THE need for systematic and resourced learning and sharing has emerged as one of the key lessons learnt from the National Adaptation Programme of Actions (NAPAs) process implemented by Least Developed Countries to shore up their climate change readiness.
This follows two days of discussions at the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Expo here in Bonn, Germany.
NAPs — now open to developing countries, in addition to LDCs — are intended to build on the NAPA experiences, while helping countries to consolidate and advance their adaptation activities.
Speaking Friday, during a breakout session looking at what did and did not work in past adaptation efforts, Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development, said: “It is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them”.
To safeguard the learning, he suggested that it be built into the NAPs process from the beginning and proposed the development of a community of learners, who “feed into the NAP process as well as take away from it”.
Aarjan Dixit, of CARE International, supported Huq’s call for learning to be a built-in part of the process, noting that it, in fact, needed to be “hardwired” and “resourced” from the start.
As things are now, Dixit said, those to whom learning falls are also filling the role of project implementers, which is not efficient.
“The learning function is not a function best done by the implementers. Implementers are all busy doing things,” noted Huq.
Other key lessons that emerged included:
- The need to integrate public consultations into the process and safeguard the quality of those consultations to ensure buy-in and long-term sustainability.
- The need to ensure that the science makes sense to people and that the right balance is struck between overwhelming people with information and oversimplifying to the point of inadequacy.
- The need for ongoing sensitisation of politicians who are the decision-makers.
The NAP Expo, held at the Gustav-Stresemann-Institut e.V, brought together more than 200 participants from across the world, most of them from LDCs, but also developing countries, and included actors from civil society as well as governments and multilateral agencies.
— Petre Williams-Raynor