African LDCs gather to focus on NAPs

14 April 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Climate change adaptation is the focus of regional training and knowledge exchange in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2014. Government representatives from Ministries of Environment, Planning and Finance from more than 30 least developed African countries are meeting to consider the NAP process, which aims to address the medium to long–term climate change challenges for Africa.

“Climate change is likely to increase development challenges among least developed countries (LDCs) particularly in Africa and undercut the gains already made in these countries. The economic and social costs are likely to be substantial in many critical areas – such as food security, livelihoods, health, access to safe water and infrastructure,” said H.E. Ato Kare Chawicha, State Minister of Environment Sector, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Ethiopia.
“With this in mind, country-specific National Adaptation Plans are extremely important to support ongoing development processes in least developed African countries.”
A meeting of 15 English-speaking African LDCs  was held from 14-17 April 2014, followed closely by a meeting of 19 French-speaking African LDCs  from 21-24 April 2014, at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“To support countries to address these long-term development challenges, we are bringing together delegates from ministries of environment, planning and finance from more than 30 LDCs from Africa to help to advance their NAP processes,” said Ermira Fida, Head, GEF Climate Change  Adaptation Unit, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
“The NAP process is viewed by African LDCs as a vehicle for moving their adaptation agenda forward and coping with the challenges that Africa is facing today. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and UNEP Africa Adaptation Gap Technical Report both state, climate change is already affecting food production and is likely to increase the number of people at risk of hunger in Africa.”  
These meetings are convened by the NAP-GSP, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (The GEF). The Global Water Partnership (GWP) – a NAP-GSP partner – is collaborating closely to support these meetings.
“These meetings will support countries to gain a better understanding of the technical issues, strategies, steps, tools and options presented in the National Adaptation Plan process,” said Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Head, Climate Change Adaptation and Senior Technical Advisor - Adaptation (Global), UNDP-GEF.
“We are also providing specific country-level support, building on ongoing and complementary adaptation initiatives, through our partner agencies and in association with national governments.”
Keynote speakers in the opening session at the UNCC on 14 April 2014 were Dr Josue Dione, Senior Adviser to the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at African Union Commission and H.E. Ato Kare Chawicha, State Minister of Environment Sector, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Ethiopia.