Owning Adaptation

Country-Level Governance of Climate Adaptation Finance

Publication date: 13 June 2011
Author: Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Change, Oxfam America

As financing for climate change adaptation in developing countries begins to flow, it is essential that the governance of funding at the global and country level be shaped so that the needs of the most vulnerable can be met.

The core issue is country-level ownership of adaptation finance. Providers of adaptation finance must put developing countries in the driver’s seat, while the countries themselves must exercise leadership and respond to the needs of those most affected by climate change. Most importantly, civil society and vulnerable communities must be able to steer and hold accountable the way in which adaptation finance is used.

Key recommendations

Providers of adaptation finance must put developing countries in the driver's seat:

  • Adaptation finance should be channeled through a national entity chosen by the government and on the basis of a national adaptation strategy designed through a participatory, country-driven process;
  • Adaptation finance should be harmonized and provided through a coherent channel; the major part of international adaptation resources should come through the new global Green Climate Fund;

Developing countries should exercise leadership:

  • Effective government leadership should be established for adaptation planning and use of finance, and led by a clearly identified ministry or agency;

Adaptation plans and funds must be accountable to the most vulnerable:

  • Adaptation strategies and the use of funding must be developed and implemented by countries with the full participation of vulnerable communities and civil society, and be transparent and accountable to them;
  • Providers of finance, particularly through the Green Climate Fund, should help to ensure that country strategies are participatory and accountable, including providing the resources needed to fulfil that goal;
  • Gender equality and women's leadership should be central to the development and implementation of national strategies.