Cameroon is already facing consequences of climate change, including an abnormal recurrence of extreme weather phenomena, which endanger communities’ ecosystems and the services they provide. The consequences may undermine Cameroon's efforts to reduce poverty, develop a strong, diversified, and competitive economy, and strengthen national unity and consolidate the democratic process. The National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) was created to assist the Cameroonian people in facing this challenge.
Cameroon is no exception to the impacts of climate change, as the country is already facing an abnormal recurrence of extreme weather phenomena such as violent winds, high temperatures, and heavy rainfall, which endanger communities’ ecosystems and the services they provide. The consequences of climate change may undermine Cameroon's efforts to reduce poverty, develop a strong, diversified, and competitive economy, and strengthen national unity and consolidate the democratic process. This will undermine the purpose of the "Vision 2035" to become an emerging country within twenty years. Thus, the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) was created to assist the Cameroonian people in facing this important challenge. When it comes to climate change impacts, Cameroon is particularly exposed because of its territories in the Sahelian zone, which are hit hard by desertification, and its territories in coastal areas that are threatened by rising sea levels. Due to the great diversity in Cameroon, the nature of climate change and its impacts vary widely from one region to another. However, all agroecological zones will be affected in one way or another as well as all the sectors. The Cameroonian people must therefore face an important challenge, as their economic and social well-being are largely dependent on the viability of the main development sectors. Adaptation is a major issue for the world and for the Republic of Cameroon. This new challenge calls for an intersectoral, integrated, and participatory response and will address development issues and priorities.
Between 2012 and 2015 in Cameroon, a National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) was elaborated in accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 2016, within the framework of strengthening their partnership for effective fundraising for the NAPCC implementation, MINEPDED and GWP Cameroon initiated the process of the development of a National Investment Plan for Adaptation on Climate Change (NIPACC). The approach, taken for preparing the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC), was participatory, multidisciplinary, and systematic; it consisted of 11:
- Set up the institutional framework for the development of the NAPCC;
- Prepare a concept note and roadmap for the development process of the NAPCC;
- Organize a ceremony for the launch of the NAPCC’s development process;
- Conduct baseline studies on climate change (Vulnerability and Risk analysis, Stakeholder analysis and needs assessment, mainstreaming climate change into educational system and budgeting process, etc);
- Conduct a study on finance options for the NAPCC;
- Conduct consultation workshops in each of the five agro-ecological zones;
- Prepare the first version of national adaptation plan to climate change (NAPCC);
- Organise a national level multi-stakeholders workshop to approve the NAPCC;
- Translate the approved NAPCC into English;
- Government approves the NAPCC and publishes it on UNFCCC website;
- Follow through with the financing and the implementation strategy of the NAPCC.
Conducting consultation and validation workshops and the building of an investment strategy were the two most critical components in the NAPCC development process.
The Government of Cameroon formally endorsed the NAPCC in June 2015. In 2016 an estimated 1.8 billion USD was required for implementing the NAPCC as part of the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Thus, the NAPCC became part of the Paris Agreement, and should benefit from the financial pledges with legal force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Vision of the NAPCC is to fully integrate climate change into the country's sustainable development, reducing its vulnerability, and even turning climate change into a solution/opportunity for development. Its main objective is consequently to adapt to climate change by reducing the vulnerability of Cameroonians to the effects of climate change and increasing their resilience and quality of life and to improve adaptive capacity to create new opportunities to support the country's sustainable development. The NAPCC was built on 4 strategic axes:
- Improving knowledge on climate change;
- Informing, educating, and mobilizing the Cameroonian population to adapt to climate change
- Reducing the vulnerability to climate change in the country's main agro- ecological sectors and zones
- Integrating adaptation to climate change into national sectoral strategies and policies
In total, the NAPCC includes 20 program sheets; sheets 1 to 5 are inter-sectoral programs and sheets 6 to 20 are programs ascribed to thematic sectors. Action sheets were adapted based on the five agro-ecological zones. These sheets were divided into measures in which indicators of achievement of outcomes were identified. Recommendations were made for an implementation combining sectoral administrations in their areas of competence, decentralized local authorities, civil society organizations, and international organizations based in Cameroon. Responsibility for program coordination will be entrusted to the most relevant Ministry. However, some programs will be led by interdepartmental or special committees set up for this purpose. The strengthening of the role of MINEPDED is recommended to make it an administration that truly has cross-cutting vocation and competences in climate change in particular and in environment in general. Like the implementation, monitoring of the plan should be done in a participatory manner involving the beneficiaries as fully as possible. The NAPCC is essentially improving and complementing the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP). This instrument should be evaluated annually until 2020. At that time, a comprehensive review of actions taken under the plan will be made to give birth to the second NAPCC.
A participatory approach is critical for a good quality document, however, the capacity of the persons engaged is even more crucial.
Implementing National Adaptation Plans requires a concerted effort from a range of institutional actors and from the public. Validation workshops ensure that everyone is clear about their respective mandates and fosters collaboration among these players.
Costing projects helps donors and financing partners to position themselves. However, costing is an expert activity and requires a good understanding of both current and future climate vulnerabilities. It is essential to consider the potential costs associated with NAP implementation.
Mainstreaming NAPCC into strategic planning documents will facilitate its implementation.