New UNDP/UNFCCC/UNEP Guide for NAMA Design Now Available

28 November 2013. Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) represent a valuable opportunity for developing countries to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while remaining true to their sustainable development priorities and needs. In order to provide guidance for NAMA design, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) produced a dedicated guidebook building on countries’ relevant work in developing mitigation actions. The document aims to support developing countries in the NAMA development and implementation process by providing guidance and good practices on the key aspects of NAMAs, including the policy framework; potential types of actions; financing; institutional arrangements and the roles of different actors; and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) procedures.

The guide is divided in 8 chapters, Chapter 1 being the Introduction.

Chapter 2 describes the two overall categories of NAMAs and how the definitions of these change as the NAMA concept matures, the diverse approaches developing countries are using for NAMA development and the ways in which NAMAs fit into national and international contexts. These include linkages with Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and in particular, the close ties between NAMAs and general development planning. The fact is that many NAMAs are driven by other more pressing development priorities, and such drivers are to be retained as core elements in NAMA development.

Chapter 3 maps NAMA identification and the prioritisation of implementation modalities. Since these implementation modalities are related to political, economic and technical issues, this chapter identifies decision-making support tools that can deliver more robust analyses and presents criteria that can be helpful when prioritising implementation modalities or NAMA options.

Chapter 4 discusses the financing aspects of NAMAs, emphasising that transformation of a sector, or a part of it, is intricately linked to the sector’s financial characteristics. The chapter takes a holistic approach to financing, going beyond emissions reduction to include the various instruments found in a financing value chain and presenting some of the most important possible financing partners for NAMA implementation. As pointed out in the chapter, financial issues are among the first to consider when developing a NAMA.

Chapter 5 focuses on the process involved in developing a NAMA. It provides an overview of the information required for a NAMA proposal, based upon the templates that are currently available. Recommendations are included for the NAMA design phase, in order to ensure that documentation is sufficient for a NAMA proposal to be approved domestically. Information is also provided on decisions typically made by international stakeholders on their involvement, technical or financial, in a NAMA.

Chapter 6 discusses MRV, including ways in which a NAMA may benefit society. It explains the relevance of MRV as a management tool for GHG management, with information on what to measure and good GHG emissions measurement and estimation practices. Institutional arrangements for MRV process management are also briefly discussed.

Chapter 7 deals with quantitative aspects of NAMAs with respect to emissions reduction, including baseline setting and ways to estimate the effects of NAMA implementation. Also discussed is the development of new ways to measure the co-benefits of NAMAs: those benefits beyond GHG mitigation that not only affect, but are often central to sustainable development and improve the general quality of life for the public.

Chapter 8 provides a discussion of the institutional aspects of NAMA development. The focus is on good-practice elements of the design and NAMA implementation and operation, including the need for an implementation framework that is aligned with domestic development processes and a sound institutional structure. Also mentioned are strategies for overcoming potential barriers to NAMA implementation. The strategies include risk management measures, good governance and sound managerial arrangements.

The guide can be accessed at: