NAP GN at COP26 | Testing the Theory: Building capacity for vertical integration of adaptation

COP26 side event at the Paris Committee on Capacity Building’s (PCCB) 3rd Capacity-building Hub

Vertical integration—the process of creating intentional and strategic linkages between national and subnational adaptation planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation—requires national and subnational actors to establish institutional arrangements, financing, capacity building (for the long term), and information (both across governments and between governments and non-state actors), explained Daniel Morchain, NAP Global Network’s Senior Policy Advisor on Adaptation.

An important way to achieve this is to establish clear mandates for subnational governments and non-state actors to engage meaningfully in adaptation planning and action. When subnational actors can navigate the adaptation planning space, adaptation will be more effective and more aligned with principles of locally led adaptation.

Decentralization efforts, often a key in the vertical integration process, have to be accompanied by actions that strengthen institutions at the local level—governmental, but also civil society and non-governmental organizations. These need to build their capacities to successfully undertake the new responsibilities transferred to them.

Kulthoum Omari-Motsumi, from the Botswana National Climate Change Committee, highlighted that those subnational actors who understand the local context are important partners in the process. On the other hand, local authorities face challenges in relation to gaining institutional clarity: decentralization processes put pressure on local actors for implementation but do not truly assign power to local authorities.

The role of youth constituted the focus of Vositha Wijenayake’s remarks, Special Advisor for the Africa Adaptation Initiative and Executive Director of the SLYCAN Trust. She stressed the major role youth groups need to play in operationalizing Sustainable Development Goal processes, as well as in informing countries’ National Adaptation Plans and nationally determined contributions. Youth’s knowledge about and perspectives on climate change are unique and relevant to steering adaptation and development processes. Art and drama techniques are also effective vehicles to channel knowledge into the climate narrative, as is happening in Kenya.

For Rosa Morales, Director General, Climate Change and Desertification, Ministry of Environment of Peru, giving provincial and local governments a specific, formal role with regard to climate change is paramount. Peru has done so formally with the passing of its Climate Change Law, which makes the role of Indigenous Peoples equally fundamental—e.g. through the establishment of the Indigenous Climate Platform, which brings together seven Indigenous Peoples organizations to the centre of climate debates. An important role for the national level (MINAM) in Peru has been to work with local governments to integrate sectoral adaptation priorities into local-level activities—a challenge considering that the local level does not organize itself sectorally, as happens at a national level.

This discussion clearly showed that having a proactive strategy to collaborate across levels of governance, as well as with local non-state actors, is a foundational piece of doing vertical interaction in a way that promotes equity and justice.

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Presentation by Daniel Morchain, NAP Global Network’s Senior Policy Advisor on Adaptation
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Kulthoum Omari-Motsumi, from the Botswana National Climate Change Committee
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Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director of the SLYCAN Trust, Sri Lanka
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Rosa Morales, Director General of Climate Change and Desertification, Ministry of Environment of Peru

This event was held at the 3rd Capacity-Building Hub, which is hosted by the Paris Committee on Capacity Building. It was organized by the NAP Global Network, whose Secretariat is hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and moderated by Angie Dazé, IISD‘s Senior Policy Advisor.