Commonwealth climate team takes part in gender masterclass at COP28

10 December 2023
Commonwealth climate team takes part in gender masterclass at COP28

This week, regional and national advisers of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub took part in a Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) masterclass, designed to help them incorporate gender considerations into their work.

The training was organised at the Commonwealth Pavilion on the margins of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Spearheaded by Global Affairs Canada, the Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) methodology offers an innovative approach to gender mainstreaming that supports the development of responsive and inclusive policies, projects and programmes.

The masterclass was moderated by Unnikrishnan Nair, the Secretariat’s Head of Climate Change and delivered by Abiola Sunmonu, the Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Africa, Governance and Peace Directorate and Certified GBA+ Train the Trainer.

Commenting on the importance of the training, Dr Ruth Kattumuri, Senior Director, Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development Directorate, the Commonwealth Secretariat, said:

“The Commonwealth has a long history and strong foundation of commitments, conventions and treaties, articulated in the 2013 Charter of the Commonwealth, which recognises that gender equality and women’s empowerment are basic rights and essential for human development.

“The GBA+ Masterclass helps us towards this goal of striving for gender equality across all our Commonwealth member nations.”

Garth Ehrhardt, Director of Climate Finance and Partnerships, Canadian Department of Environment and Climate Change, said:

Gender-responsive climate finance prioritises the empowerment of women and girls to be climate action leaders. It also enhances their resilience by addressing their disproportionate vulnerability to climate change impacts.

GBA+ uses analytical tools to help participants assess the potential impacts - intended and unintended - of initiatives and projects on diverse groups of people, taking into consideration gender and other aspects of their identities.

There was consensus among Commonwealth staff that the training would have a meaningful and enduring impact.

Speaking after the training, Uzoamaka Nwamarah, Adviser Climate Change and lead on gender integration into the Commonwealth Climate Change Programme, said:

“When gender equality is integrated into climate finance, more effective and sustainable climate action that benefits everyone is enhanced, as the integration of gender considerations into project design and implementation improves the achievement of project outcomes.”

Dr Oduetse Koboto, Manager of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, said:

This is one of the ways in which we are responding to the call from the recent Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers Meeting to design dedicated and gender-focused climate solutions through our delivery mechanisms.

The training provided a standardised approach to Commonwealth National and Regional Climate Finance Advisers on gender mainstreaming which will be instrumental in enhancing the support we give to member countries.

Based in Mauritius, the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub has helped 17 small and vulnerable states in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific access more than US$322 million in climate finance for projects to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.