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Case study: Improving the MRV framework and NDC tracking in Dominican Republic

29 December 2022

The Dominican Republic, a small island developing state in the Caribbean, is considered vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The country is very active in the international climate regime, ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1998 and the Paris Agreement in September 2017. It recently committed through its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 27 per cent by 2030 compared to business as usual.

The Dominican Republic’s action on climate change is led by its Strategic Plan for Climate Change (2011-2030), its National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change (2015-2030) and the National Development Strategy 2030. The government has made good progress on integrating climate change into policy at the national level and has introduced the principles of climate change and sustainability into different aspects of society, the economy and the environment, positioning itself as a national and international leader on climate change. 

In the Dominican Republic, ICAT’s support has extended across multiple projects:  

ICAT’s mitigation support has focused on establishing a national legal framework to guide and underpin national level monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), including support for operationalizing the system.

ICAT’s adaptation support is focused on establishing the foundations for a system and methodology for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation measures in the agriculture and tourism sectors.

The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) supports improved transparency and capacity building under the Paris Agreement. ICAT works closely with its partner countries to develop policy-focused, priority-driven projects that develop the information and data frameworks and related capacity to improve the implementation, tracking and enhancement of their NDCs and reporting. ICAT’s approach is country led.

Mitigation phase I: strengthening the national MRV framework 

ICAT began working with the Dominican Republic in 2017, with an initial focus on supporting the development of a national level institutional framework for the measurement, reporting and verification of climate actions under UNFCCC. To undertake this work, ICAT partnered with the Dominican Republic National Council for Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism (CNCCMDL), charged with ensuring compliance with climate change commitments made before the United Nations, and chaired by the President of the Republic. Technical support is provided by ICAT’s implementing partner, the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP-CCC).  

This first phase of ICAT support led to the development of a national MRV system with a focus on greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation actions, and financing and support. Further, ICAT supported the Dominican Republic to develop a proposal for a legal framework that mandates the establishment of a national transparency system, defining the main roles and responsibilities of the key entities to collect, compile and report data and information. This was endorsed by the national parliament as Decree 541-20 in October 2020. For more information on this project, please see an earlier case study published by the ICAT Secretariat in 2020, available here.

Mitigation phase II: improving NDC tracking

Following the success of ICAT’s first mitigation project, a request was made by the Dominican Republic for further support. A second ICAT project helps to ensure continuity of the progress made during the first project and directly supports implementation of the national MRV system. ICAT continues to work with CNCCMDL to strengthen the capacities of the various entities involved in operating the national MRV system. These efforts have been guided by in-depth analysis and consultations during the scoping phase for the project, which helped to identify priority capacity and institutional needs.  

Under this second phase of support, the Dominican Republic is using two of ICAT’s assessment guides:

Application of these tools will not only help the Dominican Republic to track progress against its NDC but will bring together a range of actors to collectively strengthen climate action transparency. A series of training events developed by ICAT’s implementing partners have included stakeholders from national and municipal government, academia, private sector, and civil society. Workshops have also shared lessons and experiences from applying ICAT’s assessment guides in Costa Rica (sustainable development guide) and Colombia (non-State and subnational action guide). 

Although implementation of the project slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, activities conducted to date have made it possible to visualise how application of the tools could support implementation of the national MRV system and reinforce the national transparency framework. ICAT partners have also identified synergies with other work being conducted on sustainable development in the Dominican Republic and are looking for ways to integrate and align the work of both projects to identify sustainable development co-benefits. 

The next step for the project is to start implementing the tools, with a focus on relevant policies, measures and/or specific initiatives identified in the updated NDC. The project is expected to finish in December 2022.  

ICAT’s adaptation support: monitoring adaptation

ICAT’s adaptation workstream focuses on supporting partner countries to build a national monitoring approach for adaptation actions in two sectors (agriculture and tourism). Support is provided through a combination of stakeholder consultations, institutional capacity building, and strengthening and/or developing reporting schemes and data systems and tools. This support helps countries to better assess the impacts of their adaptation policies and actions and report progress, fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, and ambition. 

Adaptation is a priority area for the Dominican Republic and is necessary for ensuring the country can continue to develop in a way that is climate resilient. Adaptation to climate change is highlighted as a key area in the national development strategy. During implementation of ICAT’s mitigation projects, the Dominican Republic also indicated its interest in ICAT’s adaptation offer, with a focus on improving monitoring of adaptation actions against its NDC.  

In 2019, ICAT partnered with CNCCMDL to develop a series of methodological tools to support the development of a national monitoring and evaluation framework for adaptation actions. ICAT’s implementing partner in the Dominican Republic, UNEP-CCC, worked with CNCCMDL to provide technical support. The first phase of ICAT’s adaptation support focused on the agricultural sector, specifically the banana sub-sector, due to its importance in both economic growth and food security, and its high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. 

A national consultation workshop was held to sensitise stakeholders to the project, including stakeholders from outside the agriculture sector to ensure synergies with broader monitoring and evaluation efforts. A tripartite agreement was reached between the Ministry of Agriculture, CNCCMDL and BANELINO (an association of small banana producers), which set out the functions and responsibilities of each partner and established a joint work schedule for the project.

To sustain coordination and commitment between stakeholders, a steering committee was established made up of actors from government and academia, and technical experts. This group helped to guide the project, providing feedback on project milestones and helping to facilitate the use of tools and promote lesson learning.  

A monitoring and evaluation model for actions taken in the banana sub-sector, including a set of indicators, has now been developed based on a literature review of best practice and consultations with experts and practitioners. A series of basic recommendations have also been developed to guide data collection and use. The model was developed using a bottom-up approach and aims to generate information from across the banana sub-sector, including from banana producers. One weakness identified, however, is that although the system can help to improve farming practices, it does not fully cover the monitoring needs of public policies for adaptation to climate change. A second ICAT project, implemented by ASO Consulting, is now underway to help address this challenge. 

Under this second phase of support a new mixed approach has been developed that integrates “bottom up” and “top-down” approaches to enable national level monitoring and evaluation of adaptation strategies and policies. The focus area for ICAT’s support has also been broadened to identify indicators for the agriculture and tourism sectors. 

Coordination has been a key feature of this work. Rather than starting from scratch to create new indicators for adaptation action, the team of national consultants leading the work has reviewed existing planning documents and mapped indicators and data already being collected by a range of different stakeholders, including the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development; Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Agriculture. A methodology report, together with these indicators, is currently being developed. This will be followed by a series of capacity building workshops and training sessions with different stakeholders. 

This second phase of ICAT’s adaptation work in the Dominican Republic, running until October 2022, is helping to increase awareness on climate action transparency across a range of stakeholders. This is particularly important for those stakeholders that have traditionally had less exposure to climate change and climate action, for example the Ministry of Tourism. 

Case study: Improving the MRV framework and NDC tracking in Dominican Republic

Find out more about ICAT’s work with the Dominican Republic.

Read the case study produced by implementing partner, UNEP-CCC, here.

Photo by Iana Andreeva on Unsplash