(Sy)nergizing adaptation actions in Ivory Coast through the GCF-funded National Adaptation Plan project

Creation date: 9 Jun 2022

After three decades of political instability, Ivory Coast reached a growth rate of 7.4 percent in 2017 and became one of Africa’s most dynamic economies. Yet, poverty remains as high as 39.4 percent and the recent economic boom has been tempered by the effects of the pandemic. The impacts of climate change also presents a growing challenge to the development of the country in the long-term. The World Bank’s estimates suggest that the state could incur losses of US$ 650 millions to US$ 1.3 billion between 2040 and 2100 due to the adverse effects of global warming. Indeed, the problematic threshold of 1.5°C warming above pre-industrial levels is expected to be reached over the next 20 years according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. In this context, the agriculture, human capital, and infrastructure sectors would be impacted the most at national scale.  

Measuring the risks at stake, the Ivorian government has made efforts in building an institutional framework to pave the way for mitigation and adaptation actions in the country. The launch of the National Programme on Climate Change (PNCC) in 2012 was a major step in this direction as it drew the Government’s main strategy to address climate change and served as a coordination body with the Directorate for Climate Change through the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MINEDD). This institutional arrangement facilitated the implementation of numerous adaptation  projects in recent years ; some funded by external donors, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Adaptation Fund (AF), the African Development Bank (ADB), and bilateral donors. 

With an influx of funds flowing to the country, new areas of support have emerged to address climate issues. However, like in many other countries, the number and variety of new initiatives has unavoidably created duplications, which are by no means necessary in the race to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Many authors have emphasized the benefits of better integrating mitigation and adaptation actions to be more effective and efficient, reducing trade-offs between the two, and having long-term perspectives. It builds upon the assumption that interventions to tackle climate change should be “as complex as its properties, coming from all sectors, at all levels and interacting synergically to generate positive outcomes that are more powerful than the sum of the parts”.

In Ivory Coast, the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project “Strengthening climate change adaptation integration into development planning in Côte d’Ivoire”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the GCF, has been developed in synergy with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), particularly in terms of adaptation actions and their potential co-benefits.

Implemented since February 2019, the NAP project is building linkages with various climate initiatives to capitalize on the different expertise available and maximize the use of resources. For instance, it collaborated with WABiCC, WFP, IUCN, AfDB, WHO, FA, GCF and GEF for the preparation of new adaptation projects. Most recently, it was decided that a platform for private sector engagement in climate change adaptation would be set up in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and that a platform on Gender and climate change will be established to provide a framework for discussion with the main actors in this field. In addition, the project team is now involved with the implementation of the Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA) programme which focuses on cocoa value chains in Ivory Coast. 

The NAP project is reaching out to national partners concurrently. Different ministries have been approached for developing new adaptation initiatives in their own sectors (Health, Water Resources, Agriculture, Land Use and Coastal Zones). With the Ministry of Women, Family and Children, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to facilitate the systematic integration of adaptation to climate change in their policies, plans, programmes and projects.

It is also essential to establish linkages with the acamedic sector to build on national expertise, address the lack of data, and support research projects that can inform climate policies in the long run. On 16 - 19 May 2022the project organised a seminar with the research institute WASCAL/CEA-CCBAD from the university Félix Houphouët-Boigny to explore local and sustainable solutions in climate change adaptation. The seminar gathered 300 participants per day from over 50 organizations. A part of the event was dedicated to the preparation of a regional research cluster on adaptation practices and an agreement was signed with MINEDD through WASCAL/CEA-CCBAD. 

Importantly, the project intends to build a structure facilitating synergies across climate adaptation initiatives beyond its own timeframe. One key deliverable in this regard is the creation of a National Commission for Climate Change to improve the efficiency of funds allocation in the country and track the implementation of projects in this field. The approach is informed by the production of studies analysing coherence accross policies and mapping the responsibilities of actors active in the field of adaptation. 

Lastly, the NAP process has been developed in line with the Rio conventions. As such, at the 15th session of the COP to combat desertification that took place in Abidjan in May, a focus was put on connecting the NAP process with national and international frameworks. This was to ensure that the different processes serve the same purpose and benefit from each other. In this context, the project team was directly involved in the review of the NDC that took place before COP26 and supported the alignment of the NAP with the NDC process, other strategic documents (National Strategy for Drought, National Framework for Climate Services) and the Abidjan Legacy Programme through COP15.

Although concentrated in the field of ​​adaptation, the synergies built through the GCF-funded NAP programme are an attempt to go beyond a compartmentalized approach by connecting actors, projects and data in order to enhance the NAP process. It answers a call for a more system thinking approach to address climate change issues in a holistic and sustainable manner. As stated during the Global Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) forum in 2017, “a new paradigm is emerging toward addressing multiple risks and delivering co-benefits across climate and non-climate drivers.

Story by Thibault Le Pivain, Project Support Officer in Climate Change Adaptation (NAPs), UNDP.


The research seminar gathered 300 persons per day from 50 different organisations   

Signature of the MoU with Ministry of Women, Family and Children on Monday, 25 Octobrer  2021.