Strengthening the link between climate change adaptation and national development plans: lessons from the case of population in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)

  • Karen Hardee
  • Clive Mutunga


As climate change adaptation planning moves beyond short term National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) to longer-term approaches, it is instructive to review the NAPA process and examine how well it was linked to national development planning. This paper reviews 41 NAPAs submitted by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to assess the NAPA process in terms of NAPAs integration with countries’ national development strategies. The review outlines the actors involved in developing NAPAs and identifies the range of interventions included in countries’ priority adaptation actions. The paper uses the example of population as an issue related to both climate change and national development to assess how it is addressed as part of LDCs’ adaptation and national development agendas. The analysis shows that although countries recognize population pressure as an issue related to the ability to cope with climate change and as a factor hindering progress in meeting development goals, it is not well incorporated into either adaptation planning or in national development strategies. Among the 41 NAPAs, 37 link high and rapid population growth to climate change. Moreover, six NAPAs clearly state that slowing population growth or investments in reproductive health/family planning (RH/FP) should be considered among the country’s priority adaptation actions. Furthermore, two NAPAs actually propose a project with components of RH/FP among their priority adaptation interventions, although none of them has yet been funded. The paper points to structural issues that hamper better alignment between climate change adaptation and national development planning and offers recommendations for longer-term adaptation strategies that better meet the development needs of countries.


Adaptation Climate change National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) Population Reproductive health/family planning (RH/FP) National development strategies 



Global Environment Facility


Least Developed Country


Least Developed Country Fund


Least Developed Country Expert Group


National Adaptation Programme of Action


Poverty Reduction (Strategy) Paper


United Nations Development Programme


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


Water Governance Facility


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Action InternationalWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.WashingtonUSA

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