Overview of the Nairobi work programme

Summary of the objectives and work of the Nairobi work programme


The Nairobi work programme (NWP) strives to assist all Parties, in particular developing countries, including the least developed countries and small island developing states, to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and to make informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound, scientific, technical and socioeconomic basis, taking into account current and future climate change and variability.

The NWP responds to knowledge needs identified by Parties and those arising from the implementation of the Cancun adaptation framework as well as other relevant workstreams and bodies under the Convention.

Upon its adoption in 2005, the objectives, expected outcomes, scope of work, and modalities of the Nairobi work programme were defined in Decision 2/CP.11. Subsequent decisions and conclusions have extended the programme and further elaborated its areas of work.

For more information, please see the quick links on the right and the summary presentations below.

NWP Summary Presentations

The following presentations provide an overview of the Nairobi work programme, including its objective, evolution, operating context, mandates and modalities, and the technical work carried out under it.

NWP Overview Presentation

Note: this presentation includes audio narratives.

NWP Technical Work Presentation


Work areas and modalities at a glance

The NWP is structured around several work areas, issues, and modalities (means of implementation). These are consistent with Decision 2/CP.11, Decision 17/CP.19 and subsequent mandates. They include:

Thematic and cross-cutting issues

Work areas

  • Ecosystems
  • Human settlements
  • Water resources
  • Health
  • Extreme weather events
  • Oceans, coastal areas & ecosystems
  • Drought, water scarcity, and land degradation neutrality
  • Agriculture and food security
  • Slow onset events
  • Forests and grasslands
  • Wetlands
  • Rural systems and communities
  • Cities/urban systems
  • Livelihood and socioeconomic dimensions
  • Gender issues
  • Indigenous and traditional knowledge
  • Impacts on ecosystems
  1. Impacts and vulnerability
  2. Adaptation planning, measures, and actions

Sub-working areas

  • Methods and tools
  • Data and observations
  • Climate modelling, scenarios and downscaling
  • Climate related risks and extreme events
  • Socio-economic information
  • Adaptation planning and practices
  • Research
  • Technologies for adaptation
  • Economic diversification



  • Workshops and meetings (including the Focal Point Forums)
  • Expertise and input from experts, practitioners and relevant organizations
  • Compendiums and web-based resources (including Adaptation knowledge portal)
  • Targeted submissions from Parties and organizations
  • Reports, technical papers, and assessments
  • Other modalities, such as a group(s) of experts, upon agreement by the SBSTA.
Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of the programme of work are:

  • Enhanced capacity at local, sectoral, national, regional, and international levels to further identify and understand impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation responses, and to select and implement practical, effective and high priority adaptation actions;
  • Improved information and advice to the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation;
  • Enhanced development, dissemination and use of knowledge from practical adaptation activities;
  • Enhanced cooperation among Parties, relevant organizations, business, civil society and decision makers, aimed at enhancing their ability to manage climate change risks;
  • Enhanced integration of actions to adapt to climate change with sustainable development.