National Adaptation Planning

national adaptation planning

Robust, flexible adaptation strategies that build institutional capacity and recognise the uncertainties of climate change for different sectors and geographical regions with differential social vulnerability are essential in considering policies and programmes that will be influential in designing national adaptation plans.

Adapting to climate change in becoming a routine and necessary component of planning at all levels. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the national adaptation plan (NAP) process as a way to facilitate adaptation planning in least developed countries (LDCs) and other developing countries.

Find out more about the NAP process in our article on National Adaptation Plans

Opportunities offered by the NAP process

The NAP process is an opportunity for countries to address their medium and long-term adaptation needs, building on the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA). The NAP process will be used by countries to:

  • Advance from NAPA experiences and arrangements into comprehensive, longer-term planning for adaptation;
  • Consolidate overall adaptation activities and embark on a coherent and strategic adaptation approach;
  • Ensure continuity and learning in planning and implementing adaptation, and to communicate progress through iterative outputs;
  • Fully integrate adaptation into existing planning systems and to prioritize activities so as to prevent negative climate impacts on development;
  • Identify the level of climate risk which can be addressed given economic, social and ecological constraints;
  • Encourage the provision of adequate and predictable support which takes into account the comprehensive, continuous and iterative nature of the NAP process;
  • Create confidence in agencies to support a country owned, country driven process that requires action beyond the implementation of projects;
  • Contribute to learning about how to manage multiple stress factors that combine in complex ways across scales;
  • Promote streamlining of adaptation approaches under the Convention.

NAP objectives

The agreed objectives of the national adaptation plan process are:

  1. To reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, by building adaptive capacity and resilience;
  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 planning processes and strategies, within all relevant sectors and at different levels, as appropriate.

Guiding principles

Adapting to climate change in becoming a routine and necessary component of planning at all levels. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the NAP process as a way to facilitate adaptation planning in least developed countries (LDCs) and other developing countries. 

Features of the NAP Process

 The NAP process:

  • Is not prescriptive. The guidelines for the process assist LDCs to undertake the steps and activities that can ensure effective adaptation. Based on their different levels of progress with adaptation thus far, countries are able to select which steps and activities to undertake in order to move forward; 
  • Seeks to enhance the coherence of adaptation and development planning within countries, rather than duplicating efforts undertaken in a given country;
  • Facilitates country-owned, country-driven action. LDCs have full ownership of the NAP process within their countries. The NAP process seeks to harness and build upon national-level capacity, with support from various partners, as appropriate;
  • Is designed so that countries can monitor and review it on a regular bases, and update their NAPs in an iterative manner. This is important, given that better quality climate data and projections, as well as other information useful for the planning process, will increasingly become available, and the impacts of climate change in the medium and long-term will be better understood. 

The planning and implementation of adaptation is:

  • Based on nationally identified priorities, including those reflected in the relevant national documents, plans and strategies. Again, this refers to the country-driven nature of the NAP process. The process is designed so that the NAP process can be integrated into the national plans priorities as appropriate;
  • Coordinated with national sustainable development objectives, plans, policies and programmes. Coordination and coherence are important elements of the NAP process.

The NAP Global Network

This theme is managed by the NAP Global Network, which aims to enhance national adaptation planning and action in developing countries. The NAP Global Network was created in 2014 to support developing countries in advancing their NAP processes, and help accelerate adaptation efforts around the world. To achieve this, the Network facilitates sustained South-South peer learning and exchange, supports national-level action on NAP development and implementation, and enhances bilateral support for adaptation and climate-sensitive sectors through donor coordination. To find out more, please visit the NAP Global Network’s website at:


Participating Organisations

Further resources

National Adaptation Plans submitted to the UNFCCC

Recommended reading

Relevant initiatives and projects

Other country studies

Other Useful Resources


54865368c50cbprofilephotos02 - climate adaptation.

Respectfully suggesting extension of the Philippine National Greening Program (NGP) which ends 2016.  For additional human centered design, please consider for further evaluation link.

Thank you.

ruthface - climate adaptation.

Hi Nelson,

thanks so much for your suggestion. Do you know a contact  in the NGP who could put together an article for us? The links between poverty, environment and climate change are relevant to the theme and we are very interested in the Philippines.

thanks, Ruth 

maria workshop - climate adaptation.

Hello everyone! 

Good to find this group. This new programme could be of interest to you: 

"Climate change is a serious threat to food security and agricultural development in many countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. 
"Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans" is a FAO-UNDP programme funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) to respond to this challenge."

dsc 0386 - climate adaptation.

Hi Maria, very nice to hear from you on weADAPT :)

And thanks for sharing this info. Is this link you shared a follow-up from the MICCA programme?

Please note that weADAPT offers discussion forums, if you even need to use them. Are you still hosting webinars/discussions on a regular basis?

Best wishes and regards to the FAO team (Janie, etc)!

Monica Coll 



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Participating Organisations