Driven by the governments of Rio de Janeiro and Catalonia, RegionsAdapt was launched on 3 December 2015, alongside COP 21 in Paris. It is open to all governments situated between the local and national level from across the world, regardless of their size or stage of implementation of their climate policy.
Since its launch, the initiative grew from its 27 founding members to almost 70 signatory participants, which represent a combined population of more than 295 million inhabitants from 26 countries on 5 continents.
The RegionsAdapt initiative is a global framework to inspire and support regional governments to take concrete action, collaborate and report efforts on climate change adaptation. With their participation regional governments join an ambitious group of governments pioneering in climate change adaptation, having the opportunity for extensive communication with other governments and thereby learning best practices and share solutions to certain challenges.
More specifically, RegionsAdapt is a platform for:
- Tracking regional adaptation plans and strategies across the world;
- Promoting the acceleration of the adoption or revision of regional climate adaptation plans and strategies;
- Promoting concrete actions on adaptation;
- Regions to cooperate and share best practices within their different capacities and experiences on climate adaptation;
- Reporting and monitoring adaptation processes, actions and their outcomes;
- Fostering visibility opportunities through dedicated materials, publications and events.
Key priority areas
The initiative has seven thematic areas:
- Water Resources and Management;
- Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction;
- Agriculture and Zootechnics;
- Forestry, Protected Areas and Biodiversity;
- Infrastructure and Territorial Planning;
- Economic Impacts and Opportunities; and
- Social Impacts and Adaptation.
The participation in RegionsAdapt consists of different rounds of 2-year commitments in order to increase ambition and leverage visibility of actions.
By joining RegionsAdapt initiative, governments commit to:
- Adopt a strategic approach to adaption and prioritize adaptation actions, e.g. through adopting or reviewing a regional plan or strategy on climate change adaptation within two years of joining the initiative;
- Take concrete action on adaptation in at least one of the key priority areas identified by the regions;
- Report data on the progress of the adaptation actions on an annual basis through the risk and adaptation section of CDP’s states and regions platform.
The RegionsAdapt Secretariat together with the respective regional government, will assess the fulfilment of phase 1 after two years. Those governments successfully fulfilling the first three commitments will be invited to enter the next phases to improve the effectiveness of their adaptation plans and strategies. These phases 2 and 3 consist of the following 2-year commitments and one long-term commitment:
- Identify opportunities for improving the regional government´s adaptation plan/strategy by answering the questionnaire of the Basque Centre for Climate Change’s (BC3) Adaptation Policies Checklist (APC), or of any other relevant tool, and inform the Secretariat about identified gaps;
- Take concrete action on adaptation in at least 3 of the 7 key priority areas identified by the regions.
- Publish a report providing evidence of measures filling the gaps identified through APC or any other relevant tool;
- Take concrete action on adaptation in at least 6 of the 7 key priority areas identified by the regions.
Gradually broadening the scope of the data annually reported on the progress of the adaptation actions through CDP´s States and Regions reporting platform (or other relevant reporting platform, as consensually agreed by members).
Outputs and Activities
- Working Groups: The Working Groups are coordinated by member regions and supported by the Secretariat. They provide a platform for cooperation and knowledge-sharing, as well as the development and implementation of joint projects;
- Webinars address topics of common interest. They can be carried out by interested member regions to share experiences or projects. Alternatively, external organisations can be invited to share their expertise and establish collaboration opportunities with member regions;
- Reporting: RegionsAdapt is an opportunity for regional governments become part of a global, standardised reporting system provided by CDP. Hereby they join over 500 cities and 100 states and regions, as well as over 6,300 companies that already measure, manage and report their environmental information;
- Side events: alongside major international conferences offer participants an opportunity to discuss their adaptation initiatives and share information, helping to further raise awareness about the initiative, its opportunities and the benefits of action;
- Call for Projects: The nrg4SD call for projects offers RegionsAdapt members, that are also members of nrg4SD, the opportunity to foster bilateral and multilateral cooperation, capacity building and know-how transference in the area of climate adaptation;
- Materials and publications: Sharing information on initiatives adopted by participants can help regional governments take action. Participants are invited to submit case studies s or share key findings of webinars and meetings. These materials foster the visibility of participants’ adaptation activities and support others facing similar problems by sharing their expertise.
Synergies with other Initiatives
RegionsAdapt works closely with UN bodies and other key partners to ensure synergies with other initiatives, particularly:
- Marrakech Partnership on Global Climate Action: The RegionsAdapt is actively involved in the Partnership and part of the Human Settlements Content Group;
- Nairobi Work Programme: nrg4SD as the Secretariat to the RegionsAdapt is one of the partner organisations of the NWP, supporting it in producing and disseminating information and knowledge on adaptation to climate change;
- Local Government and Municipal Authority Constituency: nrg4SD as the Secretariat to the RegionsAdapt is part of the LGMA Constituency to the UNFCCC, aligning forces with other city and region networks accredited to the UNFCCC;
- UNFCCC NAZCA portal: RegionsAdapt is working on ensuring that relevant data collected on state and regional government climate action is fed into the NAZCA portal (Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action).