Incorporating All of Society in Adaptation Planning

About This Opportunity

Climate adaptation is context-specific to places, people, and circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to adaptation strategies and actions, and tailoring approaches to each context requires contribution and buy-in from affected people. It also requires acknowledgment that groups traditionally experiencing inequality are often those who are most vulnerable. This includes, for example, women, youth, marginalized communities, Indigenous Peoples, and those living in poverty.

To align action on climate change with global development goals, there is an opportunity to engage the most vulnerable in society as agents of change through the adaptation planning process. To ensure action addresses real needs is implementable, builds the autonomy and ownership of vulnerable groups, and achieves holistic benefits for all, stakeholder engagement approaches must seek broad participation across all of society. 

Reflecting the Global Stocktake

The GST emphasizes the importance of stakeholder engagement and participation in the development of NAPs and implementation of adaptation actions:

  • Paragraph 64b: “The GST calls for “country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent national adaptation plans, policy instruments, and planning processes and/or strategies”
  • Paragraph 55: “Encourages the implementation of integrated, multi-sectoral solutions, such as land-use management, sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems, nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches, and protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems, including forests, mountains and other terrestrial and marine and coastal ecosystems, which may offer economic, social and environmental benefits such as improved resilience and well-being, and that adaptation can contribute to mitigating impacts and losses, as part of a country-driven gender-responsive and participatory approach, building on the best available science as well as Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge and local knowledge systems”

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Establishing permanent mechanisms for participation and leadership of Indigenous and marginalized communities in national planning:

This may include institutional arrangements that create dedicated spaces for Indigenous and marginalized dialogue on national planning developments. It may also include establishing a permanent role for a representative of Indigenous and marginalized communities to act as a key facilitator of NDC development. Finally, it may include establishing organizations to facilitate across regions of Indigenous Peoples to ensure participation at both the institutional and individual levels.

Establishing focal points for stakeholder engagement at the ministry level:

This might include, for example, identifying appropriate ministerial representatives of key societal groups as facilitators of engagement in adaptation planning, NAP development, and NDC development.

Building on stakeholder engagement processes conducted under NAP development:

Engaging stakeholders involved in the development of the NAP can support input, review, and validating adaptation components of the NDC. This strategy can make efficient use of existing networks and connections, ensure adaptation realities and priorities are appropriately and adequately reflected in the NDC, and enable horizontal integration between national planning activities.

Engaging representatives and experts from relevant ministries (such as social affairs, gender), national gender agencies, academia, NGOs, and development partners to support mainstreaming and inclusion:

Countries may seek to identify ‘champions’ across thematic areas and sectors to consistently engage with national adaptation planning activities, to feed developments and information into those processes, and to integrate priorities set in national planning into agendas in their own sectors.

Working with the private sector

This can include understanding their role in enhancing understanding of vulnerabilities and risks and monitoring the progress of action implementation. This could be done through the following strategies:

  1. Collaborating with stakeholders to produce, and disseminate climate information to the private sector
  2. Investing in education, academic institutions, and research programs to support adaptation research and develop innovative solutions
  3. Articulating the business case for adaptation investments, working with the private sector and focusing on both risks and opportunities
  4. Building the capacity of the private sector to conduct assessments and generate appropriate information/data that can feed into national planning
  5. Analyzing and encouraging private sector engagement in NAPs and NDCs

Country Examples

Pakistan has prioritized the inclusion and promotion of youth in its development agenda. Young people comprise 68 per cent of the country’s population, and in recognizing this, they conducted a survey to understand young people’s perceptions of climate change with the purpose of integrating this into climate action planning processes. (Source: “Pakistani young people have their say on climate,” UNDP)

Ghana used its Private Sector Engagement Strategy to enhance the involvement of the private sector in climate adaptation efforts, recognizing its role as a key actor and encouraging active participation in planning and implementation. It also supported the identification of priority sectors, focusing resources to support and address the sectors with the highest vulnerability. It generated a stronger understanding of sectoral vulnerabilities and barriers to adaptation within the private sector. Furthermore, the strategy also outlined approaches for fostering strategic alliances between public and private sectors and established a policy framework for future private sector engagement in adaptation. (Source: “Ghana’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy for the National Adaptation Plan,” NAP Global Network).

Vietnam emphasized the role of the private sector in adaptation planning within their NAP. Recognizing that resources from the private sector play an important role in enhancing the capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change at the national level, the NAP document emphasizes the following: “The State creates the legal basis and applies the economic tools to ensure the effective implementation of policies and laws on climate change adaptation, and can encourage and create the conditions for domestic and foreign financial institutions to invest and support the implementation of the NAP.” Engaging the private sector in the NAP development stage was an important first step for government agencies to understand the challenges and opportunities to attract private investment in climate change adaptation. Some of the recommendations from the private sector that have been retained for the NAP implementation phase include public-private partnership mechanisms, business and farmer cooperation models for building climate resilience, green finance, and climate information services. (Source: “Viet Nam NAP 2021-2030 with Vision to 2050,” UNDP).

Further Resources

Existing policies and practices for the participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in climate change related bodies and processes under and outside the Convention (UNFCCC, 2021)
This report provides a comprehensive overview of relevant policies and practices that foster collaborative opportunities and strengthen respectful engagement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It identifies key opportunities for engagement through institutional, individual, and organizational vehicles.

Toolkit for a Gender-Responsive Process to Formulate and Implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) (NAP Global Network, UN Climate Change, Least Developed Countries Expert Group/Adaptation Committee, 2019)
This toolkit supports countries in integrating gender equality throughout their NAP. It acknowledges the flexibility of this integration, highlighting opportunities to address gender at any stage of the NAP process. Beyond core NAP elements, the toolkit offers guidance on incorporating gender considerations into enabling activities that bolster progress and effectiveness. These activities encompass establishing institutional frameworks,  capacity-building, stakeholder engagement, information sharing, and securing financial resources.

Progress, good practices and lessons learned in prioritizing and incorporating gender-responsive adaptation action (UN Climate Change, 2023)
This UNFCCC policy brief addresses integrating gender equality into NAPs, highlighting a trend of countries using gender-responsive approaches for adaptation. It acknowledges existing gaps and challenges while also identifying good practices and opportunities for governments and stakeholders to enhance resilience and gender equality comprehensively. It takes into consideration the varying national circumstances and cultural values between parties.

Whole-of-Society Approaches to Inclusive Stakeholder Engagement (NDC Partnership, 2024)
This best practice brief provides non-prescriptive guidance and illustrative examples for countries to employ a Whole-of-Society approach. This approach facilitates effective stakeholder engagement throughout the enhancement, planning, and implementation of NDCs. The guidance is drawn from experience across the NDC Partnership, acknowledging the need for countries to tailor it to their unique circumstances and capabilities.

Principles for Locally Led Adaptation (WRI, 2022)
The Principles for Locally Led Adaptation serve as a roadmap for the adaptation sector, guiding a shift towards programs, funding, and practices that empower local actors to take ownership of adaptation efforts. They establish a community of practice, enabling organizations to share progress and lessons learned, thereby refining the collective understanding of what constitutes effective and equitable locally-led adaptation.

Public Engagement on Climate Change Adaptation (NAP Global Network/Climate Outreach, 2023)
This report led by Climate Outreach targets decision-makers in developing countries leading NAP processes. Sections cover why public engagement matters, how NAP teams can make links to the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment agenda, how to make public engagement inclusive and effective, and case studies of public engagement on adaptation by governments and NGOs.

Gender-Responsive NAP Processes (NAP Global Network, 2022)
This NAP Global Network Synthesis report evaluates global processes on integrating gender equality into NAP processes. Coinciding with the midpoint of the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan, the report reflects on progress made thus far.  It examines NAP documents submitted to the UNFCCC alongside practical examples showcasing how countries are implementing gender-responsive approaches.

Training guide: Gender in adaptation planning for the agriculture sectors (FAO, 2019)
This training guide, informed by workshops conducted in nine countries, offers a comprehensive toolkit for facilitating sessions on integrating gender equality into agricultural adaptation planning. Designed for trainers delivering workshops to stakeholders involved in adaptation planning and agricultural budgeting, the guide provides a blend of interactive activities and presentations. These materials can be used in whole or in part to enhance individual skills and behaviors necessary for developing gender-responsive agricultural adaptation plans within a broader capacity development framework. While the focus is on agriculture, the content can be adapted to climate change adaptation planning in other sectors.

Key elements to include gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate policies and NDCs (UNDP).
This report analyses gender considerations in climate policies across eight Latin American and Caribbean countries and provides a practical guide for parties seeking to integrate gender equality into their climate actions. Targeted at countries updating NDCs, designing new climate policies, or developing sectoral adaptation plans, the tool offers a checklist for incorporating gender equality into these initiatives; examples of how countries have used gender-inclusive language in their policies; sector-specific examples of gender considerations, targets, and indicators; and guidance on mainstreaming gender into both climate action and COVID-19 recovery measures.

On Equal Terms: A Checklist for Decision Makers and Practitioners on a Youth-Inclusive NDC Process (UNDP, 2023)
The ‘On Equal Terms’ checklist, a new UNDP resource, equips policymakers, officials, and climate practitioners with a roadmap for establishing youth-inclusive NDC processes. This guide emerges from UNDP’s broad engagement with climate stakeholders, youth organizations, movements, and networks across diverse countries. Informed by a survey of 335 young people aged 15-35 from 78 nations, the checklist integrates their perspectives and experiences in NDC formulation, implementation, and monitoring. Adaptable to local contexts, it serves as a practical tool across six key stages of the NDC process, guiding meaningful youth engagement from the initial political decision to NDC implementation.

Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Planning Processes (NAP Global Network, 2019)
Governments seeking to engage the private sector should focus on several key strategies. This includes generating and disseminating climate data, supporting research and development, and articulating the business case for adaptation investments. Moreover, building the capacity of the private sector to understand and respond to climate risks is essential. Developing a comprehensive private sector engagement strategy, understanding financing needs early, and identifying private sector champions are crucial steps. Overall, continual analysis and encouragement of private sector engagement will be essential to ensure alignment with national adaptation priorities and the success of adaptation efforts.

Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) (UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, 2020)
This Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) recommends several strategies for enhancing private sector involvement. These include collaborating to generate and share climate data, supporting research and development, articulating the business case for adaptation investments, building private sector capacity to assess risks, using NAPs to communicate priorities, developing comprehensive engagement strategies, identifying financing needs early, and recognizing private sector leaders while sharing success stories. These efforts are crucial for effective adaptation to climate change and fostering resilience.

Stakeholder and Citizen Engagement in Climate Adaptation: A DIY Manual (Ricardo/EU MIP4ADAPT, 2023)
This manual was developed for use by regional and local authorities as part of the EU Mission Implementation Platform for Adaptation to Climate Change. The manual guides how to engage stakeholders and citizens throughout the climate adaptation planning process. It presents tried and tested tools and methods that can be used to take a ‘Whole-of-Society’ approach that leaves no one behind.

Implementation Report 2023: Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (UN High-Level Climate Champions, 2023) The First Implementation Report of the SAA captures the progress made on adaptation planning and policies, partnerships and inclusivity, knowledge and capacity, technology, innovation and data, and finance by highlighting the signals of change at system and outcome levels. The report sheds light on the critical interconnectivities that exist among economies, nature and human systems and how adaptation solutions delivered have multiple benefits including mitigation co-benefits. It also reflects on the power of radical collaboration between multiple party and non party stakeholders that are paving the way for resilient, net zero and nature-positive development.

How This Links to Other Routes

Engaging and enabling stakeholders to participate in the development of adaptation action and national plans ensures targets and actions appropriately and accurately reflect national realities. Other routes and opportunities may assist in translating engagement into implementable action. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Delivers a Just and Equitable Transition

Engaging all of society in the development and validation of adaptation components of NDCs enables empowerment and contributes to addressing inequities through climate action, supporting the achievement of climate and non-climate-related development goals.

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Please see this route for more strategies on engagement across the NDC process.

Route: Technology and Capacity-Building as Needs and Enablers

Engaging representatives from across society ensures that national realities are accurately and appropriately reflected. Engagement may also offer an opportunity to identify needs, gaps, and support requirements for building the green skills required to achieve climate action.

Route: Technically Sound and Transparent Documents

Engaging diverse stakeholders in the adaptation planning and NDC development process enables the opportunity for increased awareness of concepts, science- and evidence-bases for decision-making, and fosters credibility, trust, and buy-in.

Route: Unlocks Finance

Prioritizing action within vulnerable communities and demonstrating their engagement may contribute to unlocking financing sources that may be attached to specific development goals.

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

Engaging diverse stakeholders in the development of adaptation components of the NDC supports a holistic approach to climate action and builds understanding and awareness across the mitigation-adaptation nexus.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.