- The Civil Society Network for Climate Change (CISONECC) in Malawi, an umbrella platform for coordinating civil society's response to climate change in Malawi recently came up with priorities for advocacy that seek to promote inclusive adaptation planning and enhanced access to climate funds. This was done at the network's 2nd quarterly meeting for 2013 to align the network's advocacy agenda with ongoing developments in national and international response to climate change. Among other advocacy issues, members identified two critical and related issues for advocacy namely, establishment of a National Implementing Entity (NIE) and development of a National Adaptation Plan. A National Implementing Entity would enable Malawi to access funds directly from international climate funding mechanisms without going through multilateral agencies as is currently the case. Development of a National Adaptation Plan would serve to define a medium to long term framework for addressing national adaptation needs.
Development of a National Adaptation Plan
The United Nations Framework Convention to on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recently adopted guidelines for development of National Adaptation Plans. Unlike National Adaptation Programmes that were meant to address urgent adaptation priorities for of Action that Least Developed Countries, NAPs are meant to provide a framework for addressing medium to long term adaptation needs. NAPs are also designed to be aligned to national development planning frameworks. While initial discussions about development of a NAP have taken place in Malawi, progress has largely stalled. For this reason, CISONECC has included on its priority advocacy issues the development of a NAP. Critical issues affecting vulnerable communities that work with CISONECC member organisations will have to be included in this instrument to ensure responsiveness of the NAP to needs and priories of communities.
National Implementing Entity establishment to complement adaptation planning
Once developed, the National Adaptation Plan will no effect if it cannot be implemented. Lessons from the National Adaptation Programmes of Action have showed that planning frameworks have limited consequence if they are not complemented with financing mechanisms for planned priorities. To this end, establishment of a National Implementing Entity is a mechanism that could help to increase the national capacity to implement prioritised actions in the NAP once it has been developed.
NIE - What is in the term?
The Adaptation Fund was established by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention to on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries. Developing countries access these funds by going through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme and the African Development Bank referred to as Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs). As one way of ensuring enhanced access to adaptation funds, the UNFCCC provides for direct access to the Adaptation Fund by Parties which entails that developing countries can access these funds through a nationally owned and managed institution. This provision is gaining increased attention among developing countries as it is considered to be an innovative element of the Fund's governance structure that seeks to ensure country ownership of efforts to address impacts of climate change. In addition, if countries can manage to have direct access, it will serve as a model for future funding, including the ongoing establishment of a 'Green Climate Fund'.
According to the Adaptation Fund Board, direct access can help ensure proper reliance on and harmonization with national systems, plans and priorities; increase the speed of delivery of desired outcomes; cut transaction costs by 'domesticating' core activities; and potentially achieve better targeting of local priorities. It is against this background that CISONECC members decided to include lobbying the Government of Malawi to establish a National Implementing Entity (NIE) as one of its priorities.
Going beyond the rhetoric
CISONECC recognizes the flux of terminologies in climate change some of which have distant connection to immediate needs and realities on the ground. Accordingly, CISONECC will work towards ensuring that development of a National Adaptation Plan and a National Implementing Entity do not become ends in themselves but provide means towards enhancing adaptive capacities of communities to the impacts of climate change.