Info Service on Climate Change (Oct14/02)
10 October 2014
Third World Network
UNFCCC’s Adaptation Committee discuss workshop on finance
New Delhi, 10 October (Indrajit Bose) — The sixth meeting
of the Adaptation Committee (AC) of the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Bonn, Germany, from 29 September-1
The AC went through 14 items on its agenda, some of which included
coherence and collaboration on adaptation-related matters under the
Convention, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), monitoring and evaluation
of adaptation, means to incentivize the implementation of adaptation
actions, future adaptation forum and workplan of the AC after 2015.
Four break-out groups were formed, which discussed coherence, means
of implementation and work on the task force of NAPs. Following are
some of the conclusions the AC adopted at the meeting.
Means to incentivize the implementation of adaptation actions
The AC is to convene a workshop with relevant bilateral, regional
and multilateral institutions facilitating the means of implementation
(finance, technology and capacity-building), as well as with development
agencies at the country level, to discuss how to further promote the
implementation of enhanced action in a coherent manner under the Convention.
At its previous meeting (the 5th meeting), the AC had requested the
secretariat, under the guidance of the co-chairs, to draft a scoping
paper for the workshop.
At the sixth meeting, AC co-chairs Juan Pablo Hoffmaister (of Bolivia)
and Christina Chan (of USA) informed the committee that the scoping
paper was focused primarily on finance, not broadly on means of implementation.
The idea of presenting the paper to the AC was to agree on the scope
of the paper, timing of the meeting as well as two or three framing
questions to help organize a provisional agenda for the meeting. The
AC members had an in depth discussion on the subject and the central
point of divergence among the members was whether the workshop should
focus on finance alone, or if it should focus on all the three areas
of means of implementation—finance, capacity building and technology
transfer. AC members put forth various suggestions on the workshop.
Margaret Mukhanana-Sangarwe (Zimbabwe) reminded the AC
of the reason for its existence. She said that push for an adaptation
committee triggered when Parties tried to review implementation or
support for adaptation to developing countries, but no conclusion
could be reached. She iterated that the problem of coherence arose
because developed countries said they had put in a lot of money, but
developing countries did not agree. Given this background, she said
the focus of the workshop should be on finance. The other two areas
of means of implementation are also dependent on finance, she said.
She also added that the issue of MRV (monitoring-review-verification)
of support is very critical.
Clifford Mahlung (Jamaica) said countries could not really
claim that they are satisfied with the work (on adaptation finance)
or that enough work had been done. Mahlung said that most funding
from the Adaptation Fund was out of proceeds of CDM (clean development
mechanism) projects, where 2 per cent of levy on such projects goes
into the Adaptation Fund. He added that the developed countries have
not provided dedicated funding to adaptation and this is what the
workshop should aim for—on getting information out. “Countries have
said they have put money into fast start finance, but how much of
the money has resulted in concrete adaptation projects?” he asked.
A workshop focused on the topic could “put us on a clear path so that
developing countries are clear about what work is being done”, he
Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) reiterated the importance of
provision of financial support over capacity building and technology
transfer. He also warned against excessive focus on private sector
support and called for broader focus as well as specificity at the
Naser Moghaddasi (Iran) suggested that the workshop could
focus on finance and the AC could build on from the Standing Committee
on Finance (SCF) workshop that happened in August 2014. He also suggested
that the other option was to hold a three- or four-day workshop where
all aspects of means of implementation—finance, capacity building
and technology transfer—could be covered.
Damdin Davgadorj (Mongolia) suggested the workshop take
up the issue of intended nationally determined contributions (referring
to the discussions currently ongoing under the Durban Platform on
the post 2015 agreement).
Andro Drecun (Montenegro) said that infrastructure is
an adaptation topic. Countries face the threat of floods and secure
infrastructure is needed as an adaptation measure, he said.
Sumaya Ahmed Zakieldeen (Sudan) agreed with colleagues
on the importance of giving emphasis to finance in the workshop. She
also said that the workshop take up issues of successes and barriers
in the implementation of adaptation, and added that the issue of source
of finance is very important for developing countries.
Fredrick Kossam (Malawi) said information on whether the
multilateral development banks are financing through grants, loans
or concessional loans would be useful.
Luke Daunivalu (Fiji) said the key focus of the workshop
should be finance.
Klaus Radunsky (Austria) said the focus of the workshop
should go beyond finance. He said there is also capacity building.
Referring to adaptation as being country driven, he asked how the
AC could support a country if the country itself did not prioritize
adaptation. Klaus also suggested taking up topics such as lack of
available data and gaps at the workshop.
Akio Takemoto (Japan) said each item is interlinked to
the other and spoke of the importance of technology transfer and capacity
building. He said that the workshop should treat all the three elements
equally and provide an opportunity to scientists and policymakers
to interact with each other and understand gaps for a better appreciation
After these deliberations, the members formed a break-out group to
further discuss the issue. Following the break-out group discussion,
the members put forward a proposal that the workshop should seek to
enhance understanding of what adaptation finance is; identify how
and whether it has been effective and how its effectiveness can be
enhanced. The focus areas agreed include role of national institutional
arrangements; access to finance; role of the private sector; and link
to National Adaptation Plans. On next steps, the break-out group proposed
that based on the focus areas the co-chairs formulate concrete framing
questions for the workshop.
The AC endorsed the proposed focus areas by the group and agreed to
create a working group with volunteers from the AC and other constituted
bodies if they so wished to support it. The AC requested the co-chairs
with support from volunteers and the secretariat to continue preparations
of the means of implementation workshop, scheduled in the first quarter
of 2015. The AC also agreed that the co-chairs liaise with the SCF
to decide on the best format of the workshop.
Coherence and collaboration on adaptation-related matters
The AC discussed four areas under this agenda item. These included
adaptation related mandates under the Convention, collaboration with
the Technology Executive Committee (TEC), collaboration with the SCF
and reports from members on other collaborative activities. A break-out
group was formed to discuss these issues and the AC concluded that
it would further enhance work on synergies and avoid duplication of
activities related to adaptation under the Convention.
On collaboration with the TEC, the AC appreciated the work done by
the TEC on briefs on agriculture and water. (The TEC had agreed, following
its eighth meeting, on the topics for the briefs and in collaboration
with the AC, and had prepared the draft of these briefs.) Welcoming
the collaboration between the TEC and the AC, the AC said it would
send suggestions to the secretariat on specific areas of further collaboration
among the two bodies by October 15.
The AC also agreed to nominate two of its members (Margaret Mukhanana-Sangarwe
of Zimbabwe and Klaus Radunsky of Austria) to the TEC Adaptation taskforce
to establish a focused space for collaboration. The AC nominated Radunsky,
supported by Sangarwe, to the Climate Centre Technology and Network
(CTCN). The nomination of the two members is to enhance the inputs
the AC can provide to both TEC and CTCN. On collaboration with the
SCF, the AC co-chairs agreed to continue the dialogue with the SCF
co-chairs on the subject. The AC appreciated the work of the SCF in
the organization of the Forum on Adaptation Finance that took place
in Jamaica in June this year. The AC also agreed to send the means
of implementation scoping paper and the NAP finance paper to the SCF
in the spirit of continued engagement between the two bodies.
National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
Discussion on NAPs was categorized in three areas: work of the taskforce
on NAPs, financial support for adaptation plans and progress made
on NAP Central. (According to the UNFCCC website, “the NAP Central
is an information system that will serve as the main information platform
for supporting the NAP process. It will provide examples and case
studies drawn from different countries, and will offer a platform
for exchanging experiences, lessons and best practices in the formulation
and implementation of adaptation plans”.)
On the work of the taskforce of NAPS, the AC appreciated the initiation
of implementation of the task for work planned, including the meeting
with organisations. (At its 4th meeting the AC established a task
force on NAPs to further support developing countries seeking to formulate
and implement NAPs). In discussing how to take the NAP process forward,
AC members iterated that NAP was grounded at the local level and that
it is important for the taskforce to find a way to get feedback from
the countries on their NAP-implementation related experiences. AC
members also called on the LDC Expert Group (LEG) to provide inputs
from barriers and success stories in NAPs implementation and linking
the national with the local.
On financial support for NAPs, the AC requested the co-chairs to produce
a policy discussion document for consideration by the next AC meeting.
After several discussions, the AC agreed to focus the paper on two
aspects: access to finance and programmatic approach, with the understanding
that other related issues may come up. The co-chairs in producing
the paper will consult with SCF and the GEF (Global Environment Facility).
On progress made on NAP Central, the AC took note of the oral report
on the status of its development and appreciated the collaboration
with the LEG on this matter. The AC had decided to establish a database
or clearinghouse-type mechanism for information related to NAP. Following
a review and evaluation of existing databases containing information
on national adaptation planning, the AC, at its third meeting, had
agreed that in light of the LEG’s work on its information system NAP
Central, there was no need for the AC to develop a separate database.
It also nominated a member to participate in the LEG’s NAP Central
team to contribute to that platform on behalf of the AC, and to provide
updates to the AC on an on-going basis.
Monitoring and evaluation of adaptation
The AC had organized a workshop on monitoring and evaluation of adaptation
in Fiji in September 2013. The fifth meeting of the AC had considered
the draft workshop report, which was further revised. At the fifth
meeting, the AC had further agreed that the co-chairs, assisted by
the secretariat, would prepare a concept note outlining possible next
steps and recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) for
consideration by the AC. Various proposals came forth in the discussion
on what the recommendations should be.
Radunsky (Austria) said the workshop identified very important
outcomes in terms of recommendations. A monitoring and evaluation
framework needs to be relevant to a country’s circumstance. He also
suggested against being too policy prescriptive in the recommendations
and was in favour of reconsideration of NATCOM (National Communication)
guidelines so that Parties are able to report on their experiences.
Takemoto (Japan) said he would share the results of an
adaptation project in Indonesia supported by Japan, vis-à-vis monitoring
and evaluation. Renske Peters (Netherlands) suggested
that since the area of monitoring and evaluation itself is developing,
it would be prudent to capture that in the message to the COP.
Zakieldeen (Sudan) spoke of the importance of clarifying
that the monitoring and evaluation tool is a means to help achieve
the goal. There was some discussion on indicators too. He also said
since adaptation is context specific, one could not talk about a set
of indicators. Radunsky (Austria) informed the AC
that organizations such as the IUCN (World Conservation Union) are
regularly requesting indicators to relate to projects, and it would
be good to invite such organisations to hear about their experiences.
He also added that methodologies related to national systems should
be priority. Takemoto (Japan) addedthat the AC could
start with getting information on existing monitoring and evaluation
systems, such as in the areas of agriculture and water resource management.
The AC, during its sixth meeting at Bonn, agreed to forward the recommendations
to the COP.
On the next steps the AC concluded it would focus on two elements:
monitoring and evaluation tools in the national context, and approaches
and examples in collaboration with the LEG. This will not be limited
to developing countries, the AC agreed.
Ad hoc Group on Technical Support
The AC had agreed to establish an ad hoc group, in collaboration with
relevant organizations and experts, to propose modalities to facilitate
technical support for projects for Parties upon request. At its fifth
meeting, the AC established an ad-hoc group on technical support and
agreed on the group’s terms of reference. The Ad hoc group on technical
support was asked to analyse existing support on adaptation by existing
groups, UN agencies including the gaps, needs and opportunities. The
group was mandated to strengthen the coherence of the provision of
support to developing countries for action related to adaptation.
At the sixth meeting, co-chair Juan P Hoffmaister reminded the members
that they needed to provide guidance and support to the ad hoc group
in trying to achieve its mandate. He also said that the terms of reference
of the ad hoc group be kept in mind and spoke of the co-chairs’ struggle
intersessionally because they did not get a lot of inputs from the
group to develop its work.
A background paper prepared by the group and presented to the committee
outlined the modalities for engagement, itemized under integration,
investment, involvement and information. While investment was not
detailed in the paper, integration recognized that adaptation could
not be approached as a one-size-fits-all and needs to be integrated
into planning and implementation of development policies, strategies
and projects. Under involvement, all relevant stakeholders need to
be involved at all stages, the paper said. There is a need for close
collaboration but the type of stakeholders to be involved may vary
depending on the type of adaptation initiatives. On information, the
paper said that exchange of information, knowledge and experience
would be used to plan and implement adaptation activities.
In the discussion that followed the presentation of the background
paper, Sangarwe (Zimbabwe) said that a lot of work
remains to be done and that providing technical assistance to developing
country Parties is a critical issue. She called for the need to catalyse
adaptation action rather than getting involved in too much planning.
Abdulla (Maldives) said while technical support is complementary,
the essence is really the means to undertake concrete adaptation.
Highlighting implementation as most important, he said that the group
needed to focus on how to ensure there is a change when it comes to
implementing adaptation action on the ground. Radunsky (Austria) agreed
with the modalities of engagement as suggested in the paper. He said
rather than focusing on regional centres to assist with adaptation,
it might be more helpful to focus on a specific challenge, such as
low-lying deltas. This, he said, would be more efficient if organisations
working on low-lying deltas would share knowhow and their experiences
rather than focusing on a specific region.
Kossam (Malawi) said of the organizations that responded,
there were a lot of organizations working on integration; some organisations
were working on tools and guidance on methodology of adaptation, but
very few were looking at actual implementation of adaptation action
on the ground.
(As part of its work plan, the AC had agreed to invite regional institutions
and UN agencies supporting work on adaptation to communicate their
current support for adaptation in developing countries, including
in relation to capacity building, including of national institutions.
Fifty-three organisations had provided input in response to the invitation
of the AC and offered to assist the committee in whatever work they
were mandated by the COP to do).
“There is very less in terms of research generation. There is very
little work to promote the actual adaptation that we all want. When
we are further building the work, we need to look at gaps,” said Kossam.
Peters (Netherlands) said she thought the group had a
good base to begin work vis-à-vis the overview of what institutions
can offer. Takemoto (Japan) called for following
up on activities outside of the Convention that are doing work on
adaptation to enhance coherence on the activities. He also added that
the AC should follow up with the organisations in terms of engaging
with them on how these activities are going on.
Moghaddasi (Iran) called on the AC to first deal with
the 53 institutions that have responded to the AC and then compile
the elements for a roadmap for a regional adaptation strategy. Zakieldeen
(Sudan) reiterated the importance of the research community
being involved in the process and said the priority should be adaptation
action, besides working on planning and policies as well as needs
and gaps in developing countries.
Following these deliberations, the AC requested the ad hoc group on
technical support to prepare an options paper for consideration by
its seventh meeting, containing strategic steps to propose modalities
to strengthen and to enhance coherence of the provision of support
to the developing countries for activities related to adaptation.
Workplan of the AC after 2015
The AC’s work plan for the period 2013-2015 was approved at the COP
in Doha. The AC agreed that there should be no gap between 2015 and
2016; they want specificity and detail as well as time to build it
with flexibility. The AC plans to develop the workplan during next
year, in time for COP 21 so that COP 21 can adopt it. A working group
has been created to intersessionally work electronically and additional
time would be made available during the meeting in Panama during AC7
to further work on the agenda item.
In addition to these, the AC also appreciated the interaction with
the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and recognized
the usefulness of a continued conversation between the two bodies
in the spirit of coherence and to promote further engagement. It also
considered a proposal by the UNCCD Secretariat on adaptation indicators,
but agreed that consideration of such indicators will need to be mandated
by the COP.