7 August 2012, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In the presence of more than 150 national and international invited guests, H.E. Mr. Rafael Alburquerque, Vice President of the Dominican Republic launched the National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emissions and Climate Resilient Development in the National Palace on Tuesday, 7 August 2012.
“Through the National Strategy, the Dominican Republic is initiating a long-term process to systematically integrate climate change learning in key sectors and strengthen capacities of national education and training institutions” H.E. Mr. Rafael Alburquerque stated. The Vice President made his remarks in the presence of distinguished national and international dignitaries, that included Mr. Omar Ramírez Tejada, Secretary of State and Executive Vice President of the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (NCCCCDM), H.E. Mr. Franklin Rodriguez, Minister of Youth, Mr. Enrique Ramiréz, President of the National Energy Commission, Ms. Valerie Julliand, United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, and H.E. Line Marie Leon-Pernet, Swiss Ambassador in Dominican Republic. The development of the Strategy was coordinated by the NCCCCDM with support provided by UN CC:Learn and funding from the Swiss Development Cooperation.
In his introductory remarks, Mr. Omar Ramirez, Secretary of State and Executive Vice President of the NCCCCDM stated that the overall goal of the National Strategy is to create a national framework for coordinated and enhanced action to strengthen learning relevant for green, low emission and climate resilient development in the Dominican Republic. The Strategy he added sets out a vision such that by 2030 "the Dominican society has an education system and implements public policies that generate institutional capacities and human resources to address the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation."
Mr. Ramirez emphasised that the National Strategy takes a systematic and results-oriented approach to strengthening both individual and institutional capacities. It was developed through a process which included a review of existing climate change priorities, policies and initiatives; an assessment of learning and skills development needs; an assessment of capacities of the education and training system to deliver learning; and development of actions to address individual and institutional priorities.
Mr. Daniel Abreu, Focal Point for the UN CC:Learn Project within the NCCCCDM, presented the priority actions mentioned in the National Strategy. He indicated that the Strategy identifies ten actions that can be implemented in the short term. These include, for example, skills development for national negotiators to effectively take part in international climate change negotiations; training of media professionals on the dissemination of climate change information; and strengthening capacities to access international climate change funding. Mr. Abreu highlighted that the Strategy also includes priority actions to strengthen institutional capacities. One area of institutional capacity development is the integration of climate change issues within sectoral learning strategies of the energy, tourism, water, agriculture and forestry sectors. He further pointed out that the Strategy proposes actions to strengthen capacities of the national education and training system to deliver learning to meet individual and sectoral needs. These included, for example, the integration of climate change issues into curricula at all levels of education; training of teachers; and the development and dissemination of teaching materials on climate change.
Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of Environment Unit, UNITAR, spoke on behalf of UN CC:Learn and its 32 international partners. He congratulated the Dominican Republic for having prepared a high quality National Strategy through a “truly multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process which engaged key learning institutions”. He applauded the initiative to establish a National Implementing Platform with a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder advisory structure to gradually foster implementation of the National Strategy through specific work streams and projects in line with available resources. He also acknowledged the contribution made by international UN CC:Learn Partners, the UN Country Team and the significant core support of the Swiss Development Cooperation for UN CC:Learn. “UNITAR and UN CC:Learn partners are committed to providing support towards implementing the National Strategy, both through technical advice and further seed-funding” Mr. Halpaap concluded.
H.E. Ms. Line Marie Leon-Pernet, Swiss Ambassador in the Dominican Republic, emphasized the commitment of the Swiss Government towards strengthening human resource capacities for the transition to green, low emission and climate resilient development. She pointed out that the Swiss Government is pleased to provide core funding for the 2011-2013 pilot implementation phase of UN CC:Learn, including five current pilot projects. Ambassador Leon-Pernet commended the Dominican Republic and the National Climate Change Council for their leadership in promoting education, training and public awareness in matters of climate change. “This Strategy is a model for creating a sustainable human resource base and can make a significant contribution for climate resilient development in the Dominican Republic” Ambassador Leon-Pernet stated.
In his key note address, Vice President Rafael Alburquerque stressed that climate change represents a serious challenge globally and in the Dominican Republic and therefore demands urgent responses. He highlighted that the Dominican Republic is the first country to launch a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources within the UN CC:Learn framework. He explained that the Strategy will be implemented through a National Implementation Platform which will develop a prioritized Work Plan for 2012-2016.
“The effective implementation of the National Strategy is a shared responsibility that requires institutional commitment of the public actors at national, regional and local level, as well as of businesses, education institutions, civil society organizations, media and communities” H.E. Mr. Alburqueque pointed out. He affirmed that the annual budget and fund-raising target for the Platform, including implementation of priority activities is estimated at USD 1.3 million, or a total of USD 5.4 million for the first four years. He specifically encouraged bilateral, multilateral, United Nations Organizations and other development partners “to align their support according to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness for the implementation of the Strategy”.
Vice President Alburqueque concluded that the Dominican Republic is ready and committed to take the leadership and share its experience as a contribution to regional and international efforts to scale up learning and action to address climate change.
About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 32 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR. An important aspect of UN CC:Learn is to support countries in developing a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development, through a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process. During the course of 2012-2013, Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda are participating as UN CC:Learn pilot countries. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government.