Led Initiatives on Climate
Change Capacity
and Development

by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

This event addressed the issue of capacity building by UN agencies to support
adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts.

Sudhir Sharman, UNFCCC, said the need for capacity building has been
highlighted through numerous UNFCCC decisions, and emphasized the need to
monitor implementation and link the mandates of various UN agencies.

Adnan Amin, UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), said the
UN System Delivering as One Initiative represents an unprecedented effort to
align the efforts of various UN agencies, noting that capacity building is the
cement that binds these efforts together.

Achim Halpaap, UNITAR, presented on needs and opportunities for skills
development in developing countries, noting that UNITAR has undergone a
transformation under new leadership and now emphasizes its role as service

Philip Gwage, Uganda,
emphasized going beyond workshops to hands-on approaches for teaching skills.
He said institutional capacity building is crucial for developing countries, as
well as negotiating capacity. On the CDM, he noted that though much training
has been carried out, it has failed to translate into on-the-ground

John Christensen, UNEP, said UNEP supports parties in articulating their
national and regional policy positions. He described preparatory workshops and
country activities on the CDM, and encouraged the use of economic tools and
analytical approaches to risk sharing.

Maria Netto, UNDP, urged support for policy making for capacity building. She
called for moving from needs assessments to developing policies and regulatory
frameworks and then accessing resources to implement these policies.

Steven Were Omamo, World Food Programme (WFP), described WFP’s strategic plan,
saying that WFP is a "front line agency" that aims to reduce
vulnerability. He highlighted recent vulnerability assessments and food
security monitoring that have been conducted.

Rafael Tuts, UN-HABITAT, noted the importance of linking urban climate change
initiatives. Drawing upon examples in the Philippines
and El Salvador,
he said the most vulnerable groups occupy high risk areas.

Jose Miguel Guzman, United Nations Population Fund, encouraged the inclusion of
poverty reduction in adaptation strategies. He noted that women are more
directly dependent on natural resources and thus more vulnerable to the effects
of climate change.

Mamadou Moussa Diakhité, UNITAR, said there is a huge demand for climate change
training to implement current and future agreements.

Janos Pasztor, UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team, summarized
key messages from the panel, including that existing work needs to be built
upon, and that cooperation exists but can be improved.

Participants discussed: the need for both formal and practical on-the-ground
training; the problem with high staff turnover; the need to listen to countries
regarding their capacity building needs; and the need to include education
programmes for youth.