History of the NAP process

The national adaptation plan (NAP) process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF). It enables Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) as a means of identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs. It is a continuous, progressive, and iterative process that follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory, and fully transparent approach.


Timeline of NAPs

As of 18/07/2022. See a larger version of the image as a zoomable PDF here. See an analysis on the progress of NAPs here.


The objectives of the NAP process are:

  • (a) To reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, by building adaptive capacity and resilience;
  • (b) To facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation, in a coherent manner, into relevant new and existing policies, programmes and activities, in particular development planning processes and strategies, within all relevant sectors and at different levels, as appropriate (decision 5/CP.17, paragraph 1).

Guiding principles

In decision 5/CP.17, paragraph 3, the COP agreed that enhanced action on adaptation should:


Be undertaken in accordance with the Convention


Follow a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory, and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities, and ecosystems


Be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional and indigenous knowledge, and by gender-sensitive approaches, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant social, economic, and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate


Not be prescriptive, nor result in the duplication of efforts undertaken in-country, but facilitate country-owned, country-driven action

Initial guidelines

Initial guidelines for the formulation of NAPs were adopted at COP 17 and are contained in the annex to decision 5/CP.17. The initial guidelines contain a list of indicative activities that can be undertaken in the development of NAPs under the following four elements:


A. Laying the groundwork and addressing gaps


B. Preparatory elements



C. Implementation strategies



D. Reporting, monitoring, and review

Information on the technical guidelines for the NAP process, which have been prepared by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), can be found in the section on guidelines.


Modalities of support

The NAP process for  LDC Parties will be supported through various modalities. Developing country Parties that are not LDC Parties are invited to employ the modalities in the elaboration of their own planning efforts.

COP 17 decided on the following modalities to support the NAP process:

  • Technical guidelines for the national adaptation plans
  • Workshops and expert meetings
  • Training activities
  • Regional exchanges
  • Syntheses of experiences, best practices, and lessons learned
  • Technical papers
  • Technical advice

Further information on specific support provided for LDCs and non-LDCs can be found in the sections LDC info and Non-LDC info

Technical support


  • The LEG is mandated to provide technical guidance and support to the NAP process.

  • Technical guidelines for the NAP process have been produced by the LEG.

  • Other technical support has been identified during LEG 23 and can be found in the report of the meeting (FCCC/SBI/2013/8).

  • The Adaptation Committee, in accordance with its agreed functions, is developing the relevant modalities for supporting interested developing countries that are not LDC Parties to plan, prioritize and implement their national adaptation planning measures, including through the use of the modalities for the NAP process.

Financial support for the formulation of NAPs

A number of financial support channels will be available for the NAP process, including bilateral and multilateral channels.


The COP has provided guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to enable activities for the preparation of the NAP process by the LDC Parties through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). It has also requested the GEF, through the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), to consider how to enable activities for the preparation of the NAP process for interested developing country Parties that are not LDC Parties.


In Paris in 2015, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was requested to expedite support for the formulation of NAPs and the implementation of programmes, projects and policies identified in the NAPs in developing country Parties. Through the GCF Board decision B.13/09, paragraph (e), the GCF provides financial support for the formulation of NAPs through its Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme.