18-20 May 2011, Geneva, Switzerland. How can capacities of research and training institutions in developing countries be strengthened to support climate change adaptation and mitigation action? This question was at the heart of the meeting of Partners of the UNITAR-coordinated project Capacity Development for Adaptation to Climate Change & GHG Mitigation in Non-Annex I Countries (C3D+).

The meeting took stock of progress made, advanced the development of new tools, and planned future capacity building activities undertaken through the three year C3D+ capacity development project. C3D+ brings together six organizations located in developing countries and three global organizations, to form a knowledge and capacity development network to advance collective action on climate change capacity development.

“With its focus on networking, knowledge-sharing and promotion of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, C3D+ seeks to respond directly to the decisions of the Cancun Agreements addressing capacity development”, said Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of the Environment Unit at UNITAR, in his opening remarks.

During the three days meeting, C3D+ Partners jointly presented progress made and future plans concerning the further development and testing of tools and methods to support policy-making for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss plans to build the institutional capacity of the C3D+ partners located in developing countries.

In the area of tool development the discussions covered:

  • the Action Impact Matrix (AIM) tool and collaborative work of MIND and ERC-UCT to foster mainstreaming climate change policies into sustainable development strategies;
  • tools and methods developed by ENDA to support community-based adaptation within coastal and Savannah zones in Africa and assessing climate change impacts on energy services;
  • CRiSTAL Forests which is developed by IISD/CIFOR as a planning tool to support local development practitioners integrate climate change adaptation in the forest sector;
  • the Climate Information Portal (CIP) of CSAG-UCT which provides users access to downscaled climate information and facilitates the interpretation of this information for decision-making and adaptation;
  • the WeADAPT knowledge sharing portal and its further development and testing through SEI/CSAG/CIFOR/ENDA;
  • Poverty, Energy and Climate Change mitigation analysis undertaken by ERC-UCT and MIND.

The meeting highlighted that in order to be effective, institutional capacity building needs to be a continuous process and participants were discussing how their initiatives can be made sustainable in the long run. The Partners were likewise thinking through how to best apply and make use of Results Based Management, an approach that focuses on achieving quantifiable results.

Also present at the meeting were representatives from the European Commission and the Austrian Development Cooperation, the main donors of the project in 2011. Representatives from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Yale University and Addis Ababa University participated as project advisors.

The C3D+ Project is a four year multi-donor project which received core funding from the European Commission and supplementary funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Government. The C3D+ Partners include: Munasinghe Institute for Sustainable Development (MIND), Sri Lanka; Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) of the University of Cape Town, South Africa; Energy Research Centre (ERC) of the University of Cape Town, South Africa; Environment Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), Senegal; The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Belize; the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Samoa. These organizations collaborate with three global Partners, who are: the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD).