UN CC:Learn @ COP 19/CMP 9

More than 12,000 negotiators, observers and NGOs met in Warsaw, Poland from 11-22 November 2013 for the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The talks in Warsaw were not dramatic, though hard fought at times, and have kept the process on track towards a new universal agreement on climate change in 2015.  Significant decisions were made in the area of deforestation, and loss and damage.

Away from the formal talks, the conference also provided a lively forum to showcase and learn about the various activities the UN and other development partners are supporting to advance concrete climate change actions on the ground. The UN CC:Learn partnership was perceived to be a highly useful  and relevant programme that responds to country needs and that engages actors across government and across society. The stage is set for an expansion of the programme as well as putting in place of several structural partnerships that would support more implementation of activities on the ground.  All of this set within the context of the need for the UN to push harder than ever on helping to implement the Convention on the ground as a key way of helping to secure a meaningful 2015 agreement.

In Warsaw, UN CC:Learn was active and visible, directly involved in 3 side events and hosting an exhibit for the second week.
UN CC:Learn Side Event “Building Skills to Address Climate Change”, 22 November

Learning and skills development is not a niche issue when it comes to effectively implementing climate change actions on the ground. This became clear at the UN CC:Learn side event which brought together three Ministers, two Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, the UN Resident Coordinator of Peru and a total of 80 COP delegates on the last day of the COP (which is usually not the most favourable time slot with everybody getting caught up in the final negotiations!). The event was hosted by the National Climate Change Council (CNCCMDL) of the Dominican Republic and the Sur Futuro Foundation. Representatives from all five UN CC:Learn pilot countries presented their national climate change learning strategies, looking at lessons learned from the strategy development process and concrete implementation activities. The side event targeted particularly the 40+ countries that have expressed an interest in implementing a national UN CC:Learn project. Read more…

Side Event “Combatting Climate Change through Education and Training”, 16 November

This side event (organized by the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness) featured nine panellists from a range of youth initiatives, the education sector and UN agencies. Each presented a different project which, although diverse, were all underpinned by the principle that climate education was the way forward to build a sustainable future. A little educational game by two teachers from the Dominican Republic delightfully illustrated this: random audience members were given a balloon upon their arrival. Those holding yellow ones were asked to let them fly without tying a knot in their ends, making them deflate: if resilience is weak, the system collapses, the teachers explained. Those holding red ones were asked to pop them – no resilience at all. And those holding green ones were asked to buffet them around: a truly resilient society can bounce back. That’s the kind of society we build through education. Watch a video from the event…

UN CC:Learn has supported the Dominican Republic in initiating a comprehensive training programme for teachers on climate change, based on materials developed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Read more…

One UN Side Event “Comprehensive Climate Finance”, 14 November

The issue of climate finance is maturing and this event was an opportunity for three UN organisations and the World Bank to show case their take on more comprehensive and country driven approaches. UNITAR and Dominican Republic led off from the perspective of the need for skills development as a key area for barrier removal and a fundamental element in promoting ‘readiness’ for climate finance.
As part of the national UN CC:Learn project in Dominican Republic the national climate change council has implemented a capacity building workshop to promote access to climate finance. Read more…

UN CC:Learn Exhibit and Lottery, 18-22 November

The UN CC:Learn team held a booth in the exhibit area for the 2nd week of the Conference. Visitors could find about the latest UN CC:Learn products, including a self-paced introductory e-course on climate change, and learn about the national pilot projects in Benin, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi and Uganda. The team engaged with around 250 people in active discussions. One of the key topics both Government delegates and NGO representatives were interested in was climate change education at primary and secondary level. Julia Viehöfer, from UNESCO was available at the booth to provide expert advice on the issue. Mario Castro from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) answered questions about capacity development for effective technology transfer.
At the booth participants could also pick up a ticket for the UN CC:Learn @ COP 19 lottery. The winners are:

1st price: UNITAR e-learning course on climate change diplomacy (value 800 USD) – Ms. Gillian Wychor

2nd price: PAGE e-learning course on the green economy (value 600 USD) – Ms. Paula Ellinger

3rd price: UNITAR manual for UN delegates – tips for negotiating effectively – Mr. Yona Kamphale