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In Focus, October 2006

New UNFCCC practitioner’s guide ready to be launched at Nairobi

A guidebook for preparing project proposals for financing is currently being developed by the UNFCCC secretariat with the support of the EGTT and will for the first time be made available in 3 UN languages (English, French and Spanish) at COP 12 in Nairobi.

Since the adoption of the Marrakech Accords, the development and transfer of technologies and know-how and its related activities under the Convention have been focused mainly on the implementation of the framework for meaningful and effective actions to enhance the implementation of Article 4.5 of the Convention and on the work of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT).  Lessons learned from the past five years have indicated the demand for immediate follow-up actions in two main areas, first to continue to assist developing country Parties to assess, prioritize and update their technology needs, and second to provide technical assistance to project developers in developing countries in converting ideas and concepts into project proposals that will meet international standards of financial providers.

In response to the call for actions by Parties in the Marrakech Accords, 94 non-Annex I Parties received financial support from the Global Environment facility (GEF) to assess and prioritize their technology needs. To date 23 countries completed their assessments and the reports can be found on the UNFCCC web page through its technology information clearing house (TT:CLEAR).    Technology needs assessments (TNAs) are centerpieces of the work on technology transfer under the UNFCCC. They reflect the concept of a country-driven approach to this process and are pivotal in bringing together the relevant stakeholders at the national level to identify and prioritize specific technology needs and in developing a plan of action for meeting those needs.

A synthesis report on technology needs identified in 23 completed TNA reports as well as in 25 initial national communications submitted by non-Annex I Parties was prepared by the secretariat for consideration by SBSTA at its twenty-fourth session ( FCCC/SBSTA/2006/INF.1).The report shows that sectors with commonly identified technology needs were energy, industry, and transport for mitigation technologies (see figure 1), and agriculture and coastal zones for technologies to adapt to climate change (see figure 2). Although there are some difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of identifying technology needs, because Parties are at different stages of conducting this process, the TNA synthesis report provides useful insight into the types of challenges, barriers and opportunities that may exist with regard to technology transfer.

The TNA studies also provide project concepts and ideas.In facilitating the implementation of the results of these TNAs, the EGTT with the assistance of the secretariat organized a workshop in October 2005 in Bonn as a follow-up activity to its work on innovative options for financing technology transfer. The discussions that went on at the workshop emphasized the need to enhance the capacity of project developers in developing countries and other stakeholders in preparing project proposals that could meet the standards of international financial providers. In response to this need, the above-mentioned guidebook is being developed and will be used as a tool to enable countries to transform project ideas resulting from TNAs into project proposals for financing.

While recognizing that no single formula or template exists for preparing a successful project proposal, the guidebook concentrates on common ingredients that most well prepared proposals contain.Understanding and demonstrating a mastery of these common ingredients combined with knowing the audience will greatly increase the chance of success.

The guidebook explains these common ingredients using a question-and-answer framework:

  • What is being proposed? -> the core concept
  • Where will the proposal be implemented? -> The setting
  • Who will champion the proposal and see it to completion, and who else must be involved? -> The team
  • How will the proposal be implemented? -> Implementation plans
  • Why is the proposal important and why should it be supported? -> Expectations
  • What if things do not go as planned? -> Contingencies
  • To Whom is the proposal addressed? -> The audience

As the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Mr. Yvo de Boer stated in the preface of the guidebook,

“It is believed that better projects, increased funding and shorter funding cycles can be achieved through enhanced tools accessible to both project developers and those who receive their requests for financing. Further, it was observed in a series of UNFCCC workshops on innovative financing held in 2004 and 2005 that a language gap clearly slowed communication between development, environment and finance professionals. It is our hope that this guidebook and its accompanying templates will contribute towards closing that gap and producing better proposals for consideration”.

Apart from launching this guide, the UNFCC is planning to organize a series of activities at Nairobi including hands-on training for using the guide for the EGTT members and some country representatives, a field trip for EGTT members and international media to visit a geothermal plant outside Nairobi (with a focus on discussing financial aspects relating to the development of such a plant), as well as a side event to present this guidebook at the session.

Figure 1: Commonly identified mitigation sectors, subsectors and technologies considered by Parties in TNAs
Figure 2:Commonly identified adaptation sectors, sub-sectors and technologies by Parties in TNAs