Peace, Conflict, and National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Processes

For states experiencing conflict, climate change adaptation is rarely, if ever, an immediate priority: issues such as national defence, the prevention of further loss of life and suffering, and the establishment of peace take precedence. In countries recovering from conflict and violence, where peace—however fragile—has been established, governments are often faced with the difficult, lengthy, and complex task of strengthening and rebuilding the governance mechanisms and institutions required to meet the immediate needs of their population and to protect them from a host of risks, including the return of violence. As in situations of active conflict, prioritizing climate change action in peacebuilding contexts can be difficult. 

However, the close links between climate change and fragility mean that it would be a mistake to ignore medium- and long-term adaptation needs in these peacebuilding contexts.

This guidance note examines how governments operating in peacebuilding contexts can initiate, finance, implement, monitor, evaluate, and learn from their NAP process in a way that understands and responds to peace and conflict dynamics. The resulting conflict-sensitive NAPs are aligned with a country’s peacebuilding and development objectives, actively promote peace, and work to minimize the risks that climate change and adaptation programming will contribute to conflict. The guidance note’s three primary objectives are:

  • to outline the enabling factors required to design conflict-sensitive NAPs, namely leadership; data, knowledge, and communications; financing; institutional arrangements; stakeholder engagement; and skills and capacities;
  • to offer practical entry points to design NAP processes whose main phases are aligned with peacebuilding objectives;
  • to provide examples of how countries are integrating conflict and peacebuilding considerations into their NAP processes.

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Publisher: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)