African developing counties gather to advance their climate change adaptation planning 17-19 Oct 2017

17 October 2017, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire: Delegates from developing countries in Africa are this week attending a workshop to support their medium-to long term climate change adaptation planning processes. The Africa Regional Training Workshop ‘Supporting countries to advance their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process’ for non-least developed countries (LDCs) is taking place in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, from 17 - 19 October 2017

Climate change will have serious and adverse consequences for many development sectors in Africa, and threatens the economies and livelihoods of many African countries. Floods, droughts and rising sea levels are just some of the environmental impacts of climate change on Sub Saharan Africa. Africa has contributed comparably negligible emissions, whilst climate change is projected to impact Africa more than many other continents. The historic Paris Agreement was particularly significant for developing countries in Africa. The goal is for African countries is now to seek options and opportunities in adaptation and mitigation, and to find long term adaptation solutions which safeguard development gains.

Over 20 deligates are attending the workshop from Ministries of Environment, Planning and Finance from 12 countries in Africa: Angola, Cameroun, Côte d ́Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Seychelles, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

At the opening session, the keynote speech was given by Anne Desiree Ouloto, Minister for Urban Sanitation, Environment and Sustainable Development. Welcome remarks were also heard from Angele Luh, Head of the UN Environment Office in Cote d'Ivoire, and Luc Gregoire, UNDP Country Director

Climate change is a fundamental threat to human development and to achieving the objectives of sustainable development (SDG). We are seeing rising temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns and sea-level rise in our countries. The devastating effects of climate change are felt throughout the world, irrespective of national borders, and regardless of the level of economic, social or political development of developing countries.
The challenge of climate change makes it imperative to conduct adaptation planning, taking into account national and community specificities, in order to ensure medium- and long-term resilience. This ambition was unanimously highlighted in the contributions determined at national level under the Paris agreement, where most of the African countries included adaptation issues as their priorities. It is evident that successful climate resilience requires good planning and prioritisation. However, our countries lack the technical, technological and financial capacity to effectively mainstream climate change into the national and local planning process

Anne Desiree Ouloto, Minister for Urban Sanitation, Environment and Sustainable, Cote d'Ivoire

Climate change impacts are not new to us, but these challenges also bring out opportunities, which if capitalized on, can build proper long-term climate resilience to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This workshop is timely, providing an opportunity not only to share experiences among countries and learn from some best practices that do exist already, but also to capitalize on what all the UN agencies present at this workshop are doing. I hope that you will take this opportunity to advance your respective National Adaptation Plans process. It is also my hope that the lessons that will emerge from this workshop will contribute to the implementation of your Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Angele Luh, Head of the UN Environment Office in Cote d'Ivoire

Addressing climate risk in a systematic way is not an easy task. Whilst the effects of climate change are becoming clearer globally, each country needs to proceed according to its national circumstances and development stage, using the best available information, knowledge and technical tools appropriate to its specific vulnerabilities, and institutional context. The country also needs to make estimates of both risks and opportunities. The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process provides several opportunities, I would highlight three in particular: Firstly, the opportunity to forge greater alignment between climate initiatives and ongoing medium to long-term development planning frameworks. Secondly, the opportunity to strengthen institutional integration and coordination of climate change, and thirdly, the opportunity to leverage more support and investments for managing climate risks and in the process to pursue risk-informed or risk-proofed development strategies.

Luc Gregoire, UNDP Country Director, Cote d'Ivoire

The workshop aims to improve the understanding of the NAPs process, and review tools and methods relevant to the NAPs, to assist countries to develop strategies to advance and implement their NAPs. Counties are taking the opportunity to share their experiences in the NAP process, and hear how other countries are advancing their adaptation planning processes.

The workshop is being organised by UNDP and UN Environment - through the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), with financial support of the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) - and with the help of several other UN agencies and bilateral partners. Since 2013, the NAP-GSP has been supporting developing countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Pacific, and the Middle East, by identifying the technical, institutional and financial requirements for integrating climate change adaptation into ongoing medium and long-term national development planning and budgeting.

Deligates from Ministries of Environment, Planning and Finance from 12 African developing countries are attending the workshop on NAPs in Cote d'Ivoire

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