Where to find IIED and partners at COP28: event listing


IIED researchers and partners will lead and present at events throughout COP28. Our key focus areas will be locally led adaptation and finance for climate and nature, food systems and farming, and supporting negotiators from the least developed countries (LDCs).

Dubai, UAE and online
UN climate change conference (COP28)
A series of pages related to IIED's activities at the 2023 UNFCCC climate change summit in Dubai
Last updated 12 December 2023
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IIED researchers and partners will lead and present at several events in-person and online throughout the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

IIED's key areas of focus will be locally led adaptation and finance for climate and nature, food systems and farming, and supporting negotiators from the least developed countries (LDCs). 

IIED works with the LDC Group of the UNFCCC to level the playing field for their engagement in the international climate change negotiations. Together with strategic partners, we organise training workshops and provide direct support to delegates to strengthen their negotiating skills. 

Part of that training comes through pre-COP training workshops. This year's capacity building training for LDC negotiators will take place on 28 November. With participants nominated by their countries, this invite-only event will allow them to discuss key LDC issues and expected COP outcomes, exchange views and participate in mock negotiation to practice their negotiation skills.

To see the events involving IIED and partners in weeks one and two, click on the following links:

All listed times are Dubai time (GMT +4).

Week 1

Thursday 30 November

Remembering Saleemul Huq

Memorial event 

Venue: LDC Group Pavilion
Hosted by: the LDC Group
Partners:  IIED, ICCCAD, Climate Analytics

The LDC Group invited friends, colleagues and the climate change community to join a special memorial event for Dr Saleemul Huq

Saleem was not only a valued colleague but also a visionary leader, whose contributions led to the establishment of the LDC Group. His dedication and passion for climate justice led to much needed progress in adaptation and loss and damage. He has left a lasting imprint on our hearts and our work.

Related reading: Watch a tribute film for Saleemul Huq

Saturday 2 December

Ecological loss and damage: understanding impacts and catalysing action

Pavilion event 

Venue: Nature Positive pavilion

IIED’s Ebony Holland joined the panel at this event which highlighted the increasing importance of ecological losses and damages for LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It presented case studies on the ecological impacts of climate change that have been observed to date and examined the impacts that are likely to happen in the future. 

Discussants considered the existing mechanisms available to address ecological losses and damages, identifying gaps and opportunities. They also suggested concrete options for addressing ecological losses and damages at scale in affected and at-risk countries.

Related reading: Living in the shadow of loss and damage: uncovering non-economic impacts

Locally led iterative learning and transformative adaptation for enhancing community resilience

Pavilion event

Venue: UNCDF Pavilion
Hosted by: International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

IIED’s Ritu Bharadwaj joined the panel at this event that explored and shared knowledge regarding the roles of locally led adaptation across diverse sectors and geographic regions, focusing on agriculture. Participants shared invaluable insights to ensure that LLA practices are not maladaptive, while fostering the generation of strategic recommendations.

Related webinar: Delivering LLA: lessons from the frontline of climate action 

LIFE-AR: strengthening climate ambition and development cooperation between LDCs and the international community | LIFE-AR Partnership Compact signing event

Venue: LDC Pavilion
Hosted by: LDC Group

The Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) is one of the primary vehicles for delivering the LDC 2050 Vision: to ensure that LDCs are on climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and deliver net zero emissions by 2050, so that our societies, economies and ecosystems can thrive.

This event provided the opportunity for two current frontrunner countries, Malawi and Burkina Faso, to showcase their progress in delivery of LIFE-AR, including challenges and lessons learned. This included the ‘business-unusual’ approaches they are taking to advance climate ambitionand ensure the most vulnerable communities are supported. Development partner Canada shared updates on the support they have been providing to LIFE-AR, and how they are meeting LDC asks on climate action.

The event also welcomed a second cohort of LDCs to play an active role in LIFE-AR, joining and learning from the first cohort frontrunner countries. These countries formally signed up to the LIFE-AR Partnership Compact, where LDCs and development partners stand in commitment together to deliver the LDC vision.

Related reading: LIFE-AR: Uganda roll-out progresses to district level, charts path for more countries to come on board

Philanthropies and adaptation: from ambition to action

Pavilion event

Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Climate Emergency Collaboration Group, Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation and Quadrature Climate Foundation, in collaboration with IIED

Building on recent convenings, this high-level event at COP28 presented and put on spotlight on philanthropies' commitment to increased support for climate adaptation and resilience through joint learning, coordination, strategy development and investment.

Related reading: Principles for locally led adaptation 

Sunday 3 December

Islands of change: building fiscal resilience in the face of climate crisis

Pavilion event

Venue: Antigua and Barbuda Pavilion  
Hosted by: The government of Antigua and Barbuda, IIED

Working together with key stakeholders, especially the government of Antigua and Barbuda as SIDS4 hosts, IIED facilitated the design process for an initiative that aims to create a new financial compact for SIDS that will ensure SIDS debt sustainability, greater investments in resilience-building measures and support resilient prosperity.

This event introduced the idea of a debt sustainability support service that is SIDS-owned and led and gives SIDS access to pro bono support on the legal, commercial and data analysis needed to proactively advance debt sustainability and long-term capability building.

Related reading: Sinking islands, rising debts: urgent need for new financial compact for Small Island Developing States

Taking early action to scale: a charter for the future

Presidential roundtable

Venue: Presidential Roundtable, Blue Zone
Hosted by: The government of Samoa, the UK government, and the UAE COP28 Presidency

COP28 was of particular significance as it marked the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake that will measure progress since Paris and set out our collective response to keep the 1.5°C target within reach, while building greater adaptation and resilience to increasing climate impacts. Key to this ambition will be leveraging collective action that ensures finance and capacities to act are in place to better protect people ahead of climate-related disasters.  

IIED’s Ritu Bharadwaj joined  the discussion at this signature event of COP28’s ‘Relief, Recovery and Peace Day’. Central to this event was the launch of a Charter for the Future. The charter and its companion pieces sets out a roadmap that ensures comprehensive support before, during and after disasters. 

Related reading: Anticipatory Social Protection Index for Resilience — ASPIRE | Shock-responsive social protection in fragile and conflict-affected states

Building partnerships for climate risk management: replicating partnerships to scale risk pooling in Africa

Pavilion event

Venue: Risk Pool pavilion
Hosted by: African Risk Capacity Limited (ARC Ltd)  

Climate change poses mounting threats to African communities, with increased frequency of climate shocks like droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. Many African countries lack sufficient financial capacity to manage these growing climate risks.  

ARC Ltd aims to provide disaster risk coverage to over 40 million vulnerable Africans by 2026. Achieving this requires expanding risk pooling services into new countries and replicating successful partnerships. IIED's Ritu Bharadwaj joined this session that shared insights on strategic partnerships that can catalyse the scale-up of climate risk management in Africa.

Related reading: Tackling climate change loss and damage by strengthening anticipatory risk response under social protection programmes | Protecting against sovereign debt defaults under growing climate impacts: role for parametric insurance

Empowering the vulnerable: evaluating locally led adaptation for climate finance accountability in the least developed countries and the global South  

Pavilion event

Venue: LDC pavilion
Hosted by: IIED
Partners: ICCCAD, CADPI, FFLA, Fundación Avina 

This learning event evaluated the impact of locally led adaptation efforts in the context of climate finance accountability. Insights and lessons from evaluating the locally led adaptation (LLA) principles, now endorsed by more than 100 stakeholders, were shared.

The gathering brought together experts, policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders from around the world to share lessons on different approaches that can better evaluate LLA and hold climate finance providers to account.  

Related reading: New scorecards expose what’s going wrong in the climate finance delivery chain – and pilot how to fix it | Principles for locally led adaptation

Enabling a 'green seize' of new trade opportunities for LDCs: learning from the COVID-19 response to address the climate emergency

High-level event

Venue: Trade House Pavilion
Hosted by: ODI, Enhanced Integrated Framework

This high-level event moderated by IIED executive director Tom Mitchell reflected on how to ensure beneficial least developed country participation within green resilient supply chains – this includes ensuring open markets, facilitating technology transfers and supporting engagement with the private sector.  

The session focused on the role of the multilateral trading system in supporting LDCs to engage with the new trade opportunities arising from shift to low carbon supply chains - shifting the dynamics away from a potential 'green squeeze' to a 'green seize' of new market opportunities for LDCs.

Related reading: Trade and sustainable development

Debt-for-climate swaps as a climate finance instrument: what role can the Nordic countries play in alleviating the burden of debt in the global South?

Pavilion event

Venue: Nordic pavilion
Hosted by: Perspectives Climate Group

Insufficient and loan-based climate finance adds to the debt burden in the global south, hindering public investment in climate action. Debt-for-climate swaps promise to tackle both issues, but their potential remains unexplored. This side event featured IIED's Sejal Patel and examined the international experience with debt-for-climate swaps and discussed the potential role of Nordic countries in reforming and scaling up such swaps.

Related reading: Tackling the debt, climate and nature crises together | Redesigning debt swaps for a more sustainable future 

Innovative approaches for scaling up investment in adaptation and resilience: perspectives from financial institutions, bilateral donors, and governments

Pavilion event

Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: IIED
Partners: National Business Initiative (NBI), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)

This interactive session brought together different donors’ and providers’ perspectives on financing adaptation and resilience. With the goal to support making communities and countries more resilient to future changes in climate, it brought together private finance institutions with bilateral donors and government representatives that are rethinking their approaches to addressing risks and scaling up financing for a resilient future. 

Participants shared innovative approaches trialled within their institutions, as well as limitations to absorbing more risk and how accountability for supporting resilience goals can be enhanced.

Related reading: The good climate finance guide for investing in locally led adaptation

Monday 4 December

What works in adaptation finance delivery? Evidence review of effective adaptation finance for LDCs and SIDS

Pavilion event

Venue: LDC Pavilion
Hosted by: IIED
Partners: LDC Group

Following the 58th UNFCCC intersessional sessions in Bonn, Germany in June 2023, the least developed countries, Small Island Developing States and Champions Group on Adaptation Finance jointly undertook a mapping exercise on adaptation finance, to understand what high quality adaptation finance delivery can look like. This work is feeding into a shared vision of a better adaptation finance architecture around access to finance and delivery.

This event shared case studies of good practices, explored lessons learned, and got additional inputs from participants, feeding into publications and ongoing discussions.

Related reading: Reform the global financial system to support transformational adaptation

Devolved climate finance: experiences and lessons from implementing locally-led climate actions at scale

Pavilion event

Venue: Kenya Pavilion
Hosted by: ADA Consortium
Partners: Devolved Climate Finance (DCF) Alliance

This side event created awareness of the DCF Alliance experience on devolved climate financing and locally-led investments to improve communities’ resilience to climate change, and to inspire action among government and development partners to build effective and accountable funding mechanisms. 

In addition, it demonstrated locally-led and owned adaptation actions designed and implemented by communities that contribute to learning and development of knowledge that strengthens the theory and practice of climate change adaptation and resilience building in the global South.

Related reading: Devolved Climate Finance (DCF) Alliance

Multilateral development banks reform and adaptation finance

Pavilion event

Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Champions Group on Adaptation Finance
Partners: IIED, E3G

This high-level event brought together climate envoys and senior representatives from climate vulnerable countries, the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance and multilateral development banks (MDBs) to discuss what reforms of the climate finance architecture will be need to ensure MDBs can deliver improved access and high-quality adaptation finance for climate vulnerable countries.

Related reading: Join the endorsers of the locally led adaptation principles

Fixing climate finance: the role of development finance institutions towards the $100 billion per year objective

Pavilion event

Venue: IDFC Pavilion
Hosted by: German Investment Corporation (DEG) from the KfW group, the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES)
Partners: IIED, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), British International Investment (BII), Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

At COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 developed countries committed to a goal of mobilising collectively US$100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. This goal was formalised at COP16 in Cancun (2010). At COP21 in Paris, the target was extended to 2025. In 2015, the Paris Agreement also reaffirmed that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable, aiming to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation.

However, the US$100 billion target has not yet been reached, and the way developed nations are contributing to this goal has been criticised by civil society. Research suggests using innovative finance instruments such as parametric insurance, carbon markets and KPI-linked swaps for heavily indebted poor countries requiring substantial debt relief. In this context, development banks, especially multilateral development banks, have been fundamental in establishing eligibility criteria for climate finance and mobilising financial flows. 

This side event, featuring IIED executive director Tom Mitchell, investigated how development finance institutions can better contribute to the operationalisation of climate finance and increase its volume to meet NDCs climate finance needs.

Related reading: We need a new, layered approach to debt relief and climate financing | Protecting against sovereign debt defaults under growing climate impacts: role for parametric insurance

LIFE-AR panel discussion and reception 

Pavilion event 

Venue: LDC pavilion
Hosted by: LIFE-AR

This high-level event reflected on the opportunities and challenges of LIFE-AR, to drive further ambition and action on locally-led delivery of climate finance in LDCs.

Related reading: Learning from adaptation financing that is working for LDCs and SIDS

Tuesday 5 December

Empowering transformative urban action towards an expanded climate and innovation agenda

Panel event

Venue: Capacity-building Hub
Hosted by: UNU-EHS, ICLEI
Partners: Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC)  

This session set the scene for CapaCITIES Day at the Capacity-building Hub, delving into capacity-building efforts, encouraging dynamic and solution-driven bottom-up approaches to address the climate emergency. 

There was a photographic exhibition, hosted by the Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC) project, on 'Co-creating the cities we deserve' and two dialogues presenting local perspectives on the need for transformative urban action by and for communities, and drawing conclusions on what an Expanded Climate and Innovation Agenda (ECIA) means for cities. 

Participants discussed what capacities cities need to expand their existing climate strategies and become active solution providers to contribute to global sustainability and deliver flourishing lives for 11 billion people.  

Related reading: Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC) 

Decoding 'effectiveness' in climate change adaptation - insights from research and practice

Pavilion event

Venue: ICD-Taiwan Climate Partnership Pavilion
Hosted by: Perspectives Climate Group

The Global Goal on Adaptation of the Paris Agreement aims to ensure an ‘adequate adaptation response’ complementary to limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C and to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement further requires countries to contribute regularly review the ‘adequacy’ and ‘effectiveness’ of adaptation and support provided for adaptation. However, it has been difficult to define the goal, with varying evidence on what effective adaptation is. Adaptation is highly context specific, so a universal definition of what ‘effective adaptation’ is particularly challenging.  

This panel event featured IIED’s Sejal Patel and explored the multifaceted concept of adaptation effectiveness, particularly focusing on the different interpretations and priorities from different stakeholders such as climate finance providers, evaluators and researchers.

Related reading: Learning from adaptation financing that is working for LDCs and SIDS 

Co-creating equitable cities: catalysts for just climate action

Pavilion event

Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: IIED, Resilient Cities Network, ARUP, Silverlining

Our cities are inherently unequal, and this inequity is exacerbated by the climate crisis, where marginalised communities bear the brunt of climate impacts. However, there's a shift under way: climate planning and practice are evolving to become more inclusive, centering equity to disrupt this inequitable burden. We are moving towards fully engaging communities as meaningful partners to co-create and accelerate responses to the climate crisis. 

This session was a collaborative exploration of how we, as a collective of diverse urban practitioners, can effect this change together. Government officials, planners, frontline communities and the organisations and institutions that support them explored the strategies, solutions and innovations that will drive equitable and climate-resilient urban futures.

Related reading: Better cities are possible: achieving resilient, low-carbon and inclusive urban development 

Scaling up local investments in adaptation that leaves no one behind 

Pavilion event 

Venue: ADB pavilion
Hosted by: Asian Development Bank

Local communities are at the frontline of facing climate impacts and driving adaptation solutions. Evidence shows that at the community level, women are often leading resilience strategies to deal with disaster- and climate-related shocks and stresses. However, there remains a large gap in providing local communities, especially poor and vulnerable communities, with the enabling environment needed to scale up adaptation solutions. It is in this context that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has established the Community Resilience Partnership Program (CRPP) to scale up local investments in climate adaptation that address the nexus of climate, poverty and gender.  

IIED's Ritu Bharadwaj join the high-level panel discussion at this session that identified approaches and measures for scaling up climate adaptation investments at the local level and discussed how CRPP can help address key barriers and promote innovative solutions.

Related reading: We need a new, layered approach to debt relief and climate financing

Innovating for just, locally led nature-based solutions for Caribbean resilience

Pavilion event

Venue: Antigua and Barbuda Pavilion
Hosted by: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI)

This event featured IIED's Ebony Holland as a panellist, and brought together key stakeholders in the Caribbean and international partners to explore approaches for just, locally led nature-based solutions and opportunities and challenges for fostering innovation to scale up impact.

COP28 represents a critical moment to enhance alignment between the Paris Agreement and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for nature-positive climate actions that address the needs of the most vulnerable communities and wider civil society in Caribbean SIDS and other developing countries.

Related reading: Transforming nature finance

CapaCITY through co-creation: comparing transformational processes of capability development for urban resilience  

Learning event

Venue: Capacity-building Hub
Hosted by: SouthSouthNorth
Partners: Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) programme with ACTS and PlanAdapt, the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA), INACCT and REPRESA

The Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) aims to enable socially inclusive and sustainable action to build resilience to climate change and natural hazards. Through this work and its supported projects, this session showcased the importance of enhancing the resilience of urban dwellers to climate impacts in cities of the global South, demonstrating how strengthening capacity is critical to ensuring their continued social and economic development despite shocks and stresses.

Participants proposed a community of practice on capacity building for urban resilience through co-creation, where active learning and sharing between diverse actors contributes to approaches for enhancing resilience capacity.

Related reading: Better cities are possible: achieving resilient, low-carbon and inclusive urban development  | Adaptation Research Alliance: accelerating adaptation action and solutions 

Urban transformation: when capacity-building and innovation work together

High-level dialogue event

Venue: Capacity-building Hub
Hosted by: UNU-EHS, ICLEI
Partners: Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC)  

This panel discussion wrapped up the CapaCITIES event by sharing reflections and key takeaways from the day and providing insights and recommendations for participants to apply in their own contexts.  

The dialogue featured distinguished speakers in discussion, building a community of practice among urban sustainability professionals and enthusiasts. It was an opportunity to learn from the speakers, exchange ideas and experiences, and ensure that the outcomes of the CapaCITIES Day inspires and informs actions for climate and sustainability innovation in cities worldwide.  

Related viewing: Environment & Urbanization Better Cities Day

ALL ACT: Honouring Saleemul Huq's legacy of advancing practical solutions for loss and damage


Venue: Resilience Hub  
Hosted by: ALL ACT (IIED and ICCCAD)

Rising sea levels, devastating floods and increasingly intense cyclones disproportionately affect vulnerable LDCs and SIDS. Loss and damage from climate change is becoming more frequent and severe, and adaptation measures alone are not sufficient to prevent all impacts. In response to this urgent need, IIED and ICCCAD launched the Alliance for locally-led approaches for transformative action on loss and damage (ALL ACT) initiative in March 2023, aiming to provide agile and sufficient financial and technical support to those facing the brunt of climate change. ALL ACT is a commitment to locally-led, transformative action, ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable are met swiftly and effectively.

At COP28 we not only reflected on the challenges but also focused on proactive solutions and collaborations. This reception was a significant step in this journey, honouring Saleemul Huq's legacy, whose vision and dedication to climate action shaped the ALL ACT initiative. This event honoured his contributions and reiterated our commitment to advancing his mission in tackling loss and damage.

Related reading: Saleemul Huq tribute video | Alliance of least developed countries, Small Island Developing States to create national facilities to address loss and damage

Wednesday 6 December 

Exploring locally led adaptation in Bangladesh: expectation and reality

Pavilion event 

Venue: UNCDF pavilion
Hosted by: ICCCAD

This event highlighted the status of locally-led adaptation (LLA) in Bangladesh and beyond by highlighting four key aspects: 

  • Importance of the adoption of national policies that recognize the importance of locally-led adaptation
  • Ongoing efforts of international and national nongovernmental organisations in enhancing local leadership at the country level  
  • Challenges in the implementation of LLA nationally and globally, and
  • The way forward for LLA, networking and partnership

Related reading: Scaling up locally led adaptation in Bangladesh: three action areas

Actions after impacts: non-party stakeholders delivering concrete solutions to address loss and damage

Roundtable event

Venue: Al Jeer room
Hosted by: Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
Organised by: IIED, ICCCAD, GRP, IFRC with CCT

The world is grappling with unprecedented challenges posed by climate change, with particularly devastating impacts on vulnerable communities. Communities globally are experiencing increasing levels of loss and damage due to extreme weather events, gradual environmental degradation, and other climate-induced disruptions.

Professor Saleemul Huq was a relentless advocate for the most climate-vulnerable populations, and his work significantly contributed to elevating their struggles to the global platform. To honour and meaningfully extend the legacy of Professor Huq, this interactive session focused on how to move from discussions to decisive action. To achieve this, there is a critical need to understand and tackle loss and damage from both economic and non-economic perspectives. Localised, actionable research and grassroots voices are more crucial than ever to inform effective practical solutions.

Related reading: Saleemul Huq tribute video | Delivering anticipatory social protection: country readiness assessment | Living in the shadow of loss and damage: uncovering non-economic impacts

Bridging the gender gap in climate negotiations: research insights and recommendations 

Pavilion event

Venue: LDC pavilion
Hosted by: IIED, SAEDI Consulting, LDC Group

This event presented summary findings on the barriers and constraints influencing women’s meaningful participation at UNFCCC negotiations at two key levels. This focused on the implications of low female representation at climate negotiations by least developed countries.  

A panel discussed equality and parity at the climate negotiations, including immediate and long-term solutions to remove these barriers and enhance women’s participation. Participants were told about ongoing efforts in LDCs on gender equality in Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Rwanda, that can shed light on both strategic and practical changes to how we currently do participation and representation in the UNFCCC.

Related reading: Understanding the gender imbalance at the international climate negotiations | Progress towards gender balance at the UN climate negotiations: slow, steady – but not enough

Week 2

Friday 8 December

International Land Coalition: strengthening land tenure rights of smallholder farmers for sustainable food systems and climate resilience 

Pavilion event

Venue: Food pavilion
Hosted by: International Land Coalition
Partners: IFAD, Asian Farmers’ Association, World Rural Forum, Forest Farm Facility

Ecosystem-based approaches to agriculture such as agroecology can promote carbon sequestration and strengthen the resilience of food systems against climate change, while supporting biodiversity, food security, nutrition and livelihoods. Such approaches are predominantly based in the agricultural practices of smallholder and family farmers and similar groups. Smallholder and family farmers also supply around 70% of the food consumed in the world. 

Despite their contribution and important role, only 2% of current global climate funds are allocated to them. Hence the need to recognise and support them as crucial partners of climate actions to protect biodiversity and strengthen food security. This session presented evidence about the contribution of smallholder and family farmers to sustainable food systems while contributing to climate actions, and highlighted the need for secure land rights and access to finance in order to invest in a more sustainable agriculture practices and healthier livelihoods. 

Related reading Agrobiodiversity — the way to save earth’s skin | The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) approach: delivering climate-resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods

National capacity in the least developed countries (LDCs) for accelerated climate action and launch of the capacity building programme  

Launch event

Venue: Capacity Building Hub
Hosted by: ICCCAD

The issue of national capacity in the LDCs for accelerated climate action is a critical facet in the global pursuit of sustainable development and combating the challenges posed by climate change. LDCs, characterised by their vulnerabilities to environmental, economic, and social stresses, often face an uphill battle in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  

The launch of a Capacity Building Program tailored specifically for LDCs signifies a pivotal step in the right direction. It aims to address the unique challenges these nations encounter in their pursuit of climate action. Such a program could encompass various elements, including knowledge transfer, technical assistance, financial support, and policy frameworks, fostering homegrown expertise and infrastructure essential for climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. IIED's Ritu Bharadwaj joined the panel discussion at this interactive event.

Related reading: Centring local values in assessing and addressing climate-related losses and damages

Putting principles into practice: government support for locally led adaptation 


Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: USAID, Irish Aid

This event was a celebration of new and existing endorsers of the principles for locally led adaptation. Participants heard from new endorsers and existing endorsers on how they plan to put words into action, to deliver stronger decision-making, finance and support behind locally led action for people, nature and climate. 

Related reading: Join the endorsers of the locally led adaptation principles  

Climate and Development Ministerial

Ministerial event 

Venue: Moana Blue Pacific pavilion
Hosted by: IIED

The Climate and Development Ministerial (C&DM) process has provided a space for delegates from LDCs, SIDS and host countries of the COP to step away from core negotiations and come together to move forward an ambitious plan to transform access and delivery for adaptation finance. 

The discussion and insights from the C&DM process have provided much needed positive news around COP28 and ongoing climate negotiations. This high-level event will bring together the countries and institutes involved in the 2023 C&DM process to showcase the new vision and goal to enable a more transformative approach to access and delivery of adaptation finance. The event outlined a series of priority actions to take this agenda forward in 2024.

Related reading: Progressive countries agree shared vision at COP28 to transform adaptation finance

Sunday 10 December 

Call to action – locally led adaptation endorsers’ reception 


Venue: Resilience Hub networking space
Hosted by: IIED
Partners: Endorsers of the principles for locally led adaptation

More than 115 organisations have endorsed the eight principles for locally led adaptation (LLA) and more countries and non-state institutions have signed on ahead of COP; the task is now to translate these principles into tangible action and scaling up support for LLA across levels of governance. 

This event brought together endorsers of the LLA principles to share new approaches, learning and impacts aligned with the principles. 

Related reading: Locally led adaptation principles 

Debt-for-climate (DFC) swaps as an innovative and underused instrument of climate finance?

Official side event

Venue: SE Room 7
Hosted by: Perspectives Climate Group

Insufficient and loan-based climate finance adds to debt burden in developing countries, hindering public investment in climate action. DFC swaps promise to tackle both issues, but their potential remains unexplored. This side event featured IIED's Sejal Patel and examined the international experience with DFC swaps and discuss its potential and pitfalls.  

Related reading: Resilient prosperity in SIDS: forging a new finance compact | Layering debt relief solutions to move countries from vicious to virtuous cycles of debt

Monday 11 December 

Practical solutions for loss and damage

Pavilion event

Venue: Resilience Hub
Hosted by: ALL ACT - Alliance for Locally Led Transformative Action on Loss and Damage
Partners: IIED, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Germanwatch, ICCCAD

As the climate crisis escalates, vulnerable communities globally are suffering from increasing loss and damage due to extreme weather and environmental shifts. In the most vulnerable contexts, e.g. SIDS and LDCs, the role of disaster and climate risk management and humanitarian action is increasingly recognised to help in averting, minimising and addressing losses and damages. 

This interactive session aimed to move from discussion to action by focusing on two pivotal areas: practical solutions and implementation support. Experts shared proven strategies for tackling loss and damage, including climate-resilient infrastructure, ecosystem-based adaptations, and early warning systems, supplemented by case studies and perspectives of experts based on their lived experience from varied contexts.

Ritu Bharadwaj officially launched the Loss and Damage Research Observatory at COP28. It offers a comprehensive repository of resources, including research papers, methodologies and case studies, fostering a robust learning environment. Additionally, the observatory actively engages with a diverse research advisory group, ensuring rigorous evaluation and dissemination of valuable findings. 

Related reading: Tackling loss and damage in countries vulnerable to the effect of the climate crisis: improving evidence and co-generating pathways to impact

Connecting consumers and family farmers to tackle food and climate crises

Pavilion event 

Venue: COP28 Food Systems pavilion
Hosted by: Consumers International and World Rural Forum
Partners: Forest and Farm Facility

Farmers and consumers form the backbone of global food systems, yet their voices are deeply underrepresented in food systems governance. Building bridges between these groups is essential to tackling the interconnected crises of climate and hunger – by providing a united voice for high-level action grounded in people’s rights and needs; and connecting local communities through fair and inclusive value chains for healthy and sustainable food.

Related reading: Food systems governance and the environmental agenda | Working with informality: constructive ways to transform food systems

Have your say! Shaping a new funding modality for locally led adaptation (LLA)

Pavilion event

Venue: IUCN Pavilion
Hosted by: Adaptation Fund

This event, featuring IIED's Ebony Holland, engaged various adaptation stakeholders on the best ways to scaling LLA in the Adaptation Fund, and in particular on the modalities to making funding adaptation more easily accessible to local communities and ensuring that local actors are empowered to lead adaptation planning and implementation.

The discussion covered key funding aspects, including specific needs and challenges of local actors to access financing, options for local organisations that are not accredited with the fund to access finance, size of grants, readiness support, suitable LLA indicators and capacity for monitoring and evaluation.

Related reading: Transformational change is needed in the adaptation finance landscape for LDCs and SIDS

Taking forward locally led action on climate and nature – building partnerships, delivering change 

Launch event 

Venue: Benelux pavilion
Hosted by: IIED 
Partners: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CDKN

This event launched the Netherlands’ LLA grant alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands. 

Related reading: Join the endorsers of the locally led adaptation principles

Tuesday 12 December

Africa's ecological food future: re-imagining food policies and investments towards a climate-resilient and nature-positive future

Pavilion event

Venue: Africa Pavilion
Hosted by: WWF, African Development Bank, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT and IIED

Africa's food systems resilience and sustainability are and will increasingly be driven by climate change. Insufficient responses to these drivers could be catastrophic to the region’s natural ecosystems and further exacerbate climate change. A recent study revealed the main decision space to bring policies and investment decisions in line with the continent’s long-term climate resilience and overall ecological sustainability.

This event provided information on the need for the consideration of ecological sustainability aspects in the design of solutions through projects, initiatives and investments focused on food system transformation in Africa. Participants looked at the necessary enabling framework to put Africa on an ecological food future, exploring policies, incentives and best practices. The discussions contributed to the development of a policy brief to advise African governments on the issues of sustainable food systems based on ecological sustainability.

Related reading: Smallholder farmers worldwide spending $368bn annually adapting to climate change, nature loss
Analysis of the implications of Africa's food systems development on environmental sustainability (PDF)

Harnessing young farmers’ innovation and adaptation to climate change

Pavilion event

Venue: Zayed Sustainability Prize pavilion
Hosted by: FAO, World Rural Forum and World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) 
Partners: Forest and Farm Facility