Pakistan to develop National Adaptation Plan for climate change


25th March 2021 – Pakistan has officially begun the process of creating a National Adaptation Plan for building resilience to climate change. The announcement comes only six weeks before the nation hosts the landmark World Environment Day on June 5th.


National Adaptation Plans are widely seen as one of the most important mechanisms for adapting to climate change. They aim to reduce vulnerabilities to climate impacts by creating comprehensive medium- and long-term plans, including the integration of adaptation measures into national policy.


A two-year project to develop the adaptation plan, supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and funded by the Green Climate Fund with USD 2.7 million, was formally launched on 25th March 2021 at a virtual event attended by government ministries, academia, the private sector, and key members of Pakistan’s government, including His Excellency Malik Amin Aslam, the Federal Minister and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change.


“In Pakistan, we are feeling climate change,” said Mr Malik Amin Aslam. “Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions but yet, every year we keep on climbing up the ladder of climate vulnerability. According to the long-term German Watch index, Pakistan is constantly among top 10 climate vulnerable countries.”


"It is imperative for the developing world, which are more vulnerable to climate change, to plan their development with climate change in mind. This is what the National Adaptation Plan process seeks to achieve in Pakistan.”


Pakistan will be using the National Adaptation Plan process and its outcomes to enhance the adaptation elements of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), a central aspect of the 2015 Paris Agreement.


“Pakistan has plans to submit its revised Nationally Determined Contributions before the COP to UNFCCC this year,” said Malik Amin Aslam. “The National Adaptation Plan process is accordingly being aligned with the NDCs to ensure coherent implementation.”


How will the adaptation plan build climate resilience?


Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, stemming from its dependency on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, and natural resources.


“Since international climate negotiations began in 1990, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 62 per cent,” says Jessica Troni, Head of UNEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Unit. “This shows us why adaptation must be seen as a core approach for tackling the climate crisis.”


“The National Adaptation Plan process will strengthen the country’s capacity to promote adaptation at all levels of governance,” says Troni.


This includes establishing a system for generating and sharing adaptation knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned.


Hosted by Pakistan, the theme of this year’s World Environment Day on June 5th is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’. Pakistan has been using nature-based solutions and ‘ecosystem-based adaptation’ in its national efforts to build climate resilience. The National Adaptation Plan process will be looking to build on these existing nature-based approaches, which include the Ten Billion Trees Tsunami Program, the Ecosystem Restoration Fund, and the Recharge Pakistan initiative.

The brand new Global EbA Fund, also launched on 25th March, will be seeking to overcome barriers to nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based adaptation by providing seed capital to innovative approaches.