In 2001, the Conference of the Parties adopted two frameworks that address the needs, conditions and priorities of developing countries and of countries with economies in transition. The frameworks are enshrined in decisions 2/CP.7 and 3/CP.7.
The frameworks provide a set of guiding principles and approaches to capacity-building, for example that it should be a country-driven process, involve learning by doing, and build on existing activities. They also contain a list of priority areas for action on capacity-building, including the specific needs of least developed countries and small island developing States. They reaffirm that capacity-building is essential to enable these countries to implement the objective of the Convention.
The frameworks set out a way forward for capacity-building activities, such as developing and strengthening skills and knowledge, as well as providing opportunities for stakeholders and organizations to share their experiences, and increasing their awareness to enable them to participate more fully in the climate change process.
The frameworks also provide guidance on the support of financial and technical resources to be addressed by the Global Environment Facility, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and other intergovernmental organizations and institutions. The frameworks call for developing countries and countries with economies in transition to provide information on their specific needs and priorities through national communication and submissions, while promoting cooperation and stakeholder participation.
In 2005, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) decided that the capacity-building frameworks were also applicable to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. The CMP endorsed these frameworks to guide capacity-building activities under the Kyoto Protocol in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Capacity-building Frameworks: Monitoring and Review
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation regularly monitors and reviews progress on the implementation of the capacity-building frameworks.
The reviews involve a variety of actors. Parties report on progress they have made on capacity-building activities in their national communications submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations agencies also submit information to the secretariat on capacity-building. The secretariat compiles and synthesizes all of this information into reports that help serve the reviews, which take place during UN climate change conferences.
Below is a summary of the reviews conducted so far.
Reviews of the implementation of the capacity-building framework in developing countries
First comprehensive review
The first comprehensive review took place during the Buenos Aires Climate Change Conference in 2004 (COP 10). Its terms of reference were contained in annex III to the report of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at its eighteenth session. Parties identified key factors to improve the implementation of capacity-building activities, including: prioritizing institutional capacity-building; ensuring the availability of financial and technical resources; improving the coordination of donor support; and harmonizing support for national priorities, plans and strategies.
Second comprehensive review
The second comprehensive review got underway at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in 2008. The draft terms of reference were contained in document FCCC/SBI/2008/2. The review was completed at the Durban Climate Change Conference in 2011. Parties recognized (in decisions 13/CP.17 and 15/CMP.7) that progress was made in the implementation of this framework, but gaps still remained.
The review process identified capacity-building challenges related to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, such as: the geographical distribution of clean development mechanism project activities; the lack of technical expertise to estimate changes in carbon stock in soils; and the need to train and retain experts to plan and implement project activities.
Parties noted that the implementation of the framework for capacity-building under the Convention should be further improved at the systemic, institutional and individual levels. They said climate change issues and capacity-building need to be integrated into national development strategies, plans and budgets, and that networking and information sharing need to be strengthened. They also stressed the importance of gender and acknowledged the role and needs of youth and persons with disabilities in capacity-building activities.
Third comprehensive review
A third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries was initiated at SBI 42, during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2015. Parties initiated the discussions on the terms of reference for the review at SBI 42, which were postponed to the following SBI session, as they could not reach any agreement. The terms of reference, contained in decision 14/CP.21 , were adopted during COP 21 were the basis of the review, conducted at SBI 44, in May 2016. The review was successfully concluded at COP 22. Its outcomes are contained in decision 16/CP.22.
Fourth comprehensive review
COP 22 decided that the fourth comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries will be initiated at SBI 50, with a view to completing it at COP 25.
Reviews of the implementation of the capacity-building framework in countries with economies in transition
The first review of the implementation of the framework for countries with economies in transition (EITs) took place during the Buenos Aires Climate Change Conference in 2004. Parties recognized the positive results, the useful experiences and the lessons learned from developing and implementing capacity-building activities, such as the national capacity self-assessments funded by the GEF. Parties also identified challenges in implementing capacity-building activities, including insufficient financial and human resources, the lack of active stakeholder participation, the need for increasing support from key decision makers, and the inability to integrate climate change into national policies.
Decision 3/CP.10 also identifies key factors that could assist in the implementation of the framework, such as enhancing enabling environments to promote the sustainability and effectiveness of capacity-building activities, training, education and public awareness relating to climate change; the cooperation and coordination relating to capacity-building among EITs, and the participation in, and access to, capacity-building activities by all stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector.
The second review took place during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in 2007. The SBI noted that enhancing the capacity of climate change negotiators and key country-level actors (for example, decision-makers and government officials, the scientific community, the media and educators) could further strengthen the ability of EITs to deal with climate change issues. The SBI also noted that these countries still need support, and encouraged the GEF, Parties, multilateral and bilateral agencies and other international organizations to continue to provide support and to improve the availability of information on technical and financial support for capacity-building.
The third review began at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in 2012. The draft decisions, agreed unanimously during the discussions, were recommended by the SBI for adoption by the COP and the CMP in Doha, Qatar. At the Doha Climate Change Conference, which took place from 26 November to 8 December 2012, the COP and the CMP adopted the decisions on the third review. The decisions recognize that significant progress has been made by EITs to build their capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. They also acknowledge the need for further capacity-building by some EITs for the development and implementation of national low-carbon development strategies and for meeting their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
In line with the provisions contained in decisions 21/CP.18 and 11/CMP.8, a fourth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in countries with economies in transition will be initiated at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in 2017, with a view to completing it by the end of 2017 at COP 23/CMP 13.
Both COP and CMP acknowledged that capacity-building for countries with economies in transition is essential to enable them to implement effectively their commitments under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol and reaffirmed that the scope of the needs identified in the framework for capacity-building in countries with economies in transition established under decision 3/CP.7 and reaffirmed under decision 30/CMP.1, and the key factors identified in decision 3/CP.10 remain relevant and continue to be the basis for, and guide the implementation of, capacity-building activities in countries with economies in transition that are currently receiving support.
All texts approved by Parties on the fourth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in countries with economies in transition are currently posted under the relevant section of the capacity-building negotiations web page. COP and CMP decisions referring to the fourth review will be included in this page as soon as they become available.
A fifth review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in countries with economies in transition will be initiated at SBI 52 (June 2020), with a view to completing it at COP 26/CMP16 (November 2020).