National Adaptation Strategies and Plans: sharing experiences and discussing actual challenges opportunities

11:15 Wednesday 29 May


Room S6


Kim Van Nieuwaal (Netherlands) 1; Roger Street (United Kingdom) 2

1 - Climate Adaptation Services; 2 - Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Countries all over the world are currently working on their National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) / Plan (NAP). The European Commission for instance has asked the member states to deliver one by 2017. Approaches, experiences, and lessons learnt will – by definition – vary per country, yet there is above all a lot to learn from each other, as those working on NAS/NAP generally acknowledge. Not only should reinventing the wheel be avoided, the field of climate adaptation shows a strong need for mutual learning and opportunities to inspire each other through the latest experiences and lessons learnt. This is what this what session is about.

Three national cases will be presented, each from a specific angle. Firstly, the Dutch National Adaptation Strategy will go into the challenges of multilevel governance. How to implement a national strategy locally and regionally? What are the major challenges in that respect? What is the role of national knowledge infrastructure and research programming for instance and how to enhance that? Secondly, the Austrian case highlights some of the next steps taken implementing NAS, also in the light of the monitoring, evaluation, and revision cycle. Thirdly, the case from Japan will put the NAS in a context completely different than that of Europe, for instance with regard to the extreme weather events – and disasters even – that strike the Asian continent. What can we learn from each other in dealing with these different circumstances for instance? A comparative presentation will take the perspective of setting priorities to compare efforts that are being used to inform NAS / NAP. The session will kick-off with two short presentations by DGClima and EEA, shedding some light on the latest developments that are relevant to NAS/NAP from a European perspective.

Target audience

This session is of special interest to those working with National Adaptation Strategies (or: Plans), either working in the policy domain, science, or business. This session has the potential of becoming a standing session of the ECCA conferences.

Contributing Authors abstracts

1. Introduction – Kim van Nieuwaal (Climate Adaptation Services)

Goal of the workshop: to share experiences among those involved in NAS / NAP.

2. NAS in EU: ambitions of EC – Liviu Stirbat & Manuel Carmona Yebra (DGClima)

Latest news from the EU on NAS policy, particularly with regard to the progress report.

3. European NAS landscape – André Jol (EEA)

Insights from the latest EEA publications, including the recent reporting process under the EU MMR.

4. From NAS to local action: the Dutch approach – Stef Meijs (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), Kim van Nieuwaal (Climate Adaptation Services), Jeroen van Leuken (RIVM) & Gerald Jan Ellen (Deltares)

The Netherlands has published its second NAS in 2016, which is currently in the implementation phase. One of the major challenges is to translate a national strategy into actions at the local and regional scale. Five barriers will be discussed. They are the outcome of a 80-people workshop and three-day pressure cooker session in Spring 2018.

  1. Knowledge and expertise on the effects of climate change and the effects and effectivity of climate adaptation measures are not enough available, understandable, accessible and/or up-to-date for decentral actors.
  2. The prioritization of climate adaptation policy at the political agendas is often too low because of its long-term nature and competition with other major challenges at the local and regional level.
  3. A large difference in sense of urgency exists between sectors, regions, governmental levels, and public and private actors.
  4. Climate adaptation management is highly sectoral at all levels, both within and between public and private bodies, thus hampering an integral approach between sectors and with other challenges.
  5. Climate adaptation may involve high public and private investment costs, especially when adaptation measures are not included in recurring projects.

The adaptation dialogues and climate schemes will be discussed in this light.

5. Explore it! Experience, lessons learned and the way forward in Austrian NAS and NAP – Daniel Buschmann (Umweltbundesambt) andMarkus Leitner (Umweltbundesambt)

In the OECD’s Environmental Progress Report 2013, Austria’s National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) is one of the most comprehensive. Its development built on strong domestic research capacity and extensive stakeholder engagement. Having a national adaptation strategy and action plan in place since 2012, Austria has traversed the first monitoring, evaluation and revision cycle of its adaptation policies on federal level in 2017. The focus of adaptation activities in Austria has increasingly shifted towards implementation. Over the last two years, a range of new practices, initiatives and programmes has been launched to support, govern and steer implementation of adaptation actions across levels, sectors and actors. These include development of sub-national adaptation plans on the level of provincial governments, cooperation pathways and governance arrangements for vertical coordination, a new funding programme for climate change adaptation in model regions, new communication and stakeholder interaction formats, enhancement of the knowledge base through cooperation between the science and policy communities, development of new support tools and other capacity-building efforts, in particular directed at supporting adaptation at the local level. This session will shed some light on the challenges ahead for Austria when making the next steps with its NAS.

6. A way to establish national adaptation strategy – The case of Japan – Yasuaki Hijioka & Yoshimi Fukumura (NIES)

Chapter 24 ASIA of IPCC WGII AR5 has observed that warming trends and increasing temperature extremes have been observed across most of the Asian region over the past century, and Japan is no exception. To deal with adverse impacts and adapt to changing climate, Japan has strategically developed its adaptation actions.

  1. Operate an impact assessment project: operated by a national team including National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (NIES). These studies explored the impacts in major sectors in temporal and spatial dimensions.
  2. Impact assessment by expert committee: the committee consisting of 57 experts assessed impacts on 56 items in 7 sectors by reviewing more than 500 papers to project the impacts.
  3. Formulation of National adaptation plan: Based on the impact assessment, Japan formulate its first NAP in 2016.
  4. Enforcement of Climate Change Act: the bill was approved in June in 2018 and will be put into effect in December in the same year.
  5. Japan is developing a system that promote adaptation actions: Based on the strategies set out in NAP and the Act, local government is working on the preparation while NIES is enhancing its roles and scope of the activity that specified in the Act.

7. Setting priorities for National Adaptation StrategiesRoger Street (University of Oxford)

The growing number of countries with and preparing National Adaptation Strategies (and Plans) has the potential of providing a wealth of information that could be used to identify good practices under different circumstances. Among the resulting concerns considered within these efforts is the need to identify and rationalise priorities for action at both the national and government levels. This presentation will share information on priority-setting efforts that are being used to inform adaptation strategies and plans, including those being undertaken at the national level by countries in Europe and internationally. It will also explore these in the context of the challenges experienced and lessons being learnt. In doing so, this presentation intends to stimulate further sharing of such processes and the results, and stimulate discussion among those participating within this session.

8. Discussion – Roger Street and Kim van Nieuwaal

What can Europe learn from NAS processes elsewhere, and vice versa? What could be possible follow-ups to this session?