Africa and Arab Regional Workshop Addresses Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Disasters

24 June 2011: The UN Development Group (UNDG) Task Team on Environmental Sustainability, Climate Change and Rio+20, in collaboration with several partners, has organized the first in a series of three regional workshops focusing on the linkages among climate change, environmental degradation and disasters, and how to mainstream them in country programming.

The three regional workshops are being organized by the UNDG Task Team in collaboration with the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) through the Bureau for Development Policy and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the Secretariat of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) (with resources from UN CC:Learn), and the UN System Staff College (UNSSC).

The first regional workshop was for the Africa and Arab region, and was held from 22-24 June 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop brought together members of UN Country Teams that are embarking on the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) roll-out process. It aimed at enabling participants to identify opportunities and tools for mainstreaming environmental sustainability, climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in country programming.

The content of the workshop was based on three interrelated UNDG guidance notes: Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction into the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and UNDAF; Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Country Analysis and the UNDAF; and Integrating Climate Change Considerations in the Country Analysis and the UNDAF.

During the workshop, representatives from a range of international organizations provided background information and introduced supporting resources and experiences, including on: effective use of the guidance notes; the technical and strategic support regional UNDG teams are providing to UN Country Teams throughout the UNDAF development and implementation process; and the resources available through the One UN CC:Learn initiative to support country-driven processes to strengthen climate change learning and skills development. In addition, through “Country Clinics,” Country Team representatives presented opportunities and challenges in their UNDAF development processes and received feedback and advice from other representatives. Good practices identified through the discussions included the need to: align UNDAF priorities with national development challenges; focus on areas where the UN has a comparative advantage; and leverage expertise from other specialized agencies.

The workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean will take place in Panama, from 11-15 July 2011, and the workshop for Asia will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 25-29 July 2011. [UNITAR Press Release] [CC:Learn Press Release]