Integrate water into the process of National Adaptation Plans – World
Thursday October 21 – The Comprehensive Support Program of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP-GSP), implemented by UNEP and UNDP with funding from the Global Environment Facility and in collaboration with the Global Water Partnership (GWP) organized an exchange of webinars with more than 60 participants on “* Mainstreaming climate risks in the water sector *”, with a focus on the formulation of NAPs. Many countries see water as a separate sector, but water is a cross-cutting issue. Water is a vulnerable sector which has an impact on other sectors, such as agriculture, livestock, health and food security. Climate change is amplifying existing stressors on water availability in all regions of the world, from Zambia to Togo and Bolivia.
A review of revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by December 2020 to the UNFCCC shows that 39 countries have included an adaptation component and 79% of these NDCs have prioritized water adaptation soft and identified water as a strong characteristic in other priority areas. Water has been identified by African countries as both a major climate hazard and a main adaptation priority in their climate commitments.
The PAN-GSP has supported several Least Developed Countries (LDCs) this year, including Burundi, Sierra Leone, Chad, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in formulating their first NAPs and works with 30 countries around the world to support their NAP process with funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). “* Through GCF-funded NAPs, countries have conducted vulnerability and risk assessments, which contribute to the implementation of the NDC. The results of the NAP process feed into the UNDP Climate Promise which supports more than 100 countries to improve their NDCs over the past year * ”, said UNDP Senior Technical Advisor on NAPs *, * Ms. Rohini Kohli in her opening remarks.
Water in the NAP process – The case of Zambia
As NAPs become more sophisticated, the first step for any country is to understand the full extent of climate change vulnerabilities with a risk assessment. A ‘climate risk’ is a function of one or more hazards, such as a flood, the exposure of a system to these hazards and the vulnerability of the system. “* When countries strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change, they reduce their vulnerability to climate change and can minimize the risk,” * said Mr. Kidanemariam Jembere, technical advisor for the East and Southern Africa regions at GWP.
In Zambia, the country has taken a comprehensive approach to address climate adaptation. Zambia has five main components to its adaptation planning process, starting with 1) institutional coordination and collaboration for planning; 2) have a system for integrating climate change adaptation into long-term plans and budgets; 3) prioritize adaptation actions for sectors, ecosystems and geographic areas; 4) capacity building for the implementation of the NAP; and 5) have a strategy to mobilize financial and other resources, such as human, technical and knowledge systems, for the implementation of the NAP. In Zambia, the overall NAP framework will be implemented in 2 phases. The first phase will allow for long-term strategic planning and adaptation coordination. The second phase will be a water-focused NAP that recognizes water as an essential connector for all sectors. The NAP Water will serve as an important channel for building resilience and strengthening synergies between health and agriculture.
Risk analysis application in Bolivia for adaptation to climate change
A Strategic framework for developing WASH climate resilience was developed in Bolivia. The framework links climate change adaptation in the WASH sector and focuses on reducing the number of people feeling the effects of climate change and the shocks associated with their water supply and access. “* By strengthening the reliability of WASH services and strengthening the capacities of governments and communities, the most vulnerable populations can be protected,” * said Mr. Jose Gesti Antonio Canuto, Senior Advisor of
Climate at GWP as he spoke about the case study conducted on the Risk Assessment Tool for WASH Sectors, which was successfully applied through consultations held online due to COVID 19. Bolivia was able to identify the main climate-related risks, such as forest fires, retreating glaciers, floods, pollution from agro-industry, droughts and mining pollution) and develop a classification and rating system. In this process, maps were developed to show dangerous behaviors, such as flooding by geographic area. Using the risk assessment tool, the different hazards were listed with the different levels of exposure and vulnerability and a scoring system was applied. This has helped the Bolivian country to prioritize its risks and identify a course of action.
Togo’s experience in designing a financing proposal
At the center of climate change adaptation and development plans are the communities most affected by climate change. “* Access to safe drinking water should be possible for every person on this planet – with or without climate change. Climate change is making things more complicated than before * ”, declared Mr. Benjamin Larroquette, UNDP regional advisor. Togo designed a funding proposal on WASH for vertical funding with GCF. To start developing a funding proposal, it’s important to look at climate risks and impacts – the climate rationale. Climate data and trends define the project based on these findings. In Togo, it was important to understand the impacts of climate change on the local community.
Building a community organization to manage the new water infrastructure is essential to ensure the sustainability of any project in the long term. A preferred solution for this is to involve the community in the early design phase of the funding proposal. Currently, many proposals and grants go through public funding, but public funding should be a catalyst to attract funding from the private sector. There is a need to study innovation in technology and community management. First, removing the barriers that prevent the private sector from engaging will lead to a paradigm shift in these projects.
How are water issues addressed in the NAP?
Water is a recurring priority sector in the NAPs that have been examined by the PAN-GSP, including those formulated in the context of program support. Countries have started to identify adaptation priorities to improve policy and legal / regulatory frameworks and climate-smart water management practices. The NAPs that have been submitted to the UNFCCC are the first generation of NAPs and as these NAPs are implemented, climate governance and climate logic will be further strengthened. It is therefore hoped that in the second generation of NAPs under development, water will be presented as more transversal. “* There should be a shift in momentum from project-based approaches towards the NAP towards longer-term approaches. Water should be seen as a link between food, energy and health in NAPs *, ”said Ms. Sadya Ndoko, UNDP climate adaptation consultant.
The webinar was an opportunity for countries to share their experiences on integrating water into their NAPs and their plans and proposals on climate change. The tool used in Bolivia to carry out a risk assessment of the water sector was carried out entirely virtual, which was very timely given the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. Countries were able to learn how Zambia will prepare a sectoral NAP on water and use water as a connector to adapt to climate change. The importance of understanding what the impacts of local actors are was underlined during the closing remarks of the webinar. The NAP process can be a mix of bottom-up and top-down approaches, but it is essential for the implementation to have clear general frameworks, as well as monitoring mechanisms at the sub-national level.