Why Public Engagement Is Essential for Climate Adaptation Action

Peru’s National Adaptation Plan launch campaign reaches over 2.6 million people

Agricultoras y agricultores peruanos en el departamento de Áncash implementan medidas que forman parte del Plan Nacional de Adaptación (Foto: MINAM, 2020)
Peruvian farmers in the department of Ancash implementing the adaptation measures established by the country’s NAP. (Photo: MINAM)

The Peruvian government has made public engagement a priority to accelerate and strengthen the implementation of adaptation actions. The country’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) includes a full chapter on its communications strategy—in which it proposes goals, activities, and channels to convey the message: “As the Climate Changes, So Do I.” 

To help put this communications strategy into action, Peru’s Ministry of Environment (MINAM) launched a communications campaign with support from the NAP Global Network in November 2021. The #CambiaElClimaCambioYo (As the Climate Changes, So Do I) social media campaign engages Peruvians in national adaptation plans and actions by targeting their behaviours, attitudes, practices, and habits toward the climate change impacts that are affecting their lives.

The campaign has reached more than 2.6 million people—resulting in more than 20,000 new readers of the executive summary of Peru’s National Adaptation Plan

Cristina Rodríguez, director of Adaptation to Climate Change and Desertification, MINAM, discusses the importance of mainstreaming the NAP process in the following Q&A. 

Peru completed its National Adaptation Plan last year. What steps have been taken to move from planning to implementation?

The NAP is an instrument that guides the process of adaptation to climate change at the national level through an iterative model of continuous improvement for climate change risk management. To this end, it presents a priority objective to contribute to the global adaptation goal and establishes secondary objectives, guidelines, and interventions that seek to reduce risks from the effects of climate change on populations and livelihoods, ecosystems, watersheds, and territories, goods, and services. 

The document also contains information on current and future climate risks in five thematic areas (health, water, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and forestry), adaptation measures, implementation mechanisms, monitoring and financing, and actions to ensure effective communication. 


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English version of a video from the #CambiaElClimaCambioYo campaign.

The implementation of adaptation actions in the NAP is made feasible through the implementation of adaptation measures established in Peru’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).   We are coordinating with subnational governments and with the sectors responsible for the implementation of the NDCs to integrate adaptation implementation measures through planning and investment mechanisms.  

The recently approved Declaration of National Interest of the Climate Emergency, through a Supreme Decree signed by the President of the Republic, Pedro Castillo, is increasing the urgency of implementing these actions. In this sense, regional and sectoral work agendas of the adaptation NDCs are being developed, which have been elaborated by the representatives of the regional governments and sectors with the technical assistance of the Ministry of Environment, in its capacity as the National Authority on Climate Change. They identify the actions, as well as the technical and financing needs for effective implementation of the NDCs within the framework of their competencies established in the Framework Law on Climate Change and its Regulations.  

The Ministry of Environment has also been working with various non-state actors—including the private sector, Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and Afro-Peruvian people who are represented in the National Commission on Climate Change—to articulate adaptation at national, regional, and local levels.  

Finally, it is important to point out that the National Climate Change Strategy for 2050 is being updated, which will be equivalent to the Long-Term Strategy within the framework of the Paris Agreement. This strategy has a national public policy character, is binding, and integrates findings and guidelines from the National Adaptation Plan. In this way, the implementation of the objectives and actions for 2030 and 2050 in terms of adaptation to climate change in the country is strengthened. 

Why did the Peru NAP team feel it was important to involve the Tuntanain Communal Reserve, along with other communities and local stakeholders? At what point in the NAP process did they approach the communities and how did they become involved? 

The NAP development process was highly participatory, dialogic, and inclusive, incorporating cross-cutting gender-responsive, intercultural, and intergenerational approaches. We held 10 face-to-face sessions and 11 virtual sessions (due to the pandemic) of the “Let’s Dialogue” process, which brought together various actors and sectors of society. Initial training sessions also helped participants understand the concepts that were going to be discussed.  

The public consultation process for the NAP involved the participation of 24 state and non-state institutions. Thus, altogether, more than 1,138 suggestions for the content of the NAP document were received in the face-to-face and virtual spaces “Let’s Dialogue” and the public consultation. 

In this participatory process, the representatives of the Indigenous communities and actors involved in the management of the Natural Protected Areas contributed very actively to these conversations. For example, the native communities that are the beneficiaries of the Communal Reserves, including the Tuntanain Communal Reserve, were highly involved in this participatory process. 

Cristina Rodríguez, director of Adaptation to Climate Change, MINAM
Cristina Rodríguez, director of Adaptation to Climate Change and Desertification, MINAM, during one of the events of the “Let’s Dialogue” process. (Photo: Minam)

In the video (see above) produced as part of the #CambiaElClimaCambioYo communication campaign, this reserve shared interesting experiences with climate change adaptation actions. We can see actions associated with ecosystem-based adaptation and draw important lessons learned that can be used to replicate this experience in other areas and contribute to the effective implementation of the NDCs for adaptation and, therefore, the National Adaptation Plan.

How do you plan to disseminate key messages from the National Adaptation Plan?

To ensure the effective implementation of the National Adaptation Plan throughout the country, MINAM is using strategic communications to promote the exchange of information, dialogue, and empowerment among the various actors and sectors of the country. It requires dialogue and work on behavioural change based on a multi-sectoral, multi-level, and multi-stakeholder communication process. 

The promotional campaign developed in November and December 2021 with the support of the NAP Global Network, consisting of four videos and 15 flyers, not only exceeded the expected reach by +139%, achieving visibility of the message expanded to all regions of the country, but also showed us that it is possible to communicate adaptation to climate change in a simple, agile, and timely manner while highlighting the opportunity for change and the social and environmental benefits that adaptation offers us. 

Therefore, in 2022, we hope to continue relying on the support of various strategic allies, such as the NAP Global Network, to continue carrying out communication experiences that continue to motivate national, regional, and local authorities, and all citizens to join in the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan. 

What are some examples of adaptation actions in Peruvian communities that stand out for you? How do these link to the National Adaptation Plan process?

There are several examples of actions carried out by the communities, some of which even put traditional knowledge into practice as an adaptation mechanism. For example, one of the publicity campaign videos showed the implementation of native cacao and shiringa production activities in the Tuntanain Communal Reserve. These actions promote forest conservation and maintain a balanced ecosystem. 

As they help with the sustainable use of nature for the benefit of the populations that depend on it, they establish enabling conditions for the implementation of measures in the National Adaptation Plan. Such is the case of sustainable agriculture or agroforestry, which contributes directly to the implementation of agricultural measures and, at the same time, facilitates forest conservation actions themselves and therefore enables conditions for measures associated with forests. 

What’s next for the NAP process in Peru?

We are working on the technical and methodological guidelines to monitor, evaluate, and report on the progress and achievements in climate change adaptation by state and non-state actors through a multi-sectoral and multi-level process. To this end, we have a general roadmap that will allow us to develop a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for adaptation to climate change in Peru. 

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Video about the implementation of native cacao and shiringa production activities in the Tuntanain Communal Reserve: forest conservation.

The aim for 2022 is to get a broader view of adaptation management and results and understand how these comply with the priority objectives established in the NAP. This will determine how adequate our adaptation measures are. 

We hope to continue working with a sense of urgency and ambition with the NAP Global Network and exchanging lessons learned with the members of this important network that adds to the objective of making adapting a priority for the well-being of the population and climate action. 

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