Capacity Development and the UNFCCC process

Capacity Development and the UNFCCC process
Photo: UNDP

Climate change is a multi-faceted threat, affecting every aspect of human activity. Actions to address climate change must therefore be intimately linked to sustainable development and economic growth, and fall across a variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture, health, transport and water resources. Effective solutions require coordinated national policies that are developed with the engagement of a variety of government stakeholders, such as ministries of finance, planning, energy, and health, as well as other relevant stakeholders, such as the private sector, NGOs and civil society. The capacity of developing countries to engage a variety of government, private sector and civil society stakeholders to garner broad-based support will also be an important determinant of their level of engagement in international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

UNDP has a number of capacity development initiatives ongoing around the world, with the goal of aligning human development and climate change management efforts. A key focus has been on building capacities of developing countries, at all levels, to embed and integrate resilience building and adaptive capacity into domestic policies, and investment decision-making processes and practices. UNDP has been developing analytical resources to step up its policy-oriented capacity development services on climate change to enable developing countries and vulnerable groups to achieve this objective. This is a process of transformation from the inside, based on nationally determined priorities, policies, and desired results.

One key project is Capacity Development for Policy Makers to Address Climate Change, which began in May 2008. Other relevant projects are listed on the right

Programmes and Initiatives

Capacity development for policy makers: A UNDP project assisting countries strengthen their capacity to participate in the UNFCCC process.


National Communications Support Programme: Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and jointly managed by UNDP and UNEP, the programme provides technical and policy support to countries preparing National Communications.


National Capacity Self Assessments: A GEF-UNDP-UNEP support programme to enable countries to make a self-assessment of their capacity needs and prepare a national capacity action plan.


Capacity development for carbon finance: UNDP regional and country projects, and the UNDP MDG Carbon Facility, provide support to developing countries on a variety of capacity development initiatives related to Carbon Finance.


UN System Activities: Online inventory of UN System Activities on Climate Change and Capacity Building.