During the Third Meeting of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB), which took place during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2019, the PCCB endorsed the concept note for the envisaged Capacity-building Knowledge to Action Days at the forthcoming Regional Climate Weeks and at COP 25, contained in document PCCB/2019/5. The importance of these events was highlighted, as a way to identify context-driven responses to capacity gaps and needs at the local and national level, as well as to support the work of the PCCB on strengthening engagement of academia and research institutions in building capacity for the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), therefore bridging the gap between theory and practice of climate action.
Even when there is a great variety of institutional arrangements for climate change mitigation and adaptation in every country, the continuous participation of local, national and regional stakeholders, including research institutions and universities is considered crucial to enhance climate action and ambition. The lack of engagement of and insufficient coordination among these relevant actors is a recurring issue in discussions on capacity-building within the UNFCCC process. It is necessary to find better ways to mobilize local and policy relevant knowledge to address climate change issues and to make informed decisions.
Universities and research institutions in developing countries, including the least developed countries, have a central role to play in the preparation and implementation of NAPs and NDCs, however it will be important for them to think across boundaries such as geographic, disciplinary, and interest-based, to close the gap between knowledge and action. While universities in developing countries are already building local capacities, promoting South-South and South-North knowledge sharing among universities and including relevant stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of NAPs and NDCs could yield great benefits.