In implementing Article 4.9 of the Convention, the COP, in 2001, established an LDC work programme, that
included NAPAs, to support LDCs to address the challenge of climate change given their particular
vulnerability. The COP also established a Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to fund the preparation and
implementation of NAPAs and an LDC Expert Group to provide technical support and advice to the least
developed countries (LDCs).
NAPAs provide a process for the LDCs to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and
immediate needs with regard to adaptation to climate change - those needs for which further delay could
increase vulnerability or lead to increased costs at a later stage. The rationale for NAPAs rests on the
limited ability of the LDCs to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. In the NAPA process,
prominence is given to community-level input as an important source of information, recognizing that
grassroots communities are the main stakeholders. NAPAs use existing information and no new research is
needed. They are action-oriented, country-driven, are flexible and based on national circumstances. In order
to effectively address urgent and immediate adaptation needs, NAPA documents are presented in a simple
format, easily understood both by policy-level decision-makers and the public.
As at November 2013, 50 countries* had completed and submitted their NAPAs to the secretariat.
The main content of the NAPA document is a list of ranked priority adaptation activities/projects, as well as
short profiles of each activity, designed to facilitate the development of project proposals for
implementation of the NAPA. Priority sectors/areas addressed in the NAPAs are agriculture and food security,
water resources, coastal zones, and early warning and disaster management. Most LDCs are in the process
of implementing their NAPAs.
Once a NAPA has been submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat, the LDC Party is eligible to access funding under
the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which is managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), for
the implementation of the NAPA. To initiate the process of accessing funding, an LDC Party prepares a
concept note and requests the assistance of a GEF implementing agency (currently there are 10 of them)
for submitting a project identification form and then a full project proposal to the LDCF. The GEF agency
works closely with the country during each successive step of the LDCF cycle, and ultimately supports the
country in implementing the project.
* Two of tthem, the Maldives and Cape Verde have since graduated from the group
Frequently asked questions about the
LDCs, the LEG and the NAPAs
List of LDCs under the Convention