Investing in People and Learning to Foster a Climate Resilient and Green Transition

Pilot Countries and International Partners Share Experience at One Day UN CC:Learn/UNFCCC Article 6 Workshop at COP 17

04 December 2011 | Durban, South Africa

Experience-sharing among UN CC:Learn pilot countries is an important aspect of the UN CC:Learn 2010-2013 Pilot Implementation Phase in which Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi and Uganda are participating as pilot countries. The COP17/CMP7 of the UNFCCC, 28 November to 9 December 2011, provided an opportunity to foster such dialogue.

The one-day workshop entitled “Strengthening Human Resources and Skills to Address Climate Change: A UN CC:Learn/UNFCCC COP 17 Workshop to Support Implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC” took place on 4 December 2011, Durban, South Africa. The workshop was jointly organized by the UNFCCC Secretariat and UN CC:Learn which is hosted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It brought together some 50 participants from UN CC:Learn countries, academia, the private sector and international development partners.


Welcome and Introduction

Achim Halpaap, UNITAR; Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP; and Enrica Melandri, UNFCCC Secretariat In welcoming participants, Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of the Environment Unit, UNITAR, highlighted that a range of training and learning action had been implemented by governments, development partners and civil society in support of Article 6. Yet, significant learning and skills development gaps remained. He pointed out that  “this workshop provides an opportunity to take stock of international developments related to Article 6; share country experiences in taking a strategic approach to climate change learning and skills development; and present learning services offered by international development partners.”  

Ms. Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, Environment & Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, UN Development Programme (UNDP), pointed out that in the last years the UN had undertaken significant efforts to work more closely together in the area of climate change capacity development. In this context, UN CC:Learn was important because it provided a one-stop window to UN climate change learning resources at the global level and provided concrete support to countries to strengthen national education and training systems.

Ms. Enrica Melandri, Associate Programme Officer, Capacity Building and Outreach Unit, UNFCCC Secretariat, referred to the importance of Article 6 and capacity development for Member States. She stated that the COP17/CMP7 in Durban was an important point in time for the negotiations on capacity development and that opportunities have emerged to integrate capacity development in different negotiation tracks.

Session 1: Taking Stock of Article 6 Implementation

Sarah Marchildon and Enrica Melandri, UNFCCC Secretariat Session 1 of the workshop featured a presentation by Ms. Sarah Marchildon, Capacity Building and Outreach Unit, UNFCCC Secretariat and Ms. Enrica Melandri on latest developments and activities to support implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC. Ms. Marchildon explained that Decision 7 of COP16 invites Parties to improve reporting on education, training and public awareness activities through national communications; support formal, non-formal and informal education on climate change at all levels; develop educational and public awareness materials according to national circumstances and cultural context; and enhance support to national Article 6 focal points through the provision of information materials.

Session 2: Initial Experience in UN CC:Learn Pilot Countries 

Amrei Horstbrink, UNITAR Session 2 was dedicated to initial experience sharing from countries that implement UN CC:Learn Pilot Projects to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Address Climate Change. The session started with an introductory presentation by Ms. Amrei Horstbrink, UNITAR  on UN CC:Learn. She highlighted that an important aspect of the pilot projects was to foster multi-sectoral engagement and strengthening national education and training institutions to ensure sustainability.

Mr. Ibila Djibril, National Coordinator of Ibila Djibril, Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism of Benin the UN CC:Learn project in Benin, National UNFCCC Focal Point and Director of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Risk Management, Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism stated that Benin established a National Coordinating Mechanism to ensure involvement of key Ministries and stakeholders. A National Planning Workshop took place on 10 November 2011 in Cotonou bringing together more than 40 participants. He mentioned that expected benefits from the project included a systematic assessment of learning needs and capabilities in key sectors, the promotion of a results-oriented approach to learning interventions, and the mobilization of national and international resources for training and skills development.

Jeniffer Hanna, National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Dominican Republic Ms. Jeniffer Hanna, Technical Assistant to the Executive Vice-presidency, National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (CNCCMDL) of the Dominican Republic shared the experience from a planning meeting for the UN CC:Learn project that had taken place on 22 November 2011. The meeting endorsed a detailed work plan for the project with a major National Workshop planned to take place in February 2012. Ms. Hanna further explained that a priority in the Dominican Republic was the integration of climate change in school curricula and that the Council was working closely with the Ministry of Education in this regard.

Mr. Jollam Banda, Chief Economist at the Jollam Banda, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning of Malawi Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and Focal Point for the UN CC:Learn project in Malawi stated that the CC:Learn project would be coordinated through a multi-sectoral steering committee that had been established under the National Climate Change Programme. He further highlighted the importance to collaborate with academia and grass root organizations. A National Planning Workshop is scheduled to take placed in February 2012.

Paul Isabirye, Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda Mr. Paul Isabirye, UNFCCC National Focal Point, Coordinator, Climate Change Unit, Ministry of Water and Environment, and National Coordinator of the UN CC:Learn project in Uganda explained that the CC:Learn project would be linked to the National Climate Change Committee. He highlighted that the project would be an opportunity to move away from a project-based approach to a sustained approach to climate change capacity development. Training of individuals would need to be combined with institutional capacity development in order to ensure that acquired skills are applied on the job and lead to results at the organizational level. His statement was complemented by a contribution of the Hon. Kataike, Sarah Nodboli, Member of Parliament of Uganda and the Pan African Parliament, who highlighted the importance to engage elected officials in and enhance their knowledge in matters of climate change.

Mr. Doddy Sukadri, Chair of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Doddy Sukadri, National Council on Climate Change of Indonesia Forestry (LULUCF) Working Group, National Council on Climate Change (DNPI) of Indonesia and National Coordinator of the UN CC:Learn project in Indonesia highlighted that the human resources development challenges in Indonesia were particularly exigent given a population of 230 million people. He explained that forestry was a key sector in the country and that human resources and skills development was an important aspect to support the reduction of emissions from deforestation.

Session 3: Learning Services of International Development Partners

Session 3 featured presentations by international and regional development partners on relevant learning services. The presentations centered around three themes:

Climate Change Finance

Mr. Niels Lohmann, Learning Specialist, Skills Development, Sustainable Development Mechanism, UNFCCC Secretariat presented learning and skills development activities supported by the UNFCCCC Secretariat related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Niels Lohmann, UNFCCC Secretariat

Mr. Neeraj Prasad, Manager, World Bank Institute Climate Change Practice (WBICC) summarized the range of services provided by the WBI to support climate change learning within a broader development framework, including e-learning courses and other learning services in areas such as climate finance, low-emission development strategies, agriculture,forestry, energy and cities.

Ms. Lorena Rodriguez Bu, Learning and Knowledge Management Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Representation in Colombia introduced IDB activities to support capacity development including a knowledge platform available also in Spanish which supports carbon financing  in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Lorena Rodriguez Bu, Inter-American Development Bank


Social Dimensions of Climate Change

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, WHO; Karen Sutherland, Climate and Development Knowledge Network; Daniel Schensul, UNFPA; and Neeraj Prasad, World Bank Institute Mr. Daniel Schensul, Technical Specialist Climate Change and Urbanization, Population and Development Branch, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) introduced a new UNFPA training manual on climate change population dynamics that had been piloted in Malawi and is now available to countries.

Mr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Team Leader, Climate Change and Health Team, World Health Organization (WHO) introduced WHO capacity development services which support countries in examining and taking action to integrate climate change into health planning. Relevant projects are supported by a range of guidance materials, for example on climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments.

Education, Training and Awareness Raising

Sharon Oseku-Frainier, UNITAR; John Crowley, UNESCO; and Stephanie Hodge, UNICEF Ms. Sharon Oseku-Frainier, Training Associate, Climate Change Programme, UNITAR introduced UNITAR climate change learning services covering customized training workshops, e-learning courses, knowledge sharing and pooling of expertise, as well as project conception and implementation.

Mr. John Crowley, Chief of Section, Ethics of Science and Technology, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) introduced UNESCO activities in the area of climate change learning, which range from supporting awareness-raising for policy makers, to education and training of teachers, and curriculum development.

Ms. Stephanie Hodge, Programme Specialist, Programmes Division, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) emphasized that UNICEF supports countries in enhancing access to climate change education, with a particular focus on improving the quality of education.

Perspectives of Other Partners

Ms. Karen Sutherland, Programme Coordinator and Advocacy Fund Project Manager, Africa Region, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) summarized CDKN support services which address the following areas: climate compatible development strategies and plans, improving developing countries’ access to climate finance, strengthening resilience through climate-related disaster risk management, and supporting climate negotiators from Least Developed Countries.


The discussions generated important insights concerning sustainable ways to strengthen implementation of climate change awareness raising, education, and training. Issues which emerged in the discussions included the need to work with and train key target groups such as parliamentarians and journalists. Participants also emphasized that in order to meet the learning challenge posed by climate change, countries needed to go even a step further and systematically integrate climate change issues in curricula for primary, secondary and higher education as well as in professional skills development programmes. Another important point raised in the discussions was the need to link individual skills development to capacity development at the institutional and systemic level.

About UN CC:Learn

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 30 UN agencies 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. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government. UN CC:Learn activities at COP17/CMP are supported by a contribution from UNFPA.

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Presentations for Download:

Benin presentation

Dominican Republic Presentation

IDB Presentation

UN CC:Learn Presentation

UNFCCC Presentation 1

UNFCCC Presentation 2

UNICEF Presentation

UNITAR Presentation

WHO Presentation