Support for national climate change adaptation plans in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa (BMUB)

Project description

Title: Science-based support for National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes in francophone Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of sub-Saharan Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Countries: Africa; Benin, Senegal
Lead executing agency: Benin: Ministère du Cadre de Vie et du Développement Durable (MCVDD); Senegal: Ministère de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable (MEDD)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019


The risks of climate change are immense, particularly for the states classified by the United Nations as least developed countries (LDCs) in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa. Achieving development goals under already difficult political conditions is a major challenge. In addition, extreme weather such as droughts, heat waves, storms and floods is becoming more frequent. The necessary political and state structures are not yet in place and staff do not have the expertise required to carry out measures to adapt to climate change.

At the Climate Change Conference in Cancún in 2010, the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process. This process identifies the medium-term and long-term changes necessary to reduce the vulnerability of countries to climate change. By launching the NAP process, the states are integrating adaptation to climate change into their national development planning. The Paris Agreement of 2015 underscores the importance of the NAP process in international efforts to adapt to climate change.

Initiated at international level, the NAP process offers the LDCs in sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to provide an adequate response to climate threats. However, they lack the expertise and the organisational, participatory and governance structures that are prerequisites for sound, politically well-established NAP processes. Research support is also vital for developing national adaptation plans, but is currently inadequate. This is one of the reasons for the dearth of comprehensive data on regional climate change and of analyses of the entire process of climate impact chains to serve as the basis for the adaptation process. Access to knowledge and resources is difficult for French-speaking countries, because most scientific information, events, documents and training courses are only available in English.


The least developed countries in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa have enhanced capacity to design results-oriented NAP processes on the basis of research.


The project team cooperates closely with staff and senior officers working for authorities and research institutions and organises training and continuing professional development for them. The relevant staff thus acquire the necessary skills to help actively shape the climate change adaptation plans on the basis of research findings. Organisational and sectoral advisory services for the national authorities are designed to facilitate smooth implementation of the NAP process. In order to elaborate the adaptation plans and establish them at policy level, authorities and policy-makers require scientifically reliable climate data. The project is therefore assisting national climate service providers, such as meteorological institutes.

Once the key adaptation options have been identified, then compiled, and communicated in the NAP process, national and local administrations require funds to take corresponding action. The project team helps them to identify and tap into sources of finance.

The officers responsible for adaptation to climate change at national and regional level progressively build up knowledge and experience in the course of their work. Through the national and regional communities of practice set up by the project, they can network with one another and plan joint activities. Experts from other French-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa are also included. A regional francophone platform enables all those involved to share knowledge, experience and best practices and to feed them into the international climate debate.

The project is working in Benin and Senegal and is being implemented in collaboration with the non-profit institute Climate Analytics. Together with national climate service providers, Climate Analytics focuses on preparing reports and analyses on the impacts and risks of climate change and adaptation to climate change on the basis of adapted existing methods.