1st Durban Forum on Capacity-building

Date: Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 May 2012
Venue: Bonn, Germany

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 who came 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.

Overview and Presentations:

Day 1: Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - Overview

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.

15.00–15.15 - Introduction
Welcoming remarks
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Objectives of the first meeting of the Durban Forum
Tomasz Chruszczow, Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and Chair of the first meeting of the Durban Forum
Inputs to the Durban Forum and approach to the in-depth discussion
UNFCCC secretariat
15.15–16.30 - Building capacity for adaptation
In-depth discussion on:
Capacity-building activities undertaken by the LEG as part of its work programme
Pepetua Latasi, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group
Capacity-building and the climate change process: the LDC perspective
Fred Onduri, Uganda
Mobilising knowledge and strengthening capacity under the Nairobi Work Programme
Blane Harvey, Institute of Development Studies
Capacity-building in adaptation practices
Andrea Cattaneo, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Capacity-building for adaptation: leadership, participation and support
Notes to the presentation
Graham Reeder, Youth NGO constituency (YOUNGO)
16.30–16.35 - Building capacity for research
Briefing on:
Capacity-building aspects within the SBSTA 36 Research Dialogue
Richard Muyungi, Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
16.35–17.55 - Building capacity for mitigation
Day 2: Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - Overview

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.

15.00–16.00 - Building capacity for technology
   In-depth discussion on:
  Global technology needs assessment project: an update on capacity-building components
Lawrence Agbemabiese, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);  Jorge Rogat, UNEP Risoe Center, Denmark
 

Thailand climate change technology needs assessment
Asira Chirawithayaboon, Thailand TNA Coordinator

16.00–16:30 - Building capacity: financial support

Presentation on:

Recently financed capacity development initiatives
Rawleston Moore, Global Environment Facility  Secretariat
16:30–17:45 - Monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity-building
 In-depth discussion on:
CGE 2010-2012 work programme: Overview of the capacity-building activities
Ruleta Camacho, Chair of the Consultative Group of Experts on National
Communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention (CGE)
Sharing EU experiences in the implementation and monitoring and review of effectiveness of capacity-building activities
Matti Nummelin, European Union
Indicators on capacity-building for adaptation
Nicolina Lamhauge, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
From good to great: measuring (for) results
Cassie Flynn,  United Nations Development Programme
Planning, monitoring and evaluating results-based action under national learning and capacity development strategies
Achim Halpaap, United Nations Institute for Training and Research  
Omar Ramírez Tejada, Dominican Republic
Developing a strategic approach to climate change learning and skills development: initial lessons from the Dominican Republic
Omar Ramírez Tejada, Dominican Republic