Pocket Guide to NDCs under the UNFCCC

Fatima-Zahra Taibi, Susanne Konrad

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    For over a decade, the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) has adopted a two-pronged strategy to create a more level playing field for developing countries in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): training for new negotiators; and opportunities for senior negotiators from developing countries and Europe to interact, understand each other’s positions, and build mutual trust. The first part of the strategy focuses on providing training and support to new developing country negotiators, particularly from least developed countries. The climate change negotiations are often technical and complex, and difficult for new negotiators to fully grasp even over a period of two or three years. We hold regional training workshops to bring them up to speed on the negotiations. We also organise workshops before the Conference of Parties (COPs) to the UNFCCC, covering topics specific to that COP. To ensure continuity in our capacity building efforts, we offer a few negotiators, particularly women, bursaries to attend the negotiations and represent their country and region/grouping. Finally, we help negotiators build their analytical capacity through our publications, by teaming them up with global experts to author policy briefs and background papers. This strategy has proven effective over time. “New” negotiators that trained in our early regional and pre-COP workshops have risen not only to become senior negotiators in the process, but also leaders of regional groups and of UNFCCC bodies and committees, and ministers and envoys of their countries. These individuals are still part of our growing alumni, now capacity builders themselves, aiding our efforts POCKET GUIDE TO NDCs UNDER THE UNFCCC iv to train and mentor the next generation of negotiators. Their insights from being “new” negotiators themselves have helped us improve our training programmes.
    The second ecbi strategy relies on bringing senior negotiators from developing countries and from Europe together, at the annual Oxford Fellowship and Seminar and the Bonn Seminar. These meetings provide an informal space for negotiators to discuss their differences, and try to arrive at compromises. They have played a vital role in resolving some difficult issues in the negotiations. Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, ecbi produced Guides to the Agreement in English and in French. These proved popular with both new and senior negotiators. We therefore decided to develop a series of thematic guides, to provide negotiators with a brief history of the negotiations on the topic; a ready reference to the key decisions that have already been adopted; and a brief analysis of the outstanding issues from a developing country perspective. These Guides are mainly webbased, and updated regularly. Although we have printed copies
    of the English version of the Guides due to popular demand, the online versions have the advantage of hyperlinks to help you access referred material quickly. As the threat of climate change grows rather than diminishes, developing countries will need capable negotiators to defend their threatened populations. The Pocket Guides are a small contribution to the armoury of information that they will need to be successful. We hope they will prove useful, and that we will continue to receive your feedback.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages90
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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