Adaption Futures Conference

Adaptation Futures 2018, the fifth in the Adaptation Futures international conference series on global adaptation.

LTS Director Irene Karani travelled to Cape Town last week to attend this conference, here’s what she found…

The conference aimed to facilitate dialogues for solutions between key actors from diverse perspectives and regions and attracted over 1,300 scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers from around the world. Delegates were able to view the responses of local artists to the realities of climate change, as well as join in the Community Kraal, which focused on the lived experiences of climate change. The Adaptation Expo showcased the work of 24 organisations actively involved in responding to climate change.  

This is the first time the conference was held in Africa and it presented an opportunity for discussions on adaptation in developing countries and increased the participation of participants from the developing world.

Six themes were discussed in the conference namely:

  • Adaptation and Development: how can adaptation enhance development outcomes, how development can enhance adaptation outcomes, maladaptation, adaptation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adaptation integration into national development plans and other development processes.
  • South South and South-North learning and knowledge exchange: how does a southern perspective of change the global framing of adaptation? how to enhance South-South collaboration.
  • Interaction of adaptation with 21st Century challenges: how can adaptation practice be brought into debates and practice around food, water and energy security? what are the solutions for reducing climate risks in the face of rapid urbanisation, implications of migration in the context of other climate drivers.
  • Modes of collaboration, knowledge co-production and research into use: learning from transdisciplinary and engaged research processes, maximising uptake of research into policy and practice, ‘last mile’ reach with implementation that leads to real change for many.
  • Financing of adaptation and climate resilient development: learning from global, regional and national funding mechanisms -Adaptation and Green Climate Funds, examples of transformative projects financed by GCF, what does transformative adaptation look like, how do we measure adaptation?
  • Learning from Doing: what has worked or not worked across different scales? What are the enablers and barriers of learning and how can the enablers be maximised, and barriers reduced to maximise learning? how do we improve learning and implement adaptation across complex social, cultural, and political economic systems?

The Adaptation Futures Conference was organised by the UN Environment (Programme for Research on Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA Programme). It had representation from climate change global actors, such as the UNFCCC, GCF, Adaptation Fund, EU, World Bank, AfDB, scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, researchers, academic institutions from all continents, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, consulting companies and policy makers.

Links between the Nationally Determined Contribution and the National Adaptation Plan Processes in Kenya

In Africa, adaptation planning is a priority of most governments as their citizens are bearing the brunt of climate change. This has been manifested with the increased frequency of extreme events such as droughts and floods, leading to governments having to address the impacts almost on an annual basis. This has meant that development processes have not taken place at the required pace due to a continuous emergency crisis.

In recognition of this, Kenya, has strategically mainstreamed adaptation planning in its climate change policies and plans. The costed National Adaptation Plan (NAP, 2016) is linked to the Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC, 2015) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP, 2013).

The objectives of this work were to:

  • Develop Kenya’s Adaptation Technical Analysis Report (ATAR),
  • Develop Kenya’s INDC for onward submission to the United Nations Framework Convention to Climate Change (UNFCCC),
  • Develop Kenya’s NAP for submission to the UNFCCC.


This involved stakeholder engagement at all levels in developing Kenya’s ATAR in 2012, and in developing Kenya’s INDC and NAP concurrently in 2015. In the ATAR, a sectoral risk assessment, adaptation costing, private sector assessment, climate information assessment, and prioritisation of adaptation actions were done. Policy briefs on the agriculture, infrastructure, environment, water and sanitation, tourism, trade and industry and planning sectors were also developed. The INDC and NAP processes thereafter, refined the sectoral adaptation actions in the ATAR and adaptation actions in both documents were harmonized, refined and costed in the NAP with tentative timelines.


As the process of developing the three documents took over four years, the process of linking adaptation actions in the INDC and NAP processes became easier, especially because Kenya’s Climate Change Directorate was at the forefront of ensuring that the work done in the ATAR was not duplicated but enhanced in the subsequent processes. The NCCAP and NDC are strategic climate change policy documents anchored in Kenya’s Vision 2030. The NAP is an actionable document which provides detailed adaptation actions and budgets across all Kenya’s development sectors with the inclusion of gender and other vulnerable groups.  In implementing the NAP, the development aspirations in the NCCAP, the NDC and ultimately Vision 2030 will be realised.

Significance of work for policy and practice

  • Conducting a horizontal and vertical adaptation analysis in a country is costly and time consuming as it involves numerous stakeholders.
  • It is important to undertake a thorough adaptation analysis at the beginning of the process, as it saves on time and costs with the subsequent processes.
  • It is important to involve policy makers at all levels and sectors when planning for adaptation actions in their various sectors for ownership and endorsement.
  • It is important to have the same core thematic cross-sectoral team providing technical knowledge at the national level, because they can build on earlier work due to institutional memory.
  • As time progresses, it becomes easier to link initial technical adaptation analysis with the NDC and NAP processes, due to the enhancement of stakeholders’ knowledge on adaptation planning and budgeting processes and their linkages with development.
  • Implementation of an actionable NAP that is linked to the NDC will enhance not only adaptation and resilience but development processes in the long term as the two are interrelated.



Date: 2018 -


NIRAS has been working in PFM for the last 15 years, supporting national decentralisation processes and applying pa…
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