Capacity-building: Durban Forum
Durban Forum: Background
Because of capacity-building’s cross-cutting nature, information on the issue tends to be fragmented
and not readily available. The creation of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building reflects the need for a
dialogue among all stakeholders involved in capacity-building. Besides filling in the information gaps, this
dialogue also provides an overview of the type of capacity-building support provided and the corresponding
implementation efforts by Parties. The dialogue is a tool to improve the monitoring and review of the
effectiveness of capacity-building within the international climate change regime.
During the Panama Climate Change Conference in 2011, Parties engaged in a three-hour in-depth discussion on
capacity-building with representatives of relevant bodies established under the Convention, with the Global
Environment Facility and with other delegates involved in negotiating mitigation, adaptation, and technology
The Panama in-depth discussion, hailed as a success by Parties, paved the way for the careful crafting of the
decision text on the Durban Forum a few months later, during the Durban Climate Change Conference – the
city from which the Forum takes its name. Parties decided the Forum would meet once a year during the UNFCCC
negotiating sessions and allow for the participation of all stakeholders in the process.
The Forum has been designed as a place where representatives from Parties, UN organizations,
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, research, academia and the private sector can share
ideas, experiences, lessons learned and good practices on implementing capacity-building activities in
In order to create a more informed dialogue, a series of synthesis reports containing information on
capacity-building activities provided by Parties and relevant bodies established under the Convention is
published prior to the Forum. These reports, coupled with the information shared during the Forum, help
Parties better monitor and review the effectiveness of capacity-building action and support.
The 2011 decision that describes the establishment and organization of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building
can be found here.More information on capacity-building issues can be found here.
Durban Forum on Capacity-building: what is
Doha Climate Change Conference November-December 2012
The findings from the
inaugural meeting of the Durban Forum will be discussed at the thirty-seventh session of the SBI. The
meeting, which was held at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in May, shed light on the capacity-building
work that has been happening on the ground and the challenges that lay ahead. The meeting gave voice to
people with different perspectives from various backgrounds, including governments, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector. Participants and presenters spoke about the need to create a snowball
effect, whereby capacity-building action builds on itself, becoming larger and more effective as it goes.
Some of them also highlighted the need for country-driven action, as well as for the right project in the
right place. These and other matters will be up for discussion in Doha.
First meeting of the Durban Forum on
Capacity-building: a close-up overview
The first meeting of the Durban Forum took place on 22 and 23 May 2012,
during the Bonn Climate Change Conference.
Day 1: Tuesday, 22 May 2012 (15:00-18:00)
Following opening remarks from UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and SBI Chair Mr. Tomasz
Chruszczow, representatives from Parties, NGOs, youth organizations, United Nations organizations, the private
sector and academia took to the stage to share experiences and identify needs and gaps in the delivery of
capacity-building for adaptation and mitigation.
The audience was eager to participate in the discussion, asking targeted questions on how to better enhance
capacity-building in developing countries.
H.E. Ms. Dessima Williams (Grenada) and Mr. Maas Groote (The Netherlands), who acted as
co-chairs, directed the discussion component of the Forum, fielding questions from the audience and
summarizing issues in a clear and compelling way.
Day 2: Wednesday, 23 May 2012 (15:00-18:00)
The well-received presentations of the first day continued on Wednesday with a focus on technology, financial
support and the issue of monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity-building, the latter being
mandated in decision 2/CP.17.
Two often-repeated themes during the second day were “snowball effect” and “country-driven
action.” Participants and presenters spoke about the need to create a snowball effect, whereby
capacity-building action builds on itself, becoming larger and more effective as it goes. The second theme,
country-driven action, referred to the importance of building the right project in the right place, led by
local communities, for local communities.
The session on monitoring and review was characterized by a lengthy debate on the effectiveness of
quantitative vs. qualitative indicators when monitoring and reviewing capacity-building projects.
The first meeting of the Durban Forum on capacity-building concluded with closing remarks by SBI Chair Mr.
Chruszczow, who hailed the Forum as a success in terms of the importance of the issues raised, the
quality of the presentations and the engaged debate which followed.
For a complete overview of the first meeting of the Durban Forum, please consult the agenda (181 kB) , the presentations by panelists,
and the webcasts of Day
1 and Day
2/CP.17 Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action
under the Convention, Chapter VI. Capacity-building.
The Cancun Agreements: Outcome of the work of the
Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action
under the Convention
Capacity-building under the Convention
Capacity-building in developing countries (non-Annex I Parties)
Summary report on the first meeting of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building. Note by the secretariat.
Synthesis report on the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries.
Capacity-building activities undertaken between September 2011 and December 2011.
Information submitted by United Nations organizations and other institutions on capacity-building activities
between September 2011 and December 2011. more
Annual synthesis report on the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries.
Capacity-building activities undertaken between September 2010 and August 2011.
Compilation and synthesis report on capacity-building work undertaken by bodies established under the
Activities to implement the framework for capacity-building in developing countries under decision 2/CP.7.
Submissions from Parties.