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UNDP Global

Mainstreaming Climate Change in National Development Processes and UN Country Programming

Nov 26, 2015

UNDP provides policy and capacity development servies on climate change to support developing countries to respond to climate change impacts and to integrate climate risks into national planning and UN programming.  Through these services, UNDP supports national and sub-national governments to transform their development path to a low-emission and ecologically sustainable future.


Mainstreaming (or integrating) climate change in planning and decision-making processes is a crucial tool to ensure climate change adaptation and poverty reduction are implemented hand-in-hand.  This approach involves taking into account risks and opportunities while putting in place adaptation measures that are attuned to the long-term vision of development.


Mainstreaming climate change into national policies, plans, and development projects contributes to:

.   reducing vulnerability to climate impacts and variability

.   increasing the adaptive capacity of communities and national activities facing climate impacts, and

.  ensuring sustainable development and avoiding decisions that will generate maladaptation.


A $1.2 million project funded by the Government of Spain designed and implemented such a process for mainstreaming climate change. The project supported activities in five countries: Cape Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Malawi, and Nicaragua. This publication describes the six-step process that proved effective in the Project to assist non-climate experts in UN Country Teams to apply the mainstreaming process in their national context. The Guide proposes a set of best practices and identifies crucial issues to consider.