The earth’s climate is changing at rates unprecedented in recent human history and will continue to change. The associated impacts and risks are global in their nature, geographically diverse and are increasingly being felt across a range of systems and sectors essential for human livelihood and well‐being. Communities that are particularly vulnerable are often least able to adapt.

At the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Parties agreed that enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation is urgently required to enable and support the implementation of adaptation actions, including in the areas of water resources, health, agriculture and food security, infrastructure, socioeconomic activities, ecosystems and coastal zones, and established the Cancun Adaptation Framework to guide the implementation of, and support for, adaptation under the Convention.

Parties invited relevant multilateral and international organizations and other relevant stakeholders to undertake and support enhanced action on adaptation at all levels in a coherent and integrated manner, building on synergies among activities and processes, and to make information available on the progress made.

The United Nations system collectively offers a range of tools, services and expertise to assist vulnerable countries and communities to enable effective adaptation in their efforts to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development, through knowledge sharing, strengthening of technical and institutional capacities, and the provision of financial and technological support.