Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)

Legacy Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Dyckman, Caitlin S

Committee Member

London , James B

Committee Member

Marshment , Richard

Abstract

ABSTRACT
The earth continues to experience climate change. Although it is occurring worldwide, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are particularly in danger from various adverse consequences due to their low adaptive capability. In order to assist LDCs prepare for climate change, the United Nations (UN) established the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Part of the rationale behind the creation of the NAPAs was to help LDCs prepare for climate change effects, while protecting the poor and using sound environmental management. To date, 47 LDCs have submitted NAPAs to the UN, from which 32 are African LDCs.
Prior to this research, a gap existed in the literature determining how the NAPAs are addressing the needs of the poor and biodiversity preservation. Because the African continent has been identified as being particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, this research focuses on the 32 NAPAs submitted by African LDCs. The 32 African NAPAs were assessed using a matrix with criteria reflecting literature-based best practices both for adaptation plans, specifically and plans, generally. This matrix serves as an evaluative tool for the NAPAs to determine how they are addressing the needs of the poor and biodiversity preservation; it can also serve as an evaluative tool for other adaptation plans.
The research reveals several implications for the UN NAPA guidelines. In order for them to better address the needs of the impoverished and biodiversity preservation, they need to further balance flexibility within the guidelines to reflect local needs and additional requirements to ensure that countries incorporate the various methods that have been identified in the literature as best practices to address climate change.

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