UNFCCC Releases Technical Paper on Assessing Climate Adaptation Needs

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UNFCCC Releases Technical Paper on Assessing Climate Adaptation Needs

The technical paper from the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Committee, published in October 2023, provides information on methodologies for assessing adaptation needs and their application.

It draws on the inventory available on the adaptation knowledge portal of methods for assessing adaptation needs related to action, finance, capacity building, and technological support in the context of national adaptation planning and implementation, as well as on submissions from Parties and observer organisations on developing and applying methodologies for assessing such needs.

The paper presents a five-step process for assessing adaptation needs to assist Parties and other stakeholders in further considering adaptation needs and to encourage additional work on methodologies:

  1. Framing the assessment
  2. Assessing climate risks and vulnerabilities
  3. Identifying desired adaptation actions
  4. Assessing resource needs (capacity, technology, information, finance)
  5. Compiling adaptation needs (actions, resources)

The document takes a broad perspective on assessing climate adaptation needs and draws on experience and case studies from developing and developed countries. While recognising that work on this topic under the UNFCCC is to be undertaken to assist developing countries without placing an undue burden on them, the broader perspective is justified by the fact that all countries have significant work to do in assessing adaptation needs and that this paper is intended to serve as a foundation for continued work in this regard.

Chapter 1 is the paper’s Executive summary, while Chapter 2 contains the introduction.

Chapter 3 considers concepts fundamental to the topic of this paper, including emerging concepts in adaptation policy discussions.

Chapter 4 provides an overview of existing methodologies, methods, and tools for assessing adaptation needs and experience of using the approaches based on the relevant submissions and findings in the first NDR, as well as discussing existing guidance for applying the methods and tools.

Chapter 5 is the analytical core of the paper. Building on the challenges, opportunities and gaps identified in the first NDR, it presents lessons learned, good practices (illustrated through case studies) and gaps identified in applying the existing methods for assessing adaptation needs. It also offers a five-step process for evaluating adaptation needs that reflects the key concepts.

Chapter 6 presents conclusions and recommendations for possible future actions both within and outside the UNFCCC process that could help to enhance further understanding of methodologies for assessing climate adaptation needs and their application.


Methodologies for Assessing Adaptation Needs and Their Application: Technical Paper. (2022). UNFCCC. Retrieved from https://www.preventionweb.net/publication/methodologies-assessing-adaptation-needs-and-their-application-technical-paper

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