Blog.Nov 04, 2021

Analysis of NDC enhancement: Integrative approaches

As well as an increased inclusion of water measures within different sectors, enhanced NDCs contained more measures and activities with a more integrative approach, on both national and subnational levels such as river basins.

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David Hebart-Coleman
Senior Programme Manager,
Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

Integrative approaches include Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA), Nature Based solutions (NBS), water governance, water security, and basin planning. Basin planning, or equivalents, was found in approximately 60% of enhanced NDCs.

Nature based solutions

Nature Based Solutions is a good example of an integrative approach. The term was not used in the first version of most NDCs, although many of them included activities that would fall within this concept, such as those around undertaking ecosystem management to support provision of ecosystem services. In this round, almost half of the enhanced NDCS by developing countries explicitly used the concept of nature-based solutions in reference to both adaptation and/or mitigation measures.

This focus on NBS was complemented by the increase inclusion of material around the protection and enhancement of broad water-related ecosystems such as wetlands, peatlands, seagrass meadows, marine ecosystems, and mangrove forests. Measures around mangroves were found in 65 percent of states that host mangrove ecosystems, with some parties seeing an extensive role for mangrove forests in their emission reduction plans. 50 percent of enhanced NDC included measures in relation to wetlands and peatlands.

Water security

Water security is another concept that saw increased recognition. In the first round of NDCs, approximately 10 NDCs made references to water security. In the most recent round, this number more than tripled, most notably in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Many of the new water security concerns and measures were closely connected to an increased focus on watershed or catchment management activities, which was once again very prominent in the LAC region.

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)

Many enhanced NDCs from developing countries included measures around Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), often in tandem with activities such as basin planning, watershed management, water security and other measures. The number of parties including specific IWRM measures more than doubled compared with the earlier round of NDCs. This was most evident in Sub-Saharan Africa, where most enhanced NDCs envisaged a strong role for IWRM in addressing water-related challenges.