Article 7 of the Paris Agreement sets the global goal of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response to climate change.
Section 7.5 of the Paris Agreement further clarifies that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based, on local knowledge systems, among other things, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions.
Today at COP24, two side events—Advancing Gender Equality through National Adaptation Plan processes: A straightforward consideration or a complex challenge? and The Global Adaptation Goal and the Importance of Gender Transformative Resilience Finance—emphasized that National Adaptation Plan (“NAP”) processes need to be developed and implemented in a gender responsible manner, pursuant to the Paris Agreement.
In 2017-2018, the NAP Global Network prepared a report entitled Towards Gender-Responsive National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Processes: Progress and Recommendations for the Way Forward, in the general context of having a better understanding of how developing countries are integrating gender considerations in the NAP processes (the “NAP Global Network Report”).
In its report, the NAP Global Network reiterated the recent decisions under the UNFCCC that have emphasized the significant linkages between climate action and gender equality (e.g. the 2014 Lima Work Programme on Gender and Climate Change). In 2015-2016, the UNFCCC recognized that the NAP process is an opportunity to integrate gender consideration. More generally, it further highlighted that gender equality is recognized as a universal human right and is at the center of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
It is important that NAP processes integrate socio-cultural issues such as gender in order to be effective. As pointed out by the NAP Global Network Report, work has been done on that front in many countries, but there are still many challenges in order to be able to do so successfully.
More specifically, the Report indicates that many countries have made an effort to integrate gender considerations in their NAP documents. However, certain obstacles in integrating gender issues in adaptation measures exist, such as institutional barriers which can limit dialogue and collaboration between gender and climate adaptation actors; information gaps, including sex-disaggregated data related to climate impacts and adaptation needs; and gender analysis of adaptation options, barriers and opportunities.
The NAP Global Network made a series of recommendations to stakeholders who are called to develop and implement NAPs including:
- Committing to a gender-responsive NAP process going forward
- Using the NAP process to enhance institutional linkages between climate change adaptation and gender equality
- Improving gender balance in NAP-related institutional arrangements
- Undertaking gender-balanced and inclusive stakeholder engagement for NAP processes
- Using gender analysis and stakeholders’ inputs efficiently
The NAP Global Network Report also underlines that investments in country capacity building on gender adaptation need to be more significant.