PRESS RELEASE | Zimbabwe Hosts Global Peer Learning Forum on Climate Change Adaptation  

A bridge is in front of the iconic Victoria Falls.
The iconic Victoria Falls experienced its lowest recorded water flow due to severe droughts, leading to parts of the falls running dry in 2019. (Photo: iStock) 

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE, February 27 – Decision-makers from 15 countries and experts from across the globe will meet from February 27 to 29 at the Zambezi River Lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to share experiences on national efforts to adapt to climate change impacts.  

The government representatives, who lead their respective countries’ national adaptation plan (NAP) processes, will share their expertise at a forum hosted by the NAP Global Network in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe. The Peer Learning Forum, titled “Transitioning from Planning to Implementation in the NAP Process,” aims to promote peer-to-peer learning on how countries can finance and take action on the priorities set out in their NAPs. 

Participants include representatives from Armenia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Grenada, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Namibia, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Timor Leste, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

“The complexity of today’s climate change challenge requires countries and partners to collaborate and coordinate in a pragmatic manner, and we hope that participants can learn from and build upon each other’s experiences to strengthen their own national adaptation planning processes. This South–South peer learning event presents a unique opportunity to break silos, engage in iterative thinking, share stories, and assess and understand different practices. Collectively, we can move forward as professionals in building resilience among people, systems, and countries while building long-lasting relationships. This forum is an ideal opportunity for these country partners to transform their countries for the climate challenges we face today,” said Orville Grey, Head of the Secretariat for the NAP Global Network. 

Orville Grey, Head of the Secretariat for the NAP Global Network, participated in the first day of the Peer Learning Forum in Victoria Falls. (Photo: IISD/NAP GN) 

Planning and implementing NAPs is critical for developing countries to build climate resilience and reduce the vulnerability of communities, ecosystems, and the economy to climate change risks. Through NAP processes, countries drive coordination, set policy priorities, mobilize resources, allocate support, and track progress in achieving their adaptation goals. 

Science and data increasingly point to a growing gap between what is needed for adaptation progress and what is being done. Although the climate-linked losses and damages of the 55 most climate-vulnerable countries amounted to more than USD 500 billion over the last 2 decades, the latest Adaptation Gap Report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reveals that the gap in adaptation funding is the highest it has ever been. The 2023 report shows that developing countries require up to USD 387 billion per year to implement national adaptation priorities throughout this decade. This figure is 18 times higher than the actual international resources funnelled to developing countries.  

Zimbabwe is one of the nations that has faced these challenges: more than 70% of Zimbabwe’s population live in rural areas and depend on “subsistence rain-fed agricultural food systems.” 

“Zimbabwe recognizes the increasing effects of climate change. That’s why, while our government moves from raising awareness on adaptation to developing and implementing adaptation plans and policies, we also prioritize enhancing the resilience capacity of Zimbabwe by ensuring that the country has adequate adaptive and transformative capacities at all scales, from the national to the local level,” said Washington Zhakata, Director Climate Change Management Department. 

This Peer Learning Forum will strive to tackle some of these challenges and enable opportunities for developing countries to exchange knowledge and witness first-hand applications in real-world contexts. A distinctive feature of the 3-day event is the perspectives and guidance offered by experts and partners, such as the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG)—the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committee established to provide technical guidance and support to the least developed countries on NAPs. The forum also features invited experts from the African Development Bank, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

For almost a decade, the NAP Global Network has supported developing countries in advancing their NAP processes and helping accelerate adaptation efforts worldwide. To accomplish this, the NAP Global Network places a strong emphasis on facilitating South–South peer-sustained learning and exchange through various initiatives, including targeted topic forums, exchange programs, and peer learning summits. In addition to bolstering peer learning and exchange, the Network commitment extends to the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of knowledge to ensure that valuable insights are accessible to all developing countries. The NAP Global Network continues to provide technical support in the transition from planning to implementation in the NAP process in developing countries. This landmark event is dedicated to fostering an environment that not only promotes exchange but also encourages the collective progress toward a climate-resilient future.  

To get the latest information and trends in national adaptation plans, visit our NAP Trends webpage. For more information and updates on the Peer Learning Event, please visit the NAP Global Network’s website

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Adrian Estanol 

Communication Officer