Making the Connection With Adaptation Communications

About This Opportunity

The Paris Agreement does not establish any obligatory reporting for Parties to demonstrate progress on adaptation. However, Article 7.11 established the adaptation communication, as a voluntary communication mechanism, which can be submitted as a component of, or in conjunction with, a range of other communications or documents. It can also be submitted as a section of a Party’s NDC.

Connecting Adaptation Communication processes and NDCs focuses on enhancing how countries plan for, track, and communicate their adaptation efforts.

As stated in Decision 9/CMA.1, the purpose of the adaptation communication is to: increase the visibility and profile of adaptation and its balance with mitigation; strengthen adaptation action and support for developing countries; provide input to the Global Stocktake; and enhance learning and understanding of adaptation needs and actions.

Adaptation Communications can also be used to enhance the linkage between national adaptation efforts and the Global Goal on Adaptation by providing essential input for the Global Stocktake and to support the integration of adaptation with mitigation efforts. They may also enhance linkages with other relevant global goals. This comprises those included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Connecting Adaptation Communications and NDCs involves enhancing the tracking and reporting of adaptation actions in order to elevate the profile of adaptation on the global stage. This alignment supports the achievement of the Global Goal on Adaptation and ensures that adaptation actions are integrated, visible, and effectively supported, particularly in developing countries.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Aligning adaptation commitments with global goals:

Ensuring that national adaptation commitments are clearly linked to and support the achievement of relevant global goals is important for impactful action. This involves setting clear objectives within Adaptation Communications that correspond with the Global Stocktake and broader international targets.This alignment enables countries to set ambitious adaptation commitments that directly support broader international targets. Decision 9/CMA.1 further enhances tracking and reporting by inviting parties to provide detailed information on their adaptation efforts, which should be submitted timely to inform each Global Stocktake, thereby ensuring that adaptation actions contribute meaningfully to global climate assessments and planning.

Ensuring flexibility and a country-driven approach:

Decision 9/CMA.1 offers flexibility in how countries submit their Adaptation Communications, either as standalone reports or integrated within NDCs or other national documents. This flexibility allows each country to tailor its adaptation communication to fit specific national circumstances, capabilities, and legal frameworks. This ensures that the landscape of information countries are providing is up-to-date and comprehensive, which can enhance the relevance and effectiveness of these communications.

Tracking and reporting on adaptation efforts:

Developing robust systems to track the implementation and success of adaptation measures is important. This tracking could be integrated with the systems used for NDC monitoring to streamline processes and ensure consistency across both mitigation and adaptation efforts. Domestic systems for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions can be aligned with those used for NDC tracking. This alignment ensures that adaptation efforts are consistently supported, evaluated, and adjusted based on their effectiveness and impact on reducing vulnerability. Decision 9/CMA.1 advocates for the inclusion of robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms within Adaptation Communications. This approach supports the enhancement of methods for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation actions, providing more accurate and actionable data. Such detailed monitoring contributes to a better understanding of adaptation needs and successes, facilitating continuous improvement and learning.

Improving monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions:

By enhancing the methods for monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions, countries can provide more accurate and actionable data. This includes setting quantified, time-bound adaptation targets and developing comprehensive indicator frameworks. See “NDC Progress Indicators: A Guidance for Practitioners (GIZ)” and “Opportunity: Enhancing Data Availability for Informed Decision Making”.

Enhancing the profile of adaptation:

Adaptation Communications can be used as a tool to increase the visibility and importance of adaptation actions. By highlighting successful adaptation strategies and the needs of developing countries, these communications can help balance the focus between adaptation and mitigation and strengthen global adaptation actions. Decision 9/CMA.1 encourages the submission of Adaptation Communications that elevate the profile of adaptation by highlighting national adaptation priorities, strategies, and actions. This effort is supported by documenting and sharing good practices, lessons learned, and successes, which help to balance the focus between adaptation and mitigation. Such visibility is essential for garnering attention and resources towards adaptation, acknowledging it as a critical component of comprehensive climate action.

Integration with National Adaptation Plans (NAPs):

Ensuring that Adaptation communications are closely linked with NAP processes enhances coherence and efficiency. This integration helps in translating adaptation needs and goals into concrete actions and policies. See “Opportunity: Improving interlinkages between NDCs and NAPs”.

Ensuring visibility and balance with mitigation efforts:

By effectively communicating adaptation actions and their outcomes, countries can ensure that adaptation receives equal attention and resources as mitigation, acknowledging their complementary roles in addressing climate change.

Country Examples

The Marshall Islands has developed robust systems for tracking the implementation and success of its adaptation measures, particularly in its disaster risk reduction efforts. These systems are integrated with its NDC monitoring processes, ensuring consistency and thorough evaluation of both mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Marshall Islands regularly updates its progress on adaptation through national communications and other reports to the UNFCCC, thus contributing valuable data to the Global Stocktake and aiding in the assessment of collective progress toward global climate goals. (Source: “Adaptation Communication – Republic of the Marshall Islands,” UNFCCC)

South Africa’s first Adaptation Communication within its updated NDC targets enhanced alignment with global adaptation goals, detailing specific strategies and actions that support the global adaptation goal and contribute to the Global Stocktake, thus connecting national actions directly with international climate objectives. (Source: South Africa First NDC, UNFCCC)

Eswatini‘s commitment to tracking and reporting on adaptation efforts is demonstrated through its comprehensive national communications to the UNFCCC. These communications detail the country’s adaptation strategies, actions, and progress, providing transparency and accountability in its climate actions. By regularly updating its adaptation efforts, Eswatini contributes to the Global Stocktake and enhances the collective understanding of adaptation progress towards achieving global climate objectives. (Eswatini Initial Adaptation Communication, UNFCCC)

Further Resources

Reporting Adaptation through the Biennial Transparency Report: A Practical Explanation of the Guidance (UNEP-DTU, 2020)
The document provides guidance on reporting adaptation actions in the BTR (Biennial Transparency Report) as part of the Paris Agreement. ​ It explains the purpose and structure of the BTR and provides detailed guidance on what information should be included in each section. ​The document aims to assist practitioners and technical experts in creating the adaptation sections of their country’s BTR by providing practical explanations and examples. ​

Decision 9/CMA.1, titled “Further guidance in relation to the adaptation communication,” (UNFCCC, 2018)
This document details the framework for integrating Adaptation Communications into the broader structure of the Paris Agreement, specifically referencing Article 7. It emphasizes the role of these communications in increasing the visibility and profile of adaptation, balancing it with mitigation, and providing crucial input for the Global Stocktake. The decision supports the strategic alignment of national adaptation actions with global goals, like those outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Draft supplementary guidance for voluntary use by Parties in communicating information in accordance with the possible elements of an adaptation communication (UNFCCC, 2022)
This supplementary guidance provides an overview of the guidelines for Adaptation Communications and related arrangements, and suggestions for applying the guidelines and for benefiting from the links between Adaptation Communications and other adaptation-related reporting arrangements under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.

NDC Progress Indicators: A Guidance for Practitioners (GIZ, 2023)
This document is a comprehensive manual designed to assist practitioners in identifying, developing, and reporting progress indicators related to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It provides a structured approach to selecting indicators that accurately reflect the implementation and effectiveness of NDC targets, both for mitigation and adaptation efforts. The document includes practical examples and detailed steps on how to compile these indicators, ensuring they align with the requirements of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) under the Paris Agreement.

How This Links to Other Routes

Some specific linkages to other Routes that are particularly relevant include the following. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

Parties could take the opportunity to use Adaptation Communications to maximize their transparency regarding how they are aiming to align their commitments with the Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

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.