More than 70 local stakeholders in Mauritius have completed intensive training in international climate negotiations in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 this November.
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH) coordinated the inaugural Capacity Building Workshop on Climate Change Negotiations, from 19 April to 12 May 2023, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change of Mauritius.
The initiative was supported by the European Union under the Intra EU-ACP GCCA+ programme, which is facilitated by the Indian Ocean Commission.
In total, four rounds of training – each lasting three days – have equipped 74 public sector officials and civil society representatives with basic skills to handle international climate negotiations.
Opening the first session, the Minister of Environment of Mauritius, Hon. Kavydass Ramano, said:
“[This training] aims at providing our stakeholders with the required skills to understand the nuances and requisites while formulating our national position to defend our interests in the international arena.”
Climate negotiations training
CCFAH's General Manager Dr Oduetse Oldman Koboto, led the training, with support from the Commonwealth National Climate Finance Adviser for Mauritius, Soumik Biswas; Head of the Climate Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Unnikrishnan Nair and Commonwealth Regional Climate Finance Adviser for Africa, Dr Helene Gichenje, who led technical sessions.
Participants – more than half (40) of whom were women, along with several young people – were introduced to key aspects of the international climate negotiation process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the annual Conference of the Parties (COP).
They covered decisions of the Paris Agreement and outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), and the roles of subsidiary bodies, thematic working groups and negotiation blocs. Delegates also learned about negotiations on themes such as adaptation, mitigation, finance and loss and damage.
One of the youth participants, Perraud Lysa-Jade, President of the National Forum for Colleges Mauritius, commented:
“Our generation needs to be educated about the realities of climate change and be equipped with the necessary skills to create a change. The training was enriching, and I am confident students will benefit from it in many ways.”
Commonwealth Regional Climate Finance Adviser, Dr Helen Gichenje, said that trained participants could negotiate more effectively, not only on behalf of Mauritius, but also contribute to the African Group of Negotiators and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) negotiating groups.
Commonwealth National Climate Finance Adviser for Mauritius, Soumik Biwas, added:
“SIDS, such as Mauritius, face a disproportionate burden of climate impacts and in spite of severe resource constraints, they have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the international climate change arena. This training will help Mauritius, as well as other SIDS, to bring forward our views better and to convince the global community to take urgent actions during climate change negotiations.”
An advanced training initiative is planned closer to COP28 for a select group of participants from these workshops in Mauritius. Further workshops, in collaboration with other partners, are envisioned for other Commonwealth countries, at both national level as well as the regional level.
- Josephine Latu-Sanft Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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