2 December 2011, Durban, South Africa. How can learning and skills development be designed and implemented so that it achieves tangible and sustainable results to implement the UNFCCC? This question was among the key questions discussed at the One UN Side Event on “Results-Based Capacity Development to Address Climate Change: Lessons Learned from UN Supported Projects”, that took place in Durban, South Africa on 2 December 2011 in the margins of the COP17/CMP7 of the UNFCCC. The event was co-organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and attracted more than 80 participants.
Ms. Amanda Katili-Niode, Coordinator of the Communication, Information and Education Division at the National Climate Change Council of Indonesia (DNPI) and National Focal Point for Article 6 of the UNFCCC, highlighted that climate change created unprecedented learning needs in various sectors in the country, e.g. in forestry, water and energy. In order to address this challenge in a strategic manner the country was developing a National Strategy on Strengthening Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development as part of a UN CC:Learn pilot project. Regarding key factors for a successful project, Ms. Katili-Niode pointed out the importance of a participatory process involving different government sectors as well as stakeholders outside government.
Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of Environment Unit at UNITAR, focused in his discussant intervention on the importance of scaling up individual learning and linking it to achieving national climate change objectives. He further pointed out that in order to be sustainable, learning action should ideally be delivered by national institutions. Strengthening national education and training systems was therefore a key aspect of the UN CC:Learn pilot projects. Mr. Halpaap further highlighted that evaluating learning results is of key importance, not only to ensure accountability of donor resources, but more importantly to provide feedback for continuously improving capacity development support.
Other presentations at the side-event covered broader topics of successful climate change capacity development, but also mentioned some learning aspects. Mr. Animesh Kumar, Adviser Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) at the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia, who presented the LEAP initiative (Livelihoods, Early Assessment and Protection, supported by the WFP) pointed out the importance of training people at all levels. Under the LEAP project a training mechanism has been established, whereby federal trainers are continuously training counterparts at regional and sub-regional levels. In his statement as a discussant, Mr. David Playton, Senior Environmental Advisor at UNDP highlighted that learning and individual skills development needed to be linked to capacity development at the institutional and systemic level.
Other speakers included Mr. Fabio Andrés Bernal Quiroga, Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), Colombia, who presented the Joint Programme on the Integration of Ecosystems and Adaptation to Climate Change (supported by FAO, UNOPS, UNDP, UNICEF), and Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Director of Environment, Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Fiji, and Ms. Preey Lelii, Town Clerk and CEO of the Lami Town Council, who introduced the Cities and Climate Change Initiative in Lami Town (supported by UN HABITAT).