The fourth day of the NAP Expo featured keynote presentations addressing saving species on the brink of extinction, a strategic approach to comprehensive management in response to climate change impacts, and the proactive engagement of youth in ensuring transformations to adapt.
“Saving species on the brink of extinction: What emerging conservation leaders can do”
Prof. Jonah Ratsimbazafy presented a moving picture of how 25% of species are threatened with extinction across terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate, invertebrate and plant groups. At least 680 of vertebrate species were driven to extinction by human actions since the 16th century. Studies announced that three bird species vanished from the Earth for good in 2018. While 2018 didn’t see much wildlife extinction, the Earth is losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate. In this backdrop Prof. Ratsimbazafy made a strong call for every society not to turn their backs on the species that cannot defend themselves, but rather do something for them.
Human-centric approach to comprehensive risk management in response to climate change impacts”
The Preemptive-Contingency-Losses (PCL) framework provides a comprehensive climate risk management approach grounded in the assessment of societal values of financial and non-financial loss tolerability. The PCL Framework aims at including the three clusters of outlay within a single continuum, and with the main policy outcome being a balanced portfolio of actions across the three clusters by way of an optimization module, such that the aggregate outlay is optimized in the long-term. While it is currently applied to climate-related risk management, the methodology can be repurposed for use in other contexts where societal buy-in is central.
“Transforming to survive – A Pacific perspective on where we are now & where we should be”
Transformation is happening each time lives of local community members change completely due to the climate loss and damages they face. In the Pacific small island developing States, adaptation to these dreadful consequences is an ongoing process that has been happening for years – still largely via traditional means. Advocating meaningful engagement of youth in adaptation, Ms. Gladys Habu said “if it is our future that is at stake, you must entrust us with the shared responsibility to support you in this fight.” It should not just be about adapting to the consequences of climate change. Equally, the focus should be on transformations to address the root cause of the problem at large as a key step for more efficient adaptation progress. NAP leaders should ensure that space is designated for at least one LDC youth representative to be included in the Least Developing Country Expert Group to help design strategies and approaches with youth mindset.
Youth leadership in implementing adaptation actions
Community and family aspects often serve as sources of strength and inspiration for youth to join the fight of climate change. Grassroot organizations and local NGOS are also key in educating youth and helping raise their voices of youth (finding their community). Apart from finding the resources and platform, a challenge of some youth is bridging the gap from an activist to a decision-making role – “from community organization to governmental organizations” as highlighted by Ayakha Melithafa.
Some of the many challenges youth face include not being heard by policymakers, the stigma of thinking youth lack the experience and do not know what they are talking about, established norms and practices in what youth should or should not do. Panelist Gofaone Rammotokara touched upon the challenge of limited awareness and knowledge at local and household levels in many vulnerable localities. It should be highlighted that the education and the exposure youth get equips them with the mindset to act faster.
The importance of intersectionality was also mentioned, as these problems cannot be treated in silos. For example, gender-based violence is interlinked with youth challenges.
Despite the many challenges youth face, Gladys Habu said: “what helped me is the realization that I was being heard”.
NAP implementation projects writing support
As the majority of LDCs has accessed less than USD 50 million to implement their NAPs, it is crucial to support countries in developing project proposals for this primary step. The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) has conducted two regional writing workshops in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to for country teams to produce project ideas to be used to develop project proposals for submission to the GCF, LDCF (GEF) and AF.. At the NAP Expo, county teams were further engaged, building on their work from the workshops, to exchange on their progress, challenges and needs for technical assistance. Consequently, countries productively engaged with the LEG and representatives from the GCF, GEF and AF and relevant organizations, to address specific questions such as on data and information to further strengthen the proposals, identification of delivery partners and the broader set of options for technical assistance from the organizations.
Scaling up efforts for coastal adaptation
GERICS, WMO, GEO Blue Planet hosted a session on coastal adaptation actions for LDCs with an aim of developing a supplementary material to the NAP Technical Guidelines. Environmental services and goods provided by coastal areas are essential to countries that are highly dependent on coastal economic activities. The climate-information related to coastal zones and communities are not readily available and scientific/research gaps exist in providing evidence-based information (incl. baseline) on climate risks and vulnerability to support coastal adaptation actions.
Transforming tracking of implementation of adaptation actions
Countries are challenged with developing monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) systems that will enable them to adequately capture progress on implementation of adaptation actions while capturing reporting for many different projects at different levels. In a session conducted by the WRI, the countries expressed interest in peer-to-peer learning so they can benefit from other countries experiences, but also need the flexibility to apply what they learn to their own context. A clear indication of preliminary interest was evident in working with Adaptation Action Coalition and WRI as advisory group members to develop a high-level system for tracking implementation of adaptation actions.
Bhutan hosted the second NAP Exchange series, which they dubbed the “happiness session”, and where they shared their best practices in developing their NAP and in accessing funding for implementation. With a draft NAP that is almost ready to be submitted, they highlighted how they are using the results of the various assessments generated under the NAP process, funded under the GCF readiness support programme, to access funding for implementation of the various adaptation priorities in the NAP from other funding windows such as the LDCF. Botswana, Lesotho and Somalia likewise shared their experiences on adaptation particularly when it comes to communicating adaptation impacts to the local communities.
Launch event of the supplements to the NAP Technical Guidelines
Seven supplements to the NAP Technical Guidelines covering food systems, nature-based solutions, ecosystem-based solutions, oceans, regional approaches, climate finance, alignment with disaster risk reduction were launched at the NAP Expo. These materials were presented to the countries, highlighting their utility and value addition to how countries are formulating and implementing their NAPs. UNEP also presented the Global EbA Fund which can assist in fast tracking support to innovative and catalytic initiatives that help overcome barriers to upscaling ecosystem-based adaptation.