NAPA lessons learned 1

One of the most notable features of the support provided to LDCs under the UNFCCC process was the packaging of priorities for support into the LDC work programme in 2001. Furthermore, decisions were adopted to define the guidelines for the preparation of NAPAs, and an expert group (the LEG) was created to provide technical support to LDCs in the preparation of their NAPAs. In addition, the LDCF was created to provide a funding source to support the LDC work programme.

In 2001, given the unpredictability of the level of funding in the LDCF and before addressing other elements of the LDC work programme, priority was given to the preparation of NAPAs. In 2005, further prioritization took place after some NAPAs had been prepared, in order to support the implementation of those NAPAs.

The preparation of NAPAs has provided valuable experience to the climate change process. In many LDCs, this was the first opportunity to undertake various climate change related studies and to align adaptation projects with national development priorities. Furthermore, the participatory approach and consultations conducted during the NAPA preparation process were a key mechanism for interaction with vulnerable communities and allowed for a better understanding of vulnerability issues related to climate change and development.

The NAPA preparation process also improved the level of awareness and capacity at the national and community levels; this increased capacity has benefited other processes, including the preparation of national communications, and the awareness of the importance of climate change has been raised at the policymaking level.

In many LDCs, the NAPA has become a strategic document that is used not only to raise awareness but also to mobilize resources at the national and international levels on adaptation issues. The LDCs view the NAPA process as a tangible outcome of the UNFCCC process that directly benefits their country and, for many, it forms the cornerstone of their climate change activities at the national level.

Most LDCs under the Convention have completed their NAPAs (as of September 2011, 46 NAPAs had been submitted) and some are already undertaking a review to incorporate new information into the revision and update of their NAPA and other related plans. As of May 2011, 43 countries had submitted at least one project under the LDCF and 28 projects had been endorsed by the CEO of the GEF.

Best practice: The concurrent definition of the plan (the NAPA), technical support (through the LEG) and funding (through the LDCF), is useful for supporting national planning and the implementation of activities and projects identified in plans. The NAPAs are widely viewed as a success story, and readily available funding for their implementation makes them extremely useful plans for LDCs as they address the serious impacts of climate change. 

Lessons learned: Operational guidelines for supporting the implementation of NAPAs were developed when support for implementation was given priority by the COP in 2005, after some NAPAs had already been completed. This may have resulted in delays in the implementation of NAPAs, as the project profiles in the completed NAPAs were not readily usable in accessing funding for project development as more information was needed to fully prepare project proposals for submission to the GEF. The situation was further complicated by a change in GEF templates for project development and the decision to cancel all projects in the GEF pipeline, thereby requiring the resubmission of NAPAs using the new templates. The main lesson is that both the guidelines for the preparation and the implementation of a plan should be done concurrently, in order to guide finalization of the plan such that no information is missed and the plans can be implemented without delay. Another lesson is that interim arrangements are necessary to ensure the smooth flow of project development and implementation when guidelines or templates change, as they must, to accommodate improvements and innovations.

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