Launch of joint UNDP/UNEP NAP-GSP expanded support to LDCs

12 November 2016, Marrakesh, Morocco: During COP22, the NAP-GSP launched its new expanded support to LDCs, financed by the GSF LDCF, through a meeting to share what has been delivered by the NAP-GSP program during its first phase, facilitate an opportunity for feedback and questions from participating countries, and present the new Programme.

Opening remarks from Rohini Kohli from the United Nations Development Programme and Mozaharul Alam from UN Environment, representing the NAP-GSP team, contextualized the challenges that LDCs face in formulating their NAPs, many of which hinge on the need for increased technical capacity and institutional support.

Abias Huongo, Chair of the Least Developed Country Experts Group (LEG), spoke next about the gaps and needs of LDCs in the process of formulating and implementing NAPs, and how the LEG works to address these.

He said, "The LEG assesses gaps and needs in the NAP process in LDCs, and hopes to have complete formulation and implementation of the NAP process by 2020 in addition to improving the quality of outcomes. The LEG has been collecting, synthesizing, and sharing information about the gaps and needs of LDCs using surveys and periodic questioning of focal points, among other strategies."

Julie Teng of UNDP and Mr. Alam proceeded to summarize the results of the first phase of the NAP-GSP project, presenting them in the categories of technical assistance, regional support, and knowledge sharing.

Between 2013 and 2016, 16 countries have received one-on-one technical assistance, delivered upon request of countries. Countries were supported with stock-taking exercises, development of roadmaps and training at the country level. Under regional support, the NAP-GSP program helped to provide orientation of decision makers in 45 LDCs in Asia, Africa and the Pacific on the steps for the NAP process and the leveraging of finance by the NAP-GSP team. The regional support especially focused on trying to engage participants from outside the ministry of environment, and incorporating other sectors of government such as the ministries of finance and planning.

According to Mr Alam, "While countries have diverse needs, there is an overall theme of needing to fill capacity gaps and address the lack of understanding about climate change science and adaptation science."

Ms. Teng reviewed the third component of knowledge sharing, which has resulted in an exchange of lessons and knowledge through web-based platforms as well as in-person workshops.

Rawleston Moore of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) said, "GEF is delighted to have been working in partnership with the joint UNDP and UNEP NAP-GSP since 2013, and together we are addressing key challenges for LDCs, most notably data gaps and lack of financial resources." He emphasized the need for knowledge sharing, particularly among LDCs.

Gelila Terrefe, Project Manager for the second phase of the NAP-GSP for LDCs highlighted that "The second phase of the NAP-GSP project is intended to respond to feedback from phase one. The assistance provided by the NAP-GSP is focused on access to resources that will help countries leverage financial support from other sources."

Ms. Terrefe addressed the importance of developing a framework for monitoring and evaluation for the second phase, allowing iterative feedback of assessments and analysis. She also pointed out that while being involved in the first phase of the project does not disqualify a country from being involved in the second phase, the NAP-GSP is working to expand the breadth of countries involved in the program as it moves forward.

The participants then broke up into three groups, divided by language (English, French, and Portuguese) to present the status of their NAP processes, the assistance they have received and their main needs and expectations from NAP-GSP.

The French-speaking group emphasized the need for more synergy and coherence among the different programs being implemented, as well as access to information about the process of mobilizing finance for various projects. The Portuguese-speaking group noted that they would like to see more assistance with the prioritization methods for adaptation options in the NAP process, as well as learning how to make these various processes work independently so they will function sustainably in the absence of support from NAP-GSP. The English-speaking group had similar feedback and discussion points, but added that it could be useful to gather groups of countries which are at similar levels in their process for formulation and implementation of their NAPs during regional workshops.

Mr. Alam concluded by saying that "There are three main areas of concern which seemed to be common among all of the country groups: the need to expand capacity for assessing risks, vulnerability, and prioritization of adaptation options; the need to deepen understanding of the process of assigning economic costs for adaptation projects; and the need to increase ability to access resources for project implementation."

Ms. Kohli reiterated that the programme will aim to facilitate conversations with LDCs during LEG meetings at least once a year, and other forums, so as to maintain a system of feedback and communication, which will be essential to the success of the program. 

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