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Strategic Communications in Peru’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Process

Submitted by Cesar Henrique ... 12th January 2021 22:14
Former Peruvian Minister of Environment gives an interview

Former Peruvian Minister of Environment, Fabiola Muñoz, during a press conference at 2018 First Peruvian National Communicators Workshop. Credit: MINAM/Peru (Ministry of Environment)

Introduction

At least 120 countries have launched National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes to build their resilience to climate change impacts (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], 2019). NAP processes are an effective, important vehicle for advancing adaptation efforts as well for facilitating learning within an individual country and between different countries. 

Information sharing is a key enabling factor for effective NAP processes, and many governments are choosing to develop NAP communications strategies. Clear, purposeful communication with government and non-government stakeholders throughout the NAP process helps raise awareness of adaptation and the NAP process, clarify stakeholders’ roles, prioritize adaptation measures, raise adaptation’s profile in the media, and inspire action. By creating and implementing a communications strategy to support the NAP process, NAP teams can build a participatory, inclusive dialogue in order to share information to encourage stakeholders’ active involvement in national adaptation planning and implementation. 

Building on an earlier overview brief on strategic communications for NAP processes, this sNAPshot highlights a selection of communications activities and good practices that the Peruvian Ministry of Environment’s (MINAM) Directorate of Adaptation to Climate Change and Desertification has undertaken to support national adaptation planning and action with support from development partners, including the NAP Global Network. 

*Download the full case study from the right-hand column. A short overview of the publication is provided below.  ​A full version in Spanish is also available on the NAP Global Network website.

Peru's NAP process

Peru’s NAP process has been instrumental in the development of adaptation goals and commitments in its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The country’s NDC lists five priority sectors for adaptation: Water, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, Agriculture, and Health. Taking its direction from the adaptation goals of the NDC, the NAP process in Peru is a strategic tool for planning and implementing concrete actions to reduce risks and build resilience in the face of the adverse effects of climate change. A NAP document has been developed through support from the NAP Global Network and will be launched in 2020, with time horizons to 2030 and 2050.


Peru's priority sectors for adaptation

 

Peru’s NAP Communications Strategy Objectives: Empowering stakeholders through communication

A communications strategy to support Peru’s NAP process was developed in 2016 with the overall objective of promoting opportunities for dialogue in order to drive action. This strategy is working to achieve the following goals, among others:

  • Building high-level political support for the NAP process.
  • Building strong links between the NAP process and adaptation in the NDC.
  • Fostering a broad participatory and inclusive dialogue to engage stakeholders in climate action.
  • Emphasizing how adaptation can provide opportunities to advance Peru’s development goals.
  • Raising awareness of the NAP process among rural and urban populations, including civil society groups and private sector actors.
  • Leveraging the existing interest in and knowledge of climate change among journalists and communicators (including from government ministries and from Indigenous organizations across the country) to advance the NAP process.

Complementing these objectives, the communications strategy outlined guiding principles for communication, including an intercultural approach (including the engagement of Indigenous groups), an intergenerational perspective (using Traditional Knowledge and modes of communication alongside newer channels that may have greater appeal to youth) and to carefully recognize gender dynamics and tailor the design of communications activities accordingly. 

To achieve the above objectives on awareness raising, MINAM has used a diverse range of communications materials, including press releases, radio spots aired in several languages, videos, infographics, social media, a children’s comic book, brochure, workshops, and posters. 

MINAM also used slogans to promote climate action, such as “Adaptation is the first step to ensure development,” which was the President’s key message during the response to the “El Niño” phenomenon (El Niño–Southern Oscillation, or ENSO) in 2017 that caused 163 deaths and led to widespread damage across the country. 

Key Lessons

  • Communications activities should be developed to achieve clear objectives to support the NAP process and climate action to support the NAP process and climate action. Peru’s NAP communications strategy prioritized activities and products to advance the NAP process—such as building political will, raising awareness, and building links with adaptation in the NDC. The communication strategy has been successful in enriching and contributing to the success of national processes to formulate adaptation measures in the NDC, enact the FLCC, and support comprehensive management of climate change action.
  • The NAP process should establish an ongoing dialogue. National adaptation planning and implementation require the collaboration of all stakeholders, and Peru’s Dialoguemos process shows how a NAP communication strategy can help foster and activate dialogue across regions and stakeholder groups –even in the midst of the pandemic.
  • Diversity is a strength: A diversity of communications products is needed. Various styles, messages, and even languages should be deployed in order to reach persons of different ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and formal education and income levels, as well as persons with different access to (or interest in) media outlets. In Peru, radio spots, videos on social media, meetings, press releases, and briefs, as well as various languages, have been used to keep citizens informed, interested, and keen to get involved in climate change action.
  • Everyone has an important message to contribute. Peru’s experience shows that official messages from the Minister of Environment go a long way in raising awareness; but so do stories told by farmers, bus drivers, Indigenous youths, or health workers about their responses to climate change impacts. Grounding the topic of climate change in experiences and stories that are relevant to many individuals will help empower them to get involved in climate action.
  • Government communicators should learn from NAP process communications experiences from around the world in order to adopt good practices. Peru’s NAP communications strategy benefitted from drawing on international lessons and experiences from countries such as Saint Lucia, Fiji, and Tanzania, as well as other Latin American countries like Mexico and Colombia. The sum of these exchanges fueled the creativity and implementation of successful communications initiatives that emphasized adaptation as a global challenge that must be addressed through international cooperation.
  • Journalists and communicators are important allies for the government-led NAP process. Peru’s NAP communications experience has been that spreading messages from the government alone is not enough— journalists and other non-government communicators need to be part of the effort to increase understanding about climate change adaptation and build a national dialogue about it.

Conclusion

The Government of Peru, led by MINAM, has taken a participatory and inclusive approach to communications to support the NAP process, fostering dialogue on adaptation across sectors and across different parts of Peruvian society, guided by gender equality, intercultural, and intergenerational principles. 

MINAM’s NAP communications strategy has used a diversity of messages and communications channels to reach diverse audiences to achieve its objectives; notably, fostering genuine participation from civil society stakeholders—including Indigenous groups—to make their voices heard in the NAP process. 

As Peru prepares to publish its first National Adaptation Plan, the inclusive, participatory approach that the government has taken to communications has laid the foundation for ownership of adaptation actions by stakeholders across the country.