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Durban Forum on Capacity-building - Making of

Durban Forum - Background

The Durban 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 developing countries. More information on the negotiations leading to its establishment and on its inaugural meeting is summarized below. 

Panama Climate Change Conference - October 2011

The cradle of the Durban Forum was built in Panama. 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 and finance.
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.

Durban Climate Change Conference - November/December 2011

Under the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), Parties agreed to a pdf-icon decision  that requests the SBI to continue working on ways to further enhance the monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity-building, including through the newly created Durban Forum on capacity-building. The COP decided that the Durban Forum would take the form of an annual, in-session event open to the participation of Parties and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of capacity-building activities in developing countries. The meetings of the Durban Forum would give all of them the opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences, lessons learned and good practices, and seek ways to work together in a more coordinated way.

Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012

The inaugural meeting of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building was one of the highlights of the Bonn Climate Change Conference in May 2012. It gave voice to more than 200 participants from diverse backgrounds come together to share experiences and good practices in building the capacity of developing countries to respond to climate change.

Held during two afternoon sessions, the Durban Forum shed light on the work that has been happening on the ground and the challenges that lay ahead. People from governments, youth groups, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, the United Nations and academia took to the stage to tell their stories, signalling a shift to a more holistic way of tackling capacity-building. In the spirit of inclusiveness, the meeting was webcast so that anyone, anywhere, could join in.

The meeting was structured around 17 presentations under six headings. Following each session, the floor was opened up to questions. Throughout the meeting, participants were reminded that capacity-building is a complex issue but, at its core, it is a human issue. Two often-repeated themes 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 and for local communities. For more detailed information, read the summary report of the meeting pdf-icon here.