Songdo, Republic of South Korea 10 April 2019--  UN-Habitat is using the ongoing National Adaptation Plans  (NAP) Expo in South Kora to promote a new guide it has developed.

The NAP Expo format provides the opportunity for UN-Habitat to present its newest guide on Addressing Urban and Human Settlement Issues in National Adaptation Plans and to gauge interest in and respond to country requests on strengthening human settlement components in their National Adaptation Planning process. 

Currently, adaptation needs and priorities of countries expressed in the Paris Agreement and NDCs are tremendous. To date, 113 countries have included urban or urban related adaptation priorities in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and many of these -73 countries - are focused on city level climate change adaptation action in cities. 

The annual event in Songdo event organized by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) under the UNFCCC is meant to promote exchange of experiences and foster partnerships between a wide range of actors and stakeholders on how to advance National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). The event brings together over 300 experts and representatives from national governments, international organizations, private sector organizations and academia.

Integrating urban and human settlements issues into NAPs should enable countries to more comprehensively address the needs of urban communities and related urban economic activities to adapt to climate change. Another major opportunity is for national governments to harness the opportunities of cities for large scale adaptation impact and project development, a major focus of this year’s NAP Expo, held at the doorsteps of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 

For UN-Habitat, the NAP process offers a great opportunity to help countries achieve more resilient and sustainable urban development, critical to the achievement of the goals and targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action). The NAP guide prepared by UN-Habitat constitutes a step forward in supporting cities and countries to strategically scale-up urban adaptation action planning. This guide comes as a supplement to the UNFCCC’s NAP technical guidelines and is designed to support national city and city level planners, experts and decision-makers working on climate change issues to better understand the need and opportunities that adaptation actions can bring in human settlements, and particularly how this links with broader goals and ambitions laid out in the NDCs under the Paris Agreement. 

Upcoming urbanization and climate change trends are likely to increase the vulnerability of cities under the growing threats from sea level rise, extreme variations in climate and related disasters. The need for new infrastructures to accommodate growing urban population needs represent an opportunity for cities to apply more cost-effective measures to address climate adaptation (and mitigation), scale-up action, and attract adaptation finance.

Fundamental questions guided the session, pointing out and describing how to leverage finance for the effective implementation of NAPs and which cooperation and coordination mechanisms are needed between national, sub-regional and local governments, key private and civic society actors.

 This launch, in the presence of the Green Climate Fund and several partner governments, is another invitation from UN-Habitat to countries and cities to scale up and accelerate the implementation, as UN-Habitat still stands ready to support Member States in integrating Human Settlements more strongly into National Adaptation Planning and action.