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The adaptation process

Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change.

Elements of adaptation
Adaptation activities span five general components: observation; assessment of climate impacts and vulnerability; planning; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions.
Observation Assessment Planning
Implementation Monitoring & Evaluation
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Stakeholder engagement and knowledge management

Successful adaptation not only depends on governments, but also on the active and sustained engagement of stakeholders including national, regional, multilateral and international organizations, the public and private sectors, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, as well as effective management of knowledge. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change may be undertaken across various regions, and sectors, and at various levels. Continue


Many important steps have been taken in the development of the adaptation regime under the UNFCCC, as well as many activities mandated towards the implementation of the Convention. Three key milestones are indicated below, however, these should be recognized within the context of the many other important steps that have been taken in the process leading up to, as well as beyond these milestones.


Least Developed Countries (LDC) Work Programme

In 2001, at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Parties established the LDC work programme to develop national climate change mechanisms and build capacity, including NAPAs: Through National Adaptation Programmes of Action LDCs identify and report their adaptation needs.

The LDC Expert Group (LEG) was also established to provide advice on NAPAs.

Activities under the Least
Developed Countries work
programme and LEG are ongoing.


Nairobi Work Programme (NWP)

In 2006, at COP 12 in Nairobi, the Subsidary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) was mandated to undertake a 5 year project to address impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in relation to climate change - the Nairobi work programme.

Activities under the NWP are


Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF)

The Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) was established at COP16, in Cancun. Activities under the CAF relate to the following five clusters: Implementation, including a process to enable LDC Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs), and a work programme to consider approaches to address loss and damage; support; institutions, including the establishment of an Adaptation Committee at a global level, as well as regional and national level arrangements; principles; and stakeholder engagement.

Activities under the CAF are ongoing to enable full operationalization.

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