Dinner Dialogue on African Perspectives on the Global Goal on Adaptation

September 25, 2023

SLYCAN Trust organised a dinner dialogue on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) during the Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week. The event took place on September 5th at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, with the participation of African country representatives and other key stakeholders. It provided a space for comprehensive discussion on the complexities and challenges surrounding the GGA as seen from African viewpoints, and collected insights from participants which underscored the urgency of the issue as well as the need for a clear framework, targets, and robust financing to drive adaptation action.

The meeting was opened by Dennis Mombauer, Director: Research & Knowledge Management at SLYCAN Trust, who also introduced SLYCAN Trust´s work and fellowship programme on the GGA. Sadya Ndoko, a Research Associate at SLYCAN Trust, presented the information brief prepared by SLYCAN Trust ahead of the 7th GGA workshop under the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme, which outlines key elements, approaches, and connections related to the GGA.

Following these two framing presentations, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah of the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana made an intervention. He highlighted the need to elevate the visibility of adaptation akin to mitigation and stressed the complexity of the GGA discussion, with various contexts and dynamics at play, making aggregation and consensus challenging. He emphasized that COP28 presents a critical juncture and highlighted the importance of establishing a clear framework enabling finance for adaptation.

Dr Amoah´s intervention was followed by the intervention of Joseph Epitu from the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda, who is also a SLYCAN Trust Fellow. Mr. Epitu elaborated on the need for convergence between Parties and identified key areas of discussion, such as the inclusion of clear and measurable targets, availability of data, means of implementation, and the importance of avoiding additional reporting burdens for vulnerable countries.

Following these interventions, a session of questions and answers complemented by a rich discussion ensued as summarized below:

Overall views on the GGA framework

Participants acknowledged the significant opportunity that the GGA presents, which is to enhance visibility for adaptation efforts. However, there was a question about precisely what the increased visibility should focus on and how African countries could leverage this momentum to enhance their adaptation strategies. The need for a structured approach to determine what aspects should receive heightened visibility within the adaptation cycle was stressed.

Participants recognized the opportunity of using existing structures as foundations for building momentum around the GGA. For instance, Adaptation Communications were identified as an instrument that could potentially be leveraged to encourage countries to report on their adaptation progress.

One pressing question revolved around how the GGA can be effectively linked with the Global Stocktake (GST) and what role the GGA can play for the GST. It was highlighted that the GGA presents a promising framework, and that there is a collective drive to transform it into an effective tool for advancing adaptation efforts.

Targets and indicators

The discussion revealed the importance of strategic perspectives on how countries can both benefit from and contribute to the GGA, which is crucial for setting and achieving targets and fostering collaborative action.

Participants advised that the targets and indicators should reflect the need for the GGA to take into account a comprehensive view of adaptation efforts and provide visibility to the implementation aspect. It was mentioned that while 40 countries have submitted their NAPs, less than 10% have been able to implement their priorities as outlined in these plans so far.

Several participants highlighted the value of considering existing targets and indicators that countries have communicated in their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), or Adaptation Communications (ADCOMs). In addition, some participants emphasized the need for building upon existing frameworks and initiatives and referred to examples such as the UN Secretary-General’s  initiative on Early Warnings for All (EW4All), which could become a target under the GGA.

The issue of data was raised as a potential hurdle and addressing data gaps and, more broadly, enhancing national monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems were viewed as critical concerns.

Means of implementation (finance, capacity-building, technology)

The discussion on means of implementation, including finance, capacity-building, data, and technology transfer, underscored the pressing need for holistic support. The issue of financial resources for implementation was brought up as a recurring concern, with a strong plea for partners to honor their pledges. A common sentiment expressed was the weariness among countries of receiving financial support solely for studies and pilot projects without sufficient financial support for the full implementation of adaptation measures at scale.

Reporting and review

The conversation delved into the challenges of effectively incorporating adaptation into reporting mechanisms and the requirement for tools related to adaptation, including potential collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

Key questions regarding the GGA still need to be answered, but the interest in this critical cause is clear. Looking forward, the 8th workshop under the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme as well as COP28 offer opportunities for progress, including on targets. A participant called for a post-COP28 roadmap to further work on the GGA, including on indicators related to targets and on how to facilitate full-scale adaptation implementation.

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.