National Adaptation Plan Process
(UNFCCC, 2012)

The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF). It enables Parties to formulate and implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as a means of identifying medium to long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs. It is a continuous, progressive and iterative process which follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach.


The objectives of the national adaptation plan process are:

  1. To reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change by building adaptive capacity and resilience and;
  2. To facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation in a coherent manner into relevant new and existing policies, programmes and activities, in particular, development of planning processes and strategies within all relevant sectors and at different levels, as appropriate.


According to Decision 5/CP.17, paragraphs 3, The COP agreed that enhanced action on adaptation should:
  • Be undertaken in accordance with the Convention;
  • Follow a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems;
  • Be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional and indigenous knowledge, and by gender-sensitive approaches, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate and;
  • Not be prescriptive, nor result in the duplication of efforts undertaken in-country, but facilitate country-owned, country-driven action.

Initial guidelines

The initial guidelines for the formulation of NAPs were adopted by the COP at its seventeenth session (decision 5/CP.17). They elaborate four elements that are indicative of the activities that can be undertaken in the development of NAPs depending on national circumstances and determined as shown in Figure 4-1.


Guideline for the NAP process

  1. Laying the groundwork and addressing gaps
  2. Preparatory elements
  3. Implementation strategies
  4. Reporting, monitoring and review

Steps under each of the elements of the formulation of NAP

Element 1: Laying the groundwork and addressing gaps

  • Initiating and launching of the NAP process
  • Stocktaking: identifying available information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation and assessing gaps and needs of the enabling environment for the NAP process
  • Addressing capacity gaps and weaknesses in undertaking the NAP process
  • Comprehensively and iteratively assessing development needs and climate vulnerabilities

Element 2: Preparatory elements

  • Analysing current climate and future climate change scenarios
  • Assessing climate vulnerabilities and identifying adaptation options at the sector, subnational, national and other appropriate levels
  • Reviewing and appraising adaptation options
  • Compiling and communicating national adaptation plans
  • Integrating climate change adaptation into national and subnational development and sectoral planning

Element 3: Implementation strategies

  • Prioritizing climate change adaptation in national planning
  • Developing a (long-term) national adaptation implementation strategy
  • Enhancing capacity for planning and implementation of adaptation
  • Promoting coordination and synergy at the regional level and with other multilateral environmental agreements

Element 4: Reporting, monitoring and reviewing

  • Monitoring the NAP process
  • Reviewing the NAP process to assess progress, effectiveness and gaps
  • Iteratively updating the national adaptation plans
  •  Outreach on the NAP process and reporting on progress and effectiveness
  • Modalities of support

    The NAP process for LDC Parties will be supported through various modalities. Developing country Parties which are not LDC Parties are invited to employ the modalities in the elaboration of their own planning efforts. COP 17 decided on the following modalities to support the NAP process:

    • Technical guidelines for the national adaptation plans;
    • Workshops and expert meetings;
    • Training activities;
    • Regional exchanges;
    • Syntheses of experiences, best practices and lessons learned;
    • Technical papers;
    • Technical advice;
  • Technical support

    กลุ่มผู้เชี่ยวชาญจากกลุ่มประเทศพัฒนาน้อยที่สุด (Least Developed Countries Expert
    Group; LEG) มีความรับผิดชอบต่อไปนี

    • The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) – provides technical guidance and support to the NAP process;
    • Technical guidelines for the NAP process have been produced by the LEG.
    • Other technical support has been identified during LEG 23 and can be found in the report of the meeting (FCCC/SBI/2013/8).

    Adaptation Committee

    The Adaptation Committee, in accordance with its agreed functions, is developing the relevant modalities for supporting interested developing countries that are not LDC Parties to plan, prioritize and implement their national adaptation planning measures, including through the use of the modalities for the NAP process

  • Financial support for the formulation of NAPs

    A number of financial support channels will be available for the NAP process, including bilateral and multilateral channels.

    The COP has provided guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to enable activities for the preparation of the NAP process by the LDC Parties through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). It has also requested the GEF, through the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), to consider how to enable activities for the preparation of the NAP process for interested developing country Parties that are not LDC Parties.

    In Paris in 2015, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was requested to expedite support for the formulation of NAPs and the implementation of programmes, projects and policies identified in the NAPs in developing country Parties. Through the GCF Board decision B.13/09, paragraph (e), the GCF provides financial support for the formulation of NAPs through its Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme.

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