Sao Tome and Principe experiences with the NAPA process

The archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe is located off the western coast of Guinea and is comprised of two main islands and four islets. The country's economy revolves mostly around agriculture and fishing, sectors which are highly vulnerable to climate change. Sao Tome and Principe is considered very vulnerable to climate change, with a low capacity to absorb and adapt to ecosystem disturbances. Fisheries seem to be more greatly affected due to the use of traditional practices that are often unable to cope with the recurrence of storms and floods and extensive coastal erosion. The fishing industry is considered very important in Sao Tome and Principe, as artisanal fisheries are estimated to employ 20 per cent of the nation's workforce and represent one of the main employment opportunities in rural areas. The agricultural and forestry sectors are also vulnerable to harsher environmental conditions such as drought, soil erosion leading to desertification and flood-induced landfalls. 

Timelines of the NAPA preparation process in Sao Tome and Principe    


Funding for the preparation of the NAPA approved by the GEF March 2004
GEF agency approval date October 2004
NAPA preparation start June 2004
Submission of the NAPA to the UNFCCC  November 2007       

NAPA projects under implementation

Sao Tome and Principe listed 22 priority activities in its NAPA, and two projects have already been submitted under the LDCF. The first project, as shown below, is aimed at increasing the adaptive capacity of vulnerable coastal communities to the adverse impacts of climate variability and change.
The first Sao Tome and Principe project under the LDCF is designed as an integral part of the country's National Adaptation to Climate Change Programme, which prioritizes three major areas:

- Land-based Adaptation in Vulnerable Areas: to be funded by UNDP/Japan Adaptation Programme;
- Coastal Adaptation for Vulnerable Communities: to be funded by the LDCF;
- Strengthened Adaptation Capacity: to be funded by UNDP/Japan Adaptation Programme. 


Project title: Sao Tome and Principe: adaptation to climate change
Implementing agency World Bank (IBRD)
National executive agency (ies) Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment
Number of NAPA priority activities addressed   6/22 
Cost in USD million (LDCF component/total cost)  4.873/18.332
First submission of the concept note (PIF) under the LDCF May 2009
GEF CEO endorsement of the project  May 2011
Update on progress  the project concept note has already been approved by the GEF Council

The second project is aimed at improving the resilience of the livestock systems in support of the productivity of stockbreeding.


Project title: Strengthening the adaptive capacity of most vulnerable Sao Tomean's livestock- keeping households
Implementing agency African Development Bank
National executive agency (ies) Directorate of Animal Husbandry
Number of NAPA priority activities addressed   6/22 
Cost in USD million (LDCF component/total cost)  2.320/10.087
First submission of the concept note (PIF) under the LDCF June 2010
GEF CEO endorsement of the project  Not CEO endorsed yet
Update on progress  the PPG has already been approved by the GEF




     Preparation and implementation strategy: Community participation played a key role in the methodology and characterization of the main vulnerabilities listed in the Sao Tome and Principe NAPA. Public consultations (interviews and surveys) were carried out throughout the country with the poorer populations residing in vulnerable areas. Six sectors were analysed to assess the main vulnerabilities: agriculture, forests and livestock; fisheries; public works, infrastructure and tourism; energy and water; health; and public safety and civil protection. Adequate solutions were then found in a participatory manner through interaction with the communities and based on the six above-mentioned sectors. Information from the country's existing plans such as its first national communication to the UNFCCC, from 2004, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and documents related to the other Rio Conventions (on desertification and biodiversity) were also reviewed for the NAPA.

With the aim of implementing the top priorities identified in the NAPA, the Government of Sao Tome and Principe requested the World Bank's assistance in preparing a project through the LDCF to address the most immediate adaptation needs in its vulnerable coastal zone; more specifically, the top two NAPA priorities and three additional associated sectoral priorities listed in Sao Tome and Principe's NAPA. 

Institutional arrangements in the country: The General Directorate of Environment (GDE) within the Ministry of Public Works and Natural Resources (MPWNR) is the overall agency responsible for the National Adaptation Programme. To monitor and coordinate project activities with other projects under this programme, MPWNR/GDE will rely on existing intersectoral mechanisms: at the highest level, the National Sustainable Development Committee chaired by ministers will formally oversee programme implementation. 

Experience with project implementation: Both the project components funded by UNDP/Japan Adaptation Programme and the one funded under the LDCF are expected to share the same Programme Implementation Unit to ensure maximum harmonization, capitalize on existing synergies, minimize costs, ensure cross-sector coordination and build institutional capacity.


The LDCF project component targets the priority activities related to training and equipment for artisanal fishermen, and an early warning climate alert system and links them to the reinforcement of capacity of civil protection agencies, in order to strengthen Sao Tome and Principe's preparedness against extreme weather events.






Sao Tome and Principe's experience shows that focusing on the most affected development-related sectors is a good way to link the NAPA activities to national development plans.