AbstractThe IPCC 1.5°C Report lists identifying local capacity needs as key for enabling multi-level governance to effectively respond to climate change. Mauritius, as a Small Island State, is disproportionately affected by climate change, primarily due to its exposure to impacts, as well as various constraints in size and resources. Identifying and integrating local capacity needs into recommendations for policy measures is therefore urgently required to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its National Adaptation Plan process. This study carries out a local governance assessment based on evaluative criteria to identify local capacity needs for implementing climate change adaptation in Mauritius. Results from the assessment indicate that local governance suffers from issues inherent to Small Island States, such as lack of technical know-how, financial and human resources, stringent legislation and effective monitoring mechanisms, preventing effective climate change adaptation. Through participatory, bottom-up stakeholder engagement with local and national government representatives, eight recommendations for policy formulation were then co-developed to address the identified capacity needs, and to improve cooperation between local and national institutions for more effective implementation of climate change adaptation.