Building the capacity of LDCs to engage in the UNFCCC negotiations

June 2015 - December 2017

Our efforts to strengthen the capabilities of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group in the UN climate talks involved participating in training workshops and strategy meetings, informing the negotiations through research, and developing toolkits for new delegates.

Cecilia Silva and Carla Silva Pompilio from Angola, browsing through ‘Becoming a UNFCCC delegate’, Marrakech, November 2017 (Photo: Janna Tenzing/IIED)

Cecilia Silva and Carla Silva Pompilio from Angola, browsing through ‘Becoming a UNFCCC delegate’, Marrakech, November 2017 (Photo: Janna Tenzing/IIED)

Every round of talks adds to the complexity of the international climate change decision-making process. Agendas balloon, new bodies are formed, and issues become more technically detailed and interconnected. For small delegations and new negotiators, this process is increasingly difficult to follow. 

What did IIED do?

In addition to building the capacity of junior negotiators and providing participation support, IIED contributed to enhancing the knowledge, skills and confidence of LDC delegates to further increase their engagement in a fast-moving UNFCCC process. We did this by:

  • Taking part in negotiating skills development workshops, led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
  • Helping organise and participating in LDC Group strategy meetings. These meetings were supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Informing ongoing negotiations through research, in direct partnership with LDCs. All our papers were co-authored with or included substantial inputs from LDC negotiators, and
  • Developing toolkits to help new (and seasoned) negotiators find their footing in the complex UNFCCC process.


Least developed countries' experiences with the UNFCCC technology mechanism, Brianna Craft, Stella Gama, Thinley Namgyel (2017), IIED Issue Paper

Provisions for support to least developed countries: facilitating the implementation of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, Rebecca Byrnes, Stella Gama, Mamadou Honadia, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Marek Soanes, Priyanka Teeluck, Janna Tenzing (2017), IIED Toolkit

National adaptation plans: understanding mandates and sharing experiences, Achala Abeysinghe, Brook M Dambacher, Rebecca Byrnes (2017), IIED Issue Paper

Becoming a UNFCCC delegate: what you need to know, Janna Tenzing (2016), IIED Toolkit | en français

Strengthening the Lima Work Programme on Gender: perspectives from Malawi and the CBD, Stella Gama, Priyanka Teeluck, Janna Tenzing (2006), IIED Issue Paper

A study of LDC capacity at the UNFCCC, Stephanie Andrei, Janna Tenzing, Brianna Craft, Achala Abeysinghe (2016), IIED Issue Paper

The Paris Agreement and the LDCs: analysing COP21 outcomes from LDC positions, Achala Abeysinghe, Brianna Craft, Janna Tenzing (2016), IIED Issue Paper | en français

Climate change negotiations terminology: the pocket guide, Achala Abeysinghe, Caroline Prolo, Janna Tenzing (2015), IIED Toolkit | en français

Lima outcomes and the status of ADP negotiations, Janna Tenzing (2015), IIED Event Paper

Additional resources

A guide to transparency under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, Achala Abeysinghe, Subhi Barakat, Yamide Dagnet, Gebru Jember Endalew, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Camilla H More, Tshewang Dorji, Cleo Verkuijl (2017), IIED Toolkit

Pocket guide to the Paris Agreement, Anju Sharma, Christoph Schwarte, Benito Müller, Achala Abeysinghe, Subhi Barakat (2016), ECBI | en français


Global Environment Facility (Least Developed Countries Fund)


United Nations Environment Programme

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Institute for Training and Research

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