Transformational Adaptation in Least Developed Countries: Does Expanded Stakeholder Participation Make a Difference?

Joseph Holler, Quinn Bernier, J. Timmons Roberts, Stacy-ann Robinson
2020 Sustainability  
Did the novel planning arrangements in the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) enable stakeholders to substantively influence adaptation planning? If so, does the observed influence have potential for more transformational adaptation? We inform these questions by reviewing and coding the first 50 NAPAs, prepared by the world's poorest nations with support from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We then apply categorical statistics and qualitative
more » ... parative analysis to test for stakeholder influence on the planning process and outcomes. We find little evidence that the composition of stakeholder participation influenced climate vulnerability analysis or adaptation planning in the NAPAs. Although the NAPAs were designed to be participatory and country-driven, they were constrained by limited budgets, prescribed guidelines from the UNFCCC, and the challenges of cultivating effective stakeholder participation. Key aspects of NAPAs even worked against generating transformational adaptation. Chief amongst these, risk exposure and sensitivity were emphasized over adaptive capacity in assessing vulnerability, and cost- effectiveness and synergies with existing development and environmental policies were priorities for selecting adaptation actions. These barriers to effective stakeholder engagement and transformational adaptation are timely reminders for those countries currently in the process of preparing their National Adaptation Plans to the UNFCCC.
doi:10.3390/su12041657 fatcat:42sey5eaiffofinjq6c5z3k2su