Asian and Pacific officials to build their climate negotiation skills

Junior climate negotiators from Asia and the Pacific region will develop their climate negotiation skills at a training workshop in Sri Lanka this month.

Junior climate negotiators participate in a mock negotiation session in a training workshop in Senegal in June (Photo: Enda Energie)

Officials from 14 Asian and Pacific countries will have the opportunity to build their climate negotiation skills at a workshop in Sri Lanka from 6-7 September 2017.

The workshop is part of a four-year project designed to help negotiators from developing countries to participate effectively in United Nations climate talks. The next UN negotiations on climate change will take place in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November 2017. 

Participants at the Sri Lanka workshop will hear from senior government officials, experienced climate negotiators and their advisors about key issues. Delegates will also have the opportunity to practice their skills in mock negotiations.

The workshop is being organised as part of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi). IIED manages ecbi's training and support programme in collaboration with Oxford Climate Policy.

Hosted by the Sri Lankan NGO, Janathakshan, the September workshop is the third ecbi regional training workshop to take place in 2017. In June, delegates from Africa attended two workshops in Senegal

The ability to carefully interpret decision text is an important skill to develop. Delegates discuss how a comma can change the meaning with IIED's Subhi Barakat in June

Pre-COP workshop

The ecbi training and support programme will also host a workshop in the run-up to the next UN climate negotiations at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November. The pre-COP workshop will bring together junior and senior negotiators to discuss key issues for their countries and groups in preparation for the talks ahead. 

In total, the ecbi training and support programme will organise 13 regional training workshops and five pre-COP workshops from 2015-2020. The initiative also offers bursaries to enable junior negotiators to develop specialist knowledge and participate in the negotiations.

Mock negotiation sessions allow participants to take the floor and try their hand at representing their country. Most delegates have not yet spoken at the UN climate talks. The simulation gives them the chance to practice their skills.

Officials trained by ecbi have risen to become senior negotiators in the UNFCCC process, as well as leaders of regional groups and of UNFCCC bodies and committees. Some have become ministers and envoys in their home countries. These ecbi alumni are now capacity builders themselves, aiding the initiative's efforts to train and mentor the next generation of negotiators. 

The ecbi training and support programme is funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety as part of the International Climate Initiative.

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