The Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative

Climate change adaptation knowledge gaps have been repeatedly identified as a barrier to successful adaptation actions. The Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) strives to help identify and prioritize adaptation knowledge gaps, and catalyze action to bridge these gaps.

"LAKI is an innovative and successful initiative that can stimulate action to fill important knowledge gaps in the field of adaptation"

Barney Dickson, Head of Climate Change Adaptation, UN Environment

The Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) was launched and endorsed by the COP 20 Presidency as a joint action pledge under the Nairobi work programme (NWP) between the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) through its Global Adaptation Network (GAN). Activities under the initiative support the NWP’s role as a knowledge-for-action hub for adaptation and resilience under the Convention.

During the pilot phase (2014-2018), the LAKI identified a total of 85 priority adaptation knowledge gaps in six subregions. The subregions covered a total of 38 countries including 3 Small Island Developing States (SIDS), 11 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and 13 African countries.

LAKI world map

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice has recognized the contributions of the LAKI and in May 2018, welcomed the next phase of the LAKI with a view to narrow the priority knowledge gaps identified in the six subregions above and to scale up the initiative to additional subregions.


To address knowledge barriers that impede the implementation and scaling up of adaptation action, LAKI interventions seek to:

  1. Catalyse improved access to data, information and knowledge for end-users
  2. Facilitate science-policy-practice dialogues
  3. Stimulate collaborative action to close knowledge gaps, and
  4. Help stakeholders adapt more effectively to the adverse effects of climate change.
Key characteristics
  • Generates ownership and legitimacy of findings
  • Directs knowledge and financial resources towards closing knowledge gaps;
  • Streamlines the process of identifying and prioritizing climate adaptation knowledge gaps, for enhanced replicability;
  • Fosters collaborative opportunities and resource efficiency by focusing on subregions with shared ecological and climatic characteristics.

The LAKI applies a consistent methodology to identify and prioritize adaptation knowledge gaps in each subregion. Following the development of a scoping paper, a priority-setting workshop is convened in partnership with a subregional coordination entity and a multistakeholder group (MSG) of experts. Using a participatory and quantitative process, the experts refine an initial overview of adaptation knowledge gaps to a short list or priority gaps. The priority adaptation knowledge gaps are categorized by thematic area, type of gap, and knowledge user.

LAKI Methodology

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Graph_4 clusters

The gaps are grouped into 4 Clusters:

  • Lack of data (or limited data);
  • Lack of access to existing data and knowledge;
  • Lack of actionable knowledge (e.g., in need of repackaging existing knowledge);
  • Lack of tools and methods to process knowledge into actionable form;
  • [Mix] – An additional cluster, referred to as mix, captures priority knowledge gaps that fall under the combination of two or more of the four cluster. 
Next steps

The LAKI will aim to bridge priority gaps identified in the six subregions. In addition, the LAKI will be scaled up to reach new subregions, particularly those with vulnerable developing countries such as the LDCs, SIDS, and African States. Throughout these activities, the LAKI will continue to facilitate knowledge-sharing, foster learning opportunities to bridge priority gaps, and channel knowledge outputs to support regional, national and subnational adaptation planning and implementation.