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Focus on CDKN, CapaCITIES Initiatives at COP26 Session on Global South Commitment to Climate Action

ICLEI South Asia, supported by partner agencies, conducted a key session on the “Global South Commitment to Climate Action” during the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow in the United Kingdom on the 10th of November 2021.

Distinguished speakers representing national governments, development agencies and non-government organisations from across the world, discussed the barriers and challenges faced by subnational and local governments in the Global South for implementing climate action, as well examples of how they overcame these issues. The hybrid session, moderated by Mr Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary-General, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, highlighted key aspects for encouraging climate action at the sub-national/local level. These included understanding the climate knowledge gap among key actors and stakeholders at the subnational and local government levels; exploring different formats and approaches to address these gaps; sharing good practices of local and subnational interventions to address the challenges of climate action in the Global South; and encouraging cross-country learning through interactions.

Dr. Bruce Currie-Alder, Programme Leader for Climate Resilience, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, spoke about the importance of climate knowledge brokering in supporting climate resilience. He said that there was a need to review the activities conducted in the last decade on climate change adaptation research, as well as to assess the new skill gaps that have emerged since, such as data visualisation, community engagement and facilitation, and video editing, among others.

Mr. Matthias Bachmann, Programme Officer, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland, spoke about the CapaCITIES India project that has helped eight cities in the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to integrate climate risks into urban planning and develop city climate action plans. Ms. Supriya Sahu, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, said the state was committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders and that it has launched three important missions to promote community engagement, enhance the forest cover and to identify and restore 100 important wetlands in the state. Ms. Charlotte Scott, Project Manager, SouthSouthNorth, South Africa, made a presentation on two projects based out of Ghana and Namibia where stakeholders were provided a single platform to share their experiences to inform the governance and knowledge landscape. Mr. Lochan Sehra, IAS, Secretary, Housing and Nirmal Gujarat, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Government of Gujarat, spoke about the Gujarat State Action Plan on Climate Change and the policies that have been implemented in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, some of which have been through the support of the CapaCITIES project. There were other presentations on climate finance and the gender gap in climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.

ICLEI South Asia organised the event in partnership with the CDKN programme (supported by IDRC and Royal Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the CapaCITIES project (supported by SDC).