28 November 2012, Doha, Qatar - How can partners in the South and North effectively collaborate in developing and testing tools and methodologies to support decision-making and action on the ground to address climate change? The official side event “Research, Training and Institutional Capacity Development to Address Climate Change through South- South-North Collaboration”, was held on 28 November 2012, in the margins of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 18, in Doha Qatar.

Attended by more than 70 COP delegates, the event presented results and initial lessons from the work of nine research and training institutions from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific, collaborating in the multi-year Climate Change Capacity Development (C3D) network. Within this framework, Partners contribute their specialized knowledge with the goal to facilitate  testing tools and methodologies, including capacity development on the ground.

Secou Sarr

In his welcoming remarks, Secou Sarr Environnement et Développement du Tiers Monde (ENDA), the host organization of the event, highlighted that the C3D network has created an institutional framework of international, national and local partners that links tool development with action on the ground. Following the welcome, Achim Halpaap from UNITAR, the coordinating agency for C3D, moderated an interactive discussion covering three themes addressed by C3D+ partners: climate information, climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation.

Under theme 1 Climate Change Science and Information, Netatua Pelesikoti, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, (SPREP) highlighted the importance of sound climate information for decision-making in the region. She referred to the collaboration of SPREP and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) supported by C3D to strengthen capacities of young scientists to write articles on climate change in the region through a “Writeshop”.

Chris Jack, Climate System Analysis Group of the University of Cape Town discussed the Climate Information Portal (CIP) and a collaboration of UCT with SEI, ENDA and CIFOR that helped to enhance the CIP portal. He provided the case of the Malawi Meteorological Services where CIP was used to facilitate the interpretation of climate projections for the country and to identify vulnerability areas.

Theme 2 focused on Tool and Capacity Development for Climate Change Adaptation. Tahia Devisscher, Stockholm Environment Institute, presented the adaptation knowledge sharing platform WeADAPT that had been developed with support from C3D . The Platform created a community of practice involving some 1800 users and provides a space to share experiences, case studies and to connect experts and practitioners with similar interests. Through collaboration with CSAG-UCT and additional support from CDKN, CIP has recently been integrated into WeADAPT, allowing users to access climate data directly through the Platform.

Gifty Ampomah, ENDA, presented ENDA‘s capacity development activities at the community level in Gambia and Burkina Faso, supported by an Adaptation Toolkit developed in collaboration with SEI.  She mentioned that the feedback from users suggests that the tools and methodologies were useful in structuring adaptation decision-making at the community level.

Anne Hammill, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) introduced CRiSTAL, a tool to support adaptation planning and enhancing livelihoods at the local level. She indicated that through the C3D network, a CRISTAL-Forest version had been developed in partnership with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to address issues specific to the forestry sector. Houria Djoudi, CIFOR, discussed how the CRISTAL-Forest version is being tested in collaboration with communities, policy makers and development agencies to improve planning for adaptation projects for the forest sector. She emphasized that the tool provides valuable insights such as how different communities use the forest in practice, thereby linking local realities to national planning.

For the final theme Advancing Methods for Climate Change Mitigation, Britta Rennkamp, Energy Research Centre- University of Cape Town (ERC-UCT), discussed the efforts to support the identification of appropriate mitigation actions in South Africa. She introduced the Action Impact Matrix (AIM) Methodology developed by the Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND) and discussed how AIM was used to engage stakeholders in identifying mitigation and technological options within the context of South Africa’s National Sustainable Development Strategy.

Achim Halpaap, in his concluding remarks, congratulated the C3D Partners on the results achieved through institutional collaboration across several continents. He indicated that partners will review and evaluate lessons learned of the project in early 2013, with the goal to explore possible areas of future collaboration and new partnerships. He also expressed his appreciation, on behalf of all nine partners, to the financial support provided by the European Union with co-founding provided by the Austrian Development Agency and the Swiss Government.

The nine organizations forming the C3D network include: The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC), Center for International Forestry Research(CIFOR), Climate System Analysis Group – University of Cape Town ( CSAG-UCT), Environnement et Développement du Tiers Monde (ENDA) Energy Research Center- University of Cape Town (ERC-UCT), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The coordination of the network is provided by UNITAR.

Photo 1: Secou Sarr, ENDA, providing opening remarks.

Photo 2: Chris Jack, CSAG-UCT and Tahia Devisscher, SEI, presented  on the collaboration between the two organizations.

Photo 3: Houria Djoudi, CIFOR, Anne Hammill, IISD and Gifty Ampomah, ENDA, presented under Theme 2 Capacity Development for Climate Change Adaptation.

Photo 4: Netatua Pelesikoti, SPREP, highlighted the importance of sound climate information for decision-making and Britta RennKamp, ERC-UCT presented on the mitigation activities in South Africa done in partnership with MIND.

Photo 5: Achim Halpaap, UNITAR, moderating and thanking the nine C3D partners and the EU, ADA and Switzerland, the donors of C3D.