Ireland's first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF) was published in January 2018. The NAF sets out the national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change and to avail of any positive impacts. The NAF was developed under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015.
The NAF outlines a whole of government and society approach to climate adaptation in Ireland. Under the NAF a number of Government Departments are required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans in relation to a priority area that they are responsible for and the formalisation of adaptation planning guidelines to assist in the development of these plans is a key action under the NAF.
Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation have been developed for, and are primarily intended for the use of, the sectors required to prepare statutory sectoral adaptation plans under the Framework. The guidelines were originally developed as part of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research project ('A Climate Information Platform for Ireland') with funding provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). The guidelines are based on international best practice and were developed in close consultation with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and other key sectors tasked with the preparation of sectoral adaptation plans.
The guidelines aim to ensure that a coherent and consistent approach to adaptation planning is adopted by the key sectors in Ireland. Sectors preparing sectoral adaptation plans under the NAF are required to prepare their plans in line with the process described in these guidelines while also being aware of the overall requirements regarding the development of sectoral adaptation plans in Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 and the NAF (particularly Chapters 3 and 4).