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uast_logo_5 Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

5

Implementing adaptation

5.1 Designing an effective adaptation action plan

Once climate change risks and vulnerabilities have been assessed (Step 2) and preferred adaptation options have been identified and selected (Steps 3 and 4), a framework for implementation of adaptation action - strategy and action plan - can be established. To be effective, this framework needs to take into consideration the findings from steps 1-4 and be subject to public consultation and formal recognition by the relevant local authorities.

Covenant of Mayors signatory cities commit to developing an action plan with adaptation component, actions for adaptation and their monitoring and evaluation.

Implementation of adaptation actions, when not entirely mainstreamed into existing sectoral policies, is usually guided by a dedicated adaptation strategy and an accompanying action plan.

The adaptation strategy is a reference document outlining the vision and direction of actions and their expected outcomes. Its accompanying action plan sets out what needs to be done to convert the chosen adaptation options into actions.

Often, local authorities develop both a plan and a strategy as part of one document, called either ‘adaptation strategy’ or ‘adaptation plan’ (see Step 5.2). The adaptation strategy may also be incorporated in other, e.g. sectoral, planning documents. In any case, it is recommended that a draft of the adaptation strategy is discussed in a public consultation with all relevant stakeholders (see Step 1.6).

Some possible elements of an adaptation strategy are:

  • Introduction explaining why adaptation is needed, e.g. current and expected climate change impacts (see Step 1)
  • Consideration of the outcomes of assessment of risks and vulnerable sectors (see Step 2)
  • Approach in developing the strategy, e.g. cooperation with authorities inside and outside the municipality and other public and private stakeholders (see Step 1.6)
  • Aims/objectives of adaptation and strategic directions
  • Provisions for monitoring and evaluation and revision (see Step 6)
  • Future outlook

In some cases, especially when an adaptation strategy already exists at national or regional level, municipalities may decide not to develop a dedicated strategy but develop their adaptation action plan in line with this national/regional strategy.

The action plan accompanying the strategy sets out what needs to be done to convert the prioritised adaptation options (Step 4) into actions. The action plan contains, among others:

  • Details of each action (and sub-actions, if any) and associated processes and synergies
  • Roles and responsibilities in undertaking actions and associated coordination
  • Timeframe/timetable for implementation
  • Estimation of human and financial resources needed and/or available funding schemes
  • Information needs/open research questions and ways to close knowledge gaps
  • Indicators of success to be used for monitoring and evaluation (Step 6)

If the main chosen approach to implementing adaptation to climate change is through mainstreaming into the existing policy documents and plans (see Step 5.3), it is nevertheless advisable to develop a strategic and/or planning document outlining the key impacts, sectors and policies for the integration of adaptation aspects. This overview will facilitate coordination of the mainstreaming activities.

For a framework for implementing adaptation actions to be effective, it is essential to obtain political approval. Formal recognition of the developed strategy and accompanying action plan would also ensure sustainability of adaptation actions in the long term.