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Momentum for the Implementation of Concrete Adaptation Projects in Least Developed Countries

BANGKOK, 3 September 2007

Over 100 experts and delegates from some 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are meeting in Bangkok from 3 to 5 September to take stock on the progress made in preparing and implementing their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).

The LDCs are considered to be the world’s poorest countries with a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) under $900 and very low levels of capital, human and technological development.  These countries have a combined population of over 600 million, which is equivalent to just over 10% of the world’s population, but their share of the world GDP is less than 1%.  They are also amongst the most vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change.  They will suffer from a possible increase in natural disasters such as floods and droughts due to climate change and climate variability.  

As stated by Ms. Preety Bhandari, Coordinator of the Financial and Technical Support Programme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, “It is essential for LDC countries to prepare themselves to cope with, or begin the process of adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change, and to ensure that adaptation measures and policies are integrated into their existing or planned national and sectoral development activities.  The elaboration of an implementation strategy for NAPAs is a key part of this process as it would meet their urgent and immediate adaptation needs at the national level.”

For all the reasons mentioned above, the climate change negotiations process (Marrakech Accords ) created a programme of work specific to the LDCs which comprises: an LDC Fund, Guidelines for NAPA preparation and an LDC Expert Group (LEG).  This group, composed of 12 experts, provides technical advice to LDCs in the preparation of their NAPAs.  The LEG is facilitating this meeting and will seek to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the status of NAPA preparation and implementation.  Mr. Bubu Jallow, from The Gambia, and Chair of the LEG will lead this effort.  Participating organizations include the GEF, UNEP, UNDP, WB, UNITAR, UNISDR and ADB.

"This meeting is  a timely opportunity, before the Bali climate change conference in December, for LDCs whose specific situation was recognized by the Convention, to communicate to the Conference Of the Parties the progress made in preparing their NAPAs,” she continued.  "It will also showcase the work of the LEG and share experiences of the few LDC Parties who have started implementing adaptation projects, with the support of various partners such as the GEF, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, for the benefit of their people, economy and ecosystems", she concluded.