Even if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were immediately stopped, humanity will have to endure climate change and its associated impacts for centuries. Climate change amplifies and creates new risks for natural and human systems, which are associated with a wide range of impacts already observable, such as floods and droughts, increased frequency and magnitude of heat waves and heavy rains, coastal erosion and melting glaciers, damaged ecosystems and biodiversity loss, as well as reduced crops and frequent epidemics. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes, these risks are unevenly distributed across territories, and generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities. A temperature increase of around 2C will result in significant global annual economic losses equivalent to 0.2% to 2% GDP.

Subnational governments play a fundamental role to enhance coordination and cooperation across all levels of governments, to boost policy coherence, and to ensure concrete results of adaptation actions. However, international support and collaboration for regional action on adaptation remains underexplored. While many subnational governments have already developed long-term adaptation strategies and innovative solutions to increase climate resilience, a number of on-going constraints and challenges limit their ability to respond effectively. These include scarce financial and human resources, lack of integration and coordination between levels of government, insufficient management practices, research and tools to monitor adaptation effectiveness, and, critically, the absence of medium to long-term adaptation planning.

International cooperation initiative

The RegionsAdapt initiative is a new global commitment to support and report efforts on adaptation at the state and regional level. On the initiation of Rio de Janeiro and Catalonia, this new initiative aims to establish a cooperative framework for regions to exchange experiences and best practices on their actions and challenges when adapting to climate change. Our goal is to join efforts to ensure improved conditions to achieve resilient territories and prevent irreparable situations and damage to their respective economies, environments and citizens.

By participating, state and regional government commit to collaborate, exchange knowledge and share best practice policy models that foster adaptation and resilience to climate change, pursuing multidimensional and innovative methods, as for example ecosystem-based approaches. This commitment includes to adopt or review plans on adaptation within two years, to implement an adaptation action in one of a series of thematic areas, as well as to report on the progress of the adaptation initiatives through the Compact of States and Regions platform.


Governments joining the RegionsAdapt initiative express their intention to:

  1. Adopt a strategic approach to adaptation 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;
  2. Take concrete action on adaptation in at least one of the key priority areas identified by the regions. These could include: water resources and management; resilience and disaster risk reduction; agriculture and zootechnics; forestry, protected areas and biodiversity; infrastructure (including transport and the energy sectors) and territorial planning; economic impacts and opportunities; social adaptation and impacts;
  3. Report data on the progress of the adaptation actions on an annual basis through the Compact of States and Regions reporting platform

DOWNLOAD: RegionsAdapt Commitment – EN – FR- ES

Actions on climate change adaptation

The RegionsAdapt initiative will support Participants to:

  1. Develop regional adaptation strategies or plans utilizing the government expertise within the initiative, and based on the region specific reality;
  2. Report adaptation actions through the Compact of States and Regions;
  3. Submit the reported data to the NAZCA platform;
  4. Establish regional metrics, indicators and methodology for monitoring and follow-up according to the territorial specific vulnerabilities and conditions;
  5. Promote global peer learning and sharing of best practice models for addressing adaptation issues; and
  6. Embed and mainstream actions.


Australian Capital Territory (Australia), Azuay (Ecuador), Basque Country (Spain), British Columbia (Canada), California (USA), Catalonia (Spain), Ceará (Brazil), Fatick (Senegal), Goiás (Brazil), Gossas (Senegal), Jalisco (Mexico), KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Lombardia (Italy), Parana (Brazil), Prince Edward Island (Canada), Québec (Canada), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Saint Louis (Senegal), São Paulo (Brazil), South Australia (Australia), Sud-Comoé (Ivory Coast), Tocantins (Brazil), Tombouctou (Mali), Vermont (Canada), Wales (UK), Western Province (Sri Lanka).


GLOBAL MAP – Current Participants

RegionsAdapt Map



Guide for Participants

RA Guide Participant DOWNLOAD: Guide for Participants – ENES FR


Working Groups Guide

Working Groups DOWNLOAD: Working Group Guide – ENESFRPT



Leaflet 1Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 9.46.34 PM

DOWNLOAD: RegionsAdapt Leaflet – EN FR– ES

CHECK RegionsAdapt Timeline for participants

For more information:


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