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National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)

National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change – those for which further delay would increase vulnerability and/or costs at a later stage.


As of December 2008, the UNFCCC secretariat had received NAPAs from 39 LDCs, all NAPAs are available in pdf.

NAPA Project Database

The main content of NAPAs is a list of ranked priority adaptation activities and projects, as well as short profiles of each activity or project, designed to facilitate the development of proposals for implementation of the NAPA. To facilitate access to project details from the NAPAs, the secretariat has developed a NAPA Project Database

The NAPA project database webpage contains

  • an index of projects by country, including project costs 
  • an index of projects by sector, including project costs 
  • lists of project profiles by sector, grouped according to the main sectors in which the project falls. Some projects and activities are very cross-sectoral in nature, and difficult to classify into any one sector.  Such projects have been put into a 'cross-sectoral' group
  • lists of projects by country showing cost with a downloadable pdf of project profiles per country 

Focus of NAPAs
The NAPAs focus on urgent and immediate needs – those for which further delay could increase vulnerability or lead to increased costs at a later stage. NAPAs should use existing information; no new research is needed. They must be action-oriented and country-driven and be flexible and based on national circumstances. Finally, in order to effectively address urgent and immediate adaptation needs, NAPA documents should be presented in a simple format, easily understood both by policy-level decision-makers and by the public.

The NAPA process
The steps for the preparation of the NAPAs include synthesis of available information, participatory assessment of vulnerability to current climate variability and extreme events and of areas where risks would increase due to climate change, identification of key adaptation measures as well as criteria for prioritizing activities, and selection of a prioritized short list of activities. The development of a NAPA also includes short profiles of projects and/or activities intended to address urgent and immediate adaptation needs of LDC Parties.

Chronological evolution of the concept of NAPAs
Article 4.9 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes the specific needs and special situations of the LDCs.
pdf-icon Decision 5/CP.7 of the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP) also acknowledged the specific situations of LDCs, in that they do not have the means to deal with problems associated with adaptation to climate change, and established an LDC work programme including NAPAs as well as other supporting activities.
pdf-icon Decision 28/CP.7 set the guidelines for NAPAs.
pdf-icon Decision 29/CP.7 set up an LDC Expert Group (LEG) to provide guidance and advice on the preparation and implementation strategy for NAPAs.