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This year’s COP workshop involved both lessons learned and important discussions on the future course for Southern Voices on Adaptation. Partner organisations from Malawi, Kenya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and regional African partner PACJA all attended to share their experiences. In addition, civil society actors from Uganda, Ethiopia, Niger, Tanzania and Senegal involved in adaptation advocacy, as well as a representative from the UNFCCC Adaptation team, also joined the workshop and contributed to the debate. 

Reviewing the 2014-2017 SV-Adapt project

The initial part of the workshop presented a review of the Southern Voices project, based upon interviews with participants from all nine partner networks and other government informants, including the UNFCCC secretariat.

In spite of a limited budget and resources, the assessment of the project was positive across the board. The creation of the Joint Principles for Adaptation was praised as the major achievement of the project, providing a sense of ownership for partners and sufficient flexibility for varied national contexts. Challenges of the project and recommendations for improvement were also discussed.

In addition, a new SVA structure was proposed, including a transition of the secretariat to the Global South in 2018. Continuation of funded partnerships with Vietnam, Nepal, Ghana and Kenya were announced, alongside a number of new members expected to join in the coming year. (Presentation here)

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JPA results from Nepal and Malawi
Sharing milestones in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) emerged as the unifying theme in partner presentations.

From Nepal, Rajan Thapa discussed a variety of milestones from Clean Energy Nepal’s use of the JPA including:

  • Integration of education and awareness-raising in the national NAP through the “leaving no-one behind approach”.
  • CSO involvement in thematic working groups, alongside regional and local NAP consultations.
  • Inclusion of the JPA on both master and bachelor courses at two Nepalese universities. 


Julius Ng’oma also gave participants a round-up of CISONECC’s use of the JPA in Malawi. Key milestones described were:

  • Representation on the government’s core NAP team and the National Technical Committee on Climate Change.
  • CSO mobilisation, including the involvement of the Coalition of Women Farmers.
  • Production of a CSO-led roadmap outlining the achievements and expectations of civil society on the NAP.
  • CISONECC's climate change vulnerability analysis, which contributed to the official NAP planning process.
  • Assistance on a government application for a NAP Readiness Grant to the Green Climate Fund.

(Please find CISONECC's presentation here)


Regional Round-up from PACJA

Sam Ogallah provided the regional African perspective of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). He explained that SVA networks in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi have inspired civil society actors in other countries within PACJA, informing African negotiators’ activities at the regional and international level. This recently culminated in the African ministers of environments’ declaration for COP23.


UNFCCC underlines the need for adaptation principles

Motsomi Maletjane, UNFCCC Team Lead for NAPs and Adaptation Policies, highlighted the importance of civil society actors from the Global South (such as SV-Adapt) participating in NAP expos. “The JPA acts a great tool for engaging stakeholders and leveraging local and national knowledge”, he said, summarising his input on the Joint Principles for Adaptation.

SV-Adapt is currently the only Southern civil society actor with participation from three continents engaging in NAP expos and regional NAP training – SVA is also on the advisory board for the NAP Expos.


SV-Adapt in the future: priorities and ways to improve partner-CSO cooperation

The final session of the workshop looked towards the future priorities of SV-Adapt and activities to improve CSO cooperation on adaptation advocacy.

Key issues, ideas and proposals that emerged were:

  • Analysing the link between the SDGs and adaptation through working papers and data gathering.
  • Informing developed country negotiators on local adaptation challenges.
  • Building on SV-Adapt’s policy brief, assisting governments in their upcoming adaptation communications.
  • Monitoring climate finance, with a focus on establishing to what extent funds reach the local level.
  • Promoting learning and information exchange by connecting CSO platforms.
  • Sharing lessons on adaptation advocacy in greater numbers and for larger audiences.
  • Establishing a roster of civil society adaptation experts that can be accessed by CSOs and partners.
  • Using the JPA as a tool to develop proposals and to review and monitor policy implementation and finance.


As the workshop came to a close, SVA left COP23 with valuable input and priorities for how the Southern Voices on Adaptation can be taken forward as a platform for knowledge sharing and joint action in advocacy on adaptation policy issues.


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