate risk in six sectors prioritized for adaptation: Water Heritage; Food Sovereignty, Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries; Natural Heritage; Health; Productive and Strategic Sectors; and Human Settlements, as well as new or ongoing programs and projects in those sectors.

Aligned with Ecuador’s Constitution and National Development Plan, the project addressed gaps and needs identified during the NAP proposal phase. It followed the guidance of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) Technical Guidelines on NAP, focusing on improving climate projections, enhancing institutional capacities, providing training, designing measurement and verification mechanisms, and formulating strategies for financing and sustainability. The project, implemented by UNDP with the Ministry of Environment as the National Designated Authority (NDA), aimed to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into development planning at various levels. 

Project details

The National Adaptation Plan Project in Ecuador (PLANACC) was aligned with the Constitution of Ecuador, reflecting the state's commitment to adopting measures in response to climate change and protecting populations at risk. The project also aligned with the National Strategy for Climate Change 2012-2025 and Ecuador’s Nationally Determined Contribution (2020-2025). Likewise, the Organic Code of the Environment (2018) and its Regulations (2019) determined the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) as a key instrument for climate action that enables the implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy 2012-2025. 

In addition to the implementing partner, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, project partners included the National Planning Secretariat and the sectoral ministries providing technical and political support related to development planning.

The PLANACC Project served as the instrument for creating the necessary conditions for climate change adaptation in the country, leading to the formulation of the NAP as both a public policy document and a management tool.

The project enabled the Government of Ecuador to contribute to the creation and strengthening of technical capacities (individual and institutional) to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into the central and local government's development planning and budget processes. The resources have also enabled the generation of climate information with better resolution and scale, as well as assessments of vulnerability and climate risks at sectoral, territorial, and local levels. In addition, the funds allowed for the design of technical tools and instruments (guidelines, standards, strategies, etc.) to guide the integration of climate change adaptation into development planning and enable the dissemination of results. The project also supported the formulation of financing strategies.

Key results: 

The project focused on generating technical information and creating the enabling conditions that allowed for the design of the National Adaptation Plan, while also strengthening the institutional capacities of sectoral entities and local governments on adaptation management, as listed below. The NAP (2023-2027) was published by the UNFCCC in March 2023.  


  • Updated national climate projections and other relevant climate studies.
  • Backfilling, updating, and homogenization of official hydrometeorological data. 
  • Generation of lines and sub-lines of research on climate change (as part of a National Research Agenda).
  • Numerical model of the wave dynamics on the Ecuadorian coast.

Guidelines and technical studies:

  • NAP (2023-2027) submitted and approved at the national level.
  • Six sectoral climate risk analyses (one for each prioritized adaptation sector).
  • Portfolio of conservation and recovery practices for rural production land that are resilient to climate change.
  • Several guidelines to integrate climate change adaptation into development planning processes, including risk management in Human Settlements.
  • Methodologies for sectoral climate risk assessments, applying impact modeling for the identification of biophysical impacts.
  • Design and implementation of the methodology for the adaptation component of the 1st NDC Implementation Plan.

Political instruments:

  • Integration of the climate change adaptation variable into Ecuador's Wetlands Action Plan 
  • Update of the management plan for the Ecological Reserve “Los Ilinizas”, including the variable of adaptation to climate change. 
  • Design of the implementation strategy for prioritized adaptation actions as part of the NDC Implementation Plan- adaptation component.
  • Generation of technical, scientific, and regulatory tools & instruments, useful for the CCA management.

Capacity Building Products and Processes:

  • Design of a Toolbox to integrate climate change into development plans and territorial planning at subnational level and complementary training program, training more than 1000.
  • Design of a MOOC about fire management and climate change adaptation and conducted complementary training workshops.
  • Conducted workshops on climate migration and its impact on women and children: needs, challenges, and recommendations for action.
  • Implementation of virtual tools and face-to-face training courses to strengthen professional skills of 1,200 technicians. 
  • Synergies created and technical support provided to national and regional climate change projects.
  • Provision of technical assistance addressed to public research institutes & universities (INOCAR, INAMHI and IKIAM)./li>

Gender-responsive instruments:

  • Development of a Wikipedia on gender and climate change adaptation (included in the Adaptation platform).
  • Database of good adaptation practices with a gender perspective.
  • Inventory of shortcomings and gaps of the social, economic, and environmental information using a gender-responsive focus to prepare assessments of climate risk in the prioritized sectors for climate change adaptation. 
  • Provision of technical assistance and training for integrating gender approach in adaptation processes.


  • Creation of the first virtual adaptation repository platform (including newsletters, courses, information on initiatives, and NAP data).
  • Communication and Awareness-Raising Strategy to integrate climate change adaptation into development planning processes.
  • Generation of recreational tools for raising awareness and training girls, boys, and adolescents on CCA.
  • Development of a contest of illustrated stories for children on climate change and implementation of an exhibition at the Interactive Science Museum. Until 02/02/2023 more than 15,000 visitors were received.

Lessons learned

The NAP process in Ecuador yielded valuable lessons and best practices. The utilization of innovative biophysical impact models for sectoral climate risk analyses proved to be a complex and time-consuming endeavor. Moreover, the socialization and participatory construction of the NAP demanded meticulous planning, development, and adherence to official communication and dissemination guidelines. 

Adaptation planning, based on the outcomes of comprehensive climate risk analyses, ensured the availability of reliable information for decision-makers and technicians. Crucially, the empowerment of the National Designated Authority (NDA), the Ministry of Environment, played a pivotal role in sustaining the continuity of the NAP process. Actively involving relevant stakeholders not only empowered them with the results achieved during the NAP formulation phase but also fostered commitment to planned adaptation actions. 

Furthermore, the generation of studies, regulations, and technical tools for CCA needs alignment with national, sectoral, and local needs, with an emphasis on flexibility to accommodate changes in regulations, sectoral policies, and the composition of institutional technical teams.

Water Resources, Disaster Risk Reduction, Infrastructure/Climate Change Risk Management, Agriculture/Food Security
Level of intervention
  • National
Key collaborators
  • National Governments
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations
  • Ecuador Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition
Project status
Funding Source
Green Climate Fund
Financing amount
US$ 3,000,000


Ministerio del Ambiente presentó oficialmente el Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático (2023,Ministry of Environment, Water, and transition)

Los gobiernos provinciales aportan a la construcción del Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático  (2023, ConGoPE)

Award of the contest of illustrated stories on climate change, "Seeds of Change"; and inauguration of the museum exhibition: “Stories that are not stories. The climate is changing"

Scientific dissemination, a key pillar for understanding climate change

Updating climate projections, a comprehensive process

Adaptation to climate change is possible by promoting capacity building processes

The country's higher education has a new master's degree in climate change

The country's higher education has a new master's degree in climate change

Talking about climate change from different perspectives of communication

Climate migration, time to join forces

Advancing adaptation and gender equality in Ecuador (also on Exposure)

Methodological guidelines for the incorporation of the gender approach in initiatives, actions and products developed by the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change (PLANACC) project

New digital platform will offer national and international information on adaptation to climate change

Development of a virtual skills course focused on adaptation to climate change

Climate migration and its impact on women and children: needs, challenges and recommendations for action

Ecuador presented the results of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Updating climate projections, a comprehensive process

Ministry promotes illustrated story contest for children on climate change

Technicians are trained in numerical model to predict floods on the coasts of Ecuador

Ministry presented the first digital platform for adaptation to climate change in the country

Project led by the MAAE presented tools to mainstream the gender approach in climate change initiatives

Ikiam implements a new master's degree in climate change

Key results and output

Output 1: National mandate, strategy and steering mechanisms are in place and gaps are assessed and addressed.

Output 2: Preparatory elements for the NAP are in place to develop a knowledge base and formulate the NAP.

Output 3: NAP implementation is facilitated.

Output 4: Mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and review of NAPs and adaptation progress in place.

Output 5: Funding strategy for the NAP and climate change adaptation is available.

Reports & publications

Videos & multimedia