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Role of oceans and coastal areas in building climate resilience 
​Healthy oceans are instrumental in regulating the climate system and are integral to achieving the SDGs​ and the objectives of the Paris Agreement​They also help safeguard coastal cities, communities and businesses from adverse impacts of a changing climate. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special report on Oceans and Cryosphere (SROCC​) warns that Small Island Developing States (SIDS), coastal megacities and communities are on the frontline of increasing climate impacts. 

Ocean and marine ecosystems provide a space for action for governments, communities and stakeholders living with increasing risks in the next decades. A number of countries have communicated their intentions through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to increase adaptation efforts in ocean ecosystems, and to safeguard oceans to facilitate sustainable development. Knowledge gaps in adapting to the impacts of climate change in coastal areas can pose barriers to countries to take necessary adaptation action. Nature-based solutions in the oceans and coastal areas are a vital part of strategies to strengthen livelihoods, ensure food security, and protect lives. 

Closing knowledge gaps through partnership with the NWP expert group on oceans 
The Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), UNFCCC knowledge-to-action hub on adaptation and resilience was mandated SBSTA 48 and SBSTA 50 ​ to focus on oceans, coastal areas and ecosystems as one of the priority areas. The work provides an opportunity to link with and build on existing initiatives and promoting coherence to ensure effective outcomes for the ocean-climate nexus, boosting exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices. 

The NWP Expert Group on Oceans, established in 2019, aims to strengthen action on ocean and climate adaptation under the UNFCCC process. Building on the momentum to-date. The expert group can help address key ocean-climate gaps through collaboration among expert group members, and with the UNFCCC constituted bodies, other thematic expert groups of the NWP and relevant communities of practice. It consist of around 23 representatives from renowned organizations and institutes, including the IPCC, United Nations agencies, networks and other relevant international organizations and institutes. 

The knowledge-to action methodology

The NWP uses a knowledge-to-action methodology (see figure below) that guides knowledge co-development through partnerships. This collaborative approach responds to the adaptation needs of Parties, with an emphasis on developing countries, and supports the formulation of national adaptation plans and relevant mandates of UNFCCC constituted bodies. The approach has been refined over the years incorporating lessons learned.​


​Steps​​​ ​Activities ​Outputs
​1) ​​Scoping
  • ​Created a Scoping paper to review and sythesize existing knowledge on oceans, coastal areas and ecosystems, including but not limited to mega deltas, coral reefs, mangroves and slow onset events
​​​2) Engage with expert groups
  • Organized the first expert group virtual meeting in November 2019 and led to refined knowledge gaps and indicative actions to address these gapsCo-designed and organized the 13th Focal Point Forum​ in conjunction with COP25. Mandated event with scoping paper as input to inform the discussions.​​
​3) Refine knowledge
  • Co-designed and organized the 13th Focal Point Forum​ in conjunction with COP25. Mandated event with scoping paper as input to inform the discussions.​​​
4) Co-design actions
​5) Report and disseminate finding​
  • ​Produced various knowledge outputs to share the scoping paper and information on the focal point forum (e.g. dedicated page on the UNFCCC page; UNFCCC Newsroom article; information booklet on the forum)
  • Published NWP Policy Brief on the Ocean. Synthesis of ocean adaptation existing knowledge, gaps, and needs, and collaborative actions to build resilience of the ocean, coastal areas and ecosystems.
​6) Facilitate partnerships to mobilize support
7) Implementing action (more details​)
Next steps
​Timeline ​Action
Until end-of 2023
  • Developing a Snapshot Guide to Nature-based Solutions Finance, describing instruments and mechanisms for financing Nature-based solutions in coastal & marine Ecosystems.
  • Developing a data policy brief, integrating ocean data and information into relevant adaptation policies and plans. The complement to AC paper on data for adaptation at different temporal and spatial scales.
Find out more​ & get involved 
  • Learn more​ about our collaborative actions and be part of the solutions.

  • Share your knowledge resources on biodiversity and climate change adaptation with a focus on forests and grassland ecosystems on the Adaptation Knowledge Portal including case studiestools and methods, and other resources

  • Make an action pledge to support adaptation planning and implementation related to oceans and climate change adaptation

  • Send us news about upcoming publications and events at

  • Become a NWP partner organization​