SEI Contact:

Tahia Devisscher

Time-frame: 2003–2008

The Netherlands Climate Assistance Programme (NCAP)

The aim of NCAP was to link poverty reduction to environmental issues, particularly climate change. The objective of NCAP was to enable developing countries to enact their responsibilities under the Kyoto Agreement.

Dutch development support to combat climate change was encouraged by the creation of the UNFCCC in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the beginning of the 1990s a number of developing countries began to cooperate with the Netherlands on climate change related research. This resulted in the Netherlands Climate Change Studies Assistance Program (NCCSAP), which was executed by the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the Free University in Amsterdam between 1996 and 2000.

The NCCSAP assisted developing countries to raise awareness of the problem of climate change, and increase the involvement of policy makers, scientists and “broad layers” of the population in the debate on climate change. The second phase of the programme began in March 2003 with 14 partner countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, Suriname, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Vietnam and Yemen.

The second phase of the program shifted focus and centred it on vulnerability, impacts and adaptation (with no support for climate mitigation). Analysis was derived mainly from bottom up investigation of local livelihood practices in the face of climate variability and change, and written material was produced directly in support of relevant policy dialogues rather than solely for publication to the scientific community.

This shift in emphasis from NCCSAP to NCAP reflected the developments in the international climate negotiations under the UNFCCC, which placed increasing emphasis on the linkages between climate change and poverty alleviation, and the need to move beyond impact studies towards action.

In December 2008, the NCAP was successfully completed. A book synthesizing the experiences and lessons learned from the programme and each country project has been produced to be launched at the COP15 in Copenhagen. The book "The Adaptation Continuum: Groundwork for the Future" will be available upon request at ETC International.