Development & Climate Days: the history

Article, 12 November 2015

Development & Climate Days is an annual gathering that links the issues of climate change and development, and promotes dialogue, information sharing and informal discussion alongside United Nations climate change talks.

Development and Climate Days logo

The Development and Climate (D&C) Days event is held each year in the middle weekend of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC binds almost 200 countries to tackle climate change. The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the convention, and all parties meet each year to review progress.

Amid these formal negotiations, D&C Days provides an informal space for policymakers, scientists and development practitioners to come together to explore common concerns and discuss strategic action. 

The 2018 D&C Days will take place in Katowice, Poland on 8-9 December 2018, and will continue to build on the topic of 'Global ambition. Local action. Climate resilience for all'. Registrations are open via Eventbrite.

D&C Days are designed to:

  • Bring together practitioners, negotiators, scientists and policymakers to explore key issues related to adaptation to climate change in developing countries
  • Share best practices in development and climate change
  • Provide opportunities to disseminate scientific news, literature and reports, and
  • Promote linkages between development and climate.

Origins

D&C Days were initiated by IIED's Saleemul Huq in 2002. The first event was titled Adaptation Day, and was held at COP8 in Delhi. The aim was to arrange an international event for people working on climate adaptation to enable them to share the latest developments. 

In 2004, the programme expanded to include a 'Development Day'. Development practitioners had not previously attended the UN climate change negotiations, but their active engagement was seen as important for addressing the impacts of climate change on development. 

In 2007, the event was renamed "Development and Climate Days" to reflect the fact that adaptation was becoming mainstreamed into the development agenda, and that good adaptation presupposes development. 2007 also saw the launch of a film festival featuring short films on climate and development. The film screenings are often attended by the film-makers, giving a chance for the audience to ask questions. The subject categories include activism, animation, disaster, humour and participatory video.

D&C Days has been organised by a range of different partners over the years. The organising partners for the 2018 event are IIED with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate CentreEnvironmental Finance Center West (EFCWest), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

D&C Days archive

The list below briefly summarises previous D&C Days. The links in the text provide access to reports of the events.

COP23: Bonn, Germany, 2017
The 2017 D&C Days took place on 11-12 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, alongside COP23. The event explored four key themes towards climate resilience for all.

COP22: Marrakech, Morocco, 2016
The 2016 D&C Days conference focused on 'Global ambition. Local action. Climate resilience for all'. It looked at how the world could deliver on the ambition of the previous year's landmark Paris Agreement.

COP21: Paris, France, 2015
The 2015 D&C Days event was themed "tough talk on poverty and climate" and focused on the key transitions needed to tackle climate change and eradicate poverty by 2030.

COP20: Lima, Peru, 2014
The D&C Days event at COP20 focused on 'zero-zero' within a generation: getting to zero extreme poverty by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050. Participants explored ways to integrate targets on climate and poverty, how to influence the UNFCCC negotiations and ideas for measures that could produce zero-zero within a generation.

COP19: Warsaw, Poland, 2013
The 2013 D&C Days had the theme "innovative approaches, incisive dialogue on climate-smart development". Day one focused on showcasing the experience of adaptation practitioners from the field. Day two focused on innovative game-based approaches for inciting action for climate change education, learning and capacity building.

COP18: Doha, Qatar, 2012
2012 marked the 10th anniversary of D&C Days. Day one featured a 'speed-networking' session, followed by a 'D&C game' to encourage participants to think about the cost, value, and use of early warning information in development decisions. Day two focused on climate smart development and included a discussion on development and adaptation dilemmas.

COP17: Durban, South Africa, 2011
The 2011 D&C Days focused on the lessons and challenges emerging from existing adaptation planning processes. Key topics were: improving evidence-based adaption decision-making, exploring issues of information needs and the challenges of robust evidence generation, through to information use and the politics of decision-making in practice.

COP16: Cancun, Mexico, 2010
D&C Days at COP16 looked at supporting the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge by practitioners and researchers from developing countries. The discussions focused on the challenges that developing country researchers face in funding research and publicising research findings. It highlighted the need to ensure that evidence from the global south is included in assessments of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other organisations. It also aimed to raise questions about the norms of what is considered 'valid' knowledge to inform policy.

COP15: Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009
In recognition of the importance of the Copenhagen COP, the 2009 D&C Days ran for four days and featured more than 70 speakers. Approximately 800 participants attended. The programme was structured around four themes: land, water and natural resources; justice, ethics and humanitarian issues; planning adaptation; and trade; finance and the private sector.

COP14: Poznan, Poland, 2008
The 2008 D&C Days programme featured more than 30 speakers and included discussions on: vulnerable groups; gender and climate change; children; the Arctic and small island developing states (SIDS); rights and justice; policymaking in a changing climate; community-based adaptation; adaptation effectiveness; and adaptation funding. More than 300 delegates from 72 countries attended.

COP13: Bali, Indonesia, 2007
The 2007 event was renamed Development and Climate days. The programme on day one focused on disaster reduction and extreme events, cities and health. There was also a  a panel discussion on financing adaptation. On day two, sessions focused on food and agriculture, community-based adaptation and energy. The event closed with a panel discussion on communicating for communities, across sectors and timescales. 

COP12: Nairobi, Kenya, 2006
Saleemul Huq of IIED opened the 2006 D&C Days event by welcoming the large number of participants from the development community who were new to the climate change policy process. Development Day focused on: energy and sustainable development; agriculture and food security; and water. Adaptation Day included sessions on: science, tools and adaptation; community-based adaptation; and experience with least developed countries' NAPAs.

Reports of early D&C Days are available on the IISD Reporting Services website, as follows: 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

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