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A Beginner’s Guide to NAMAs

Executive Summary

Beginners coverNationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are a mitigation instrument for developing countries to take part in global efforts towards a long-term sustainable strategy for cutting emissions.

NAMAs exhibit a great potential as they move away from traditional offsetting and focus on developing countries’ own contribution to global mitigation and sustainable development. They provide a good opportunity for sector-wide and sub-sector policy based emission reductions. Despite their potentially high prospects to deliver mitigation and sustainability benefits, only 11 NAMAs are currently being implemented and 140 NAMAs are still at the design phase.

This is partly due to a lack of financial support but also due to the lack of understanding about NAMA processes. For example, there are no universal guidelines on how NAMAs should be developed and implemented, or how impacts are to be measured, reported and verified. Moreover, publicly accessible information about NAMAs is limited and there is little clarity about how and to what extent civil society can take part in the design, implementation and monitoring of NAMA processes, how to enhance sustainability impacts and how to mitigate potentially harmful impacts.

Although NAMA capacity building activities for numerous stakeholders are being undertaken, initiatives aimed at building transparency, awareness and understanding by civil society have so far been neglected. Yet, public participation in all NAMA processes is essential and has numerous benefits:  Effective stakeholder engagement can ensure sustainable development and the identification of economic opportunities invisible from a top-down perspective. Full participation can also inform NAMA policy processes at the national and international levels and can strengthen governance frameworks, public trust and acceptance. Hence, increased public participation will ultimately result in a higher level of environmental and social integrity, and gender sensibility of NAMAs.

This beginner’s guide to NAMAs aims to build knowledge and understanding of NAMAs for civil society organizations and citizens who have little or no prior experience with NAMAs. Increased awareness should ultimately empower civil society to get involved in relevant NAMA processes, such as NAMA development and implementation as well as monitoring at the national level.

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