Capacity-Building Day at COP provides the opportunity to bring together different levels of stakeholders at one platform for the implementation of the Paris Agreement
The Capacity Building Hub event was hosted for the third year at the 25th Conference of the Parties - COP25 at Madrid, Spain. This thematic day hosted by the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) was a side event held on December 4, 2019. The Capacity Building Hub had seven different thematic days, starting with Capacity-Building day organized by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).
The First Annual Capacity-Building Day was organized as a side event in Bonn, Germany in 2017. The Second Capacity-Building Day was held during COP24 in Katowice, Poland 2018. The day-long event featured discussions and presentations on initiatives aiming to enhance the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The events brought together diverse communities through presentations and discussions on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage, agriculture, tracking and measuring activities, youth capacity-building and the work of academia.
At COP25, the Capacity-Building event was designed as a panel and round-table discussion to make the sessions more interactive. A total of 13 presentations tool place spanning across six sessions at the event. There were 31 panellists at these sessions. The event provided a platform for different stakeholders to share knowledge and exchange experience on digitalization and climate action. Twenty-seven organizations were involved, including the affiliated entities of invited panellists. Relevant stakeholders involved in capacity-building for climate action, including academics, researchers, policymakers, non-government officials, youth, government, and civil servants were in attendance.
The day started with a brief overview of the previous capacity building days. After the inauguration session, PCCB discussed how actors from different levels could collaborate together to create secure networks and partnership to promote knowledge and share the experience. Then the M&E initiative session started, which was focused on the importance of institutional capacity building for adaptation MRV at the national level. During this session, one of the case studies of Bangladesh were shared. Through the panel discussion of this session, it came out that we only look at high-level documents and it does not tell anything about what is being achieved on the ground. Many capacity building initiatives do not monitor or evaluate the gaps. Besides finding indicators, it is essential to understand the mechanism and process. In this regard, it is often valuable to interview target groups to understand better how the actual change is taking place.
Then a round-table discussion took place on ‘five parallel sprints to drive into key topics of digitizing climate action’ under the session entitled ‘UNU-EHS and Climate Ledger Initiative ran innovation and digitalization.’ After this session, a dialogue was held between government representatives and civil society organizations from Latin America for helping to bridge knowledge, address gaps, strengthen capacities in the long term through partnerships and lead to inclusive participation in order to better integrate gender equality and women’s rights in national climate agendas, policies and actions.
A session on ‘key legal developments in capacity-building arrangements under the Paris Agreement’ also took place. The purpose of this session was to learn from the insights of renowned international legal experts, and also to connect with practitioners from different fields, deepening their understanding of the legal and institutional mechanisms available to implement their NDCs and the Paris Agreement.
Other highlights of the day were ‘capacity-building needs and gaps’, and ‘the role of youth in capacity-building efforts’. A panel discussion consisting of case studies of successful collaboration took place to build collective capacity for ensuring community and youth groups have the skills, attributes, and knowledge to be effective change-makers.
At the event, Saleemul Huq, Director of ICCCAD, argued that Bangladesh has one of the best disaster preparedness programs in the world. It is not only the government’s initiatives that support the program, but the general people have taught themselves to be better prepared for extreme events. He also talked about the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Universities Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) initiatives and how the global partnership and regional ones can help make it better. He recommended that PCCB should organize events to enhance the capacity of young researchers. Moreover, he urged that; the ball is in our court to implement things and that we need to be more imaginative and more effective.
Also present at the event The National University of Singapore offered to organize a symposium in 2020 on ‘Climate-related MOE Geography’ and a training workshop for a young group on ‘Biodiversity and Climate Change’.
Marie Clare, Senior Director of Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), mentioned that capacity building has to be a bottom-up process. We need to start talking to lawyers; many lawyers take up a law practice for idealistic reasons and want to make a difference. She had proposed to start an online petition to gather lawyers globally to get pro bono cases.
One of the perks of Capacity-Building Day at COP has been the opportunity to bring together different levels of stakeholders at one platform, for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The opportunity of having a specific day dedicated to climate-related capacity-building helps in scaling up and replicating the successful and long-lasting initiative to enhance the global state of knowledge on the Paris Agreement and capacity-building.
Mahmuda Mity is an Environmental Researcher working as a Research Officer at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).