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Mainstreaming environment and climate change issues within the UNSDCF

The UN Issue-based Coalition on Environment and Climate Change for Europe and Central Asia organised a training workshop to enhance the understanding of entry points, practical approaches and tools for mainstreaming environment and climate change into UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks. The workshop was divided into two interactive webinars held in December 2021 and in January 2022. Guidance was provided to Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams from Central Asia, South-Eastern Europe and Turkey, and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

The UN Issue-based Coalition (IBC) on Environment and Climate Change for Europe and Central Asia co-chaired by UNESCO, UNECE and UNEP launched its “Guidance on integrating Environment and Climate Change in UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks” (UNSDCFs) in July last year. The mainstreaming guidance addresses the Resident Coordinators’ (RC) need for assistance in identifying key environmental and climate change risks, challenges and opportunities.

To assist RCs and the UN Country Teams (UNCT) in the application of the guidance, the IBC, with the support of Development Coordination Office (DCO), developed a training package and a set of webinars, following the launch.

An initial webinar, held on 9 December 2021, brought together RCs and UNCTs from the entire region, and provided an overview of entry points for mainstreaming environment and climate change issues in UN Cooperation Frameworks. It was followed in January, by a series of appointments for each of the subregions: Central Asia; South-East Europe and Turkey; and Eastern Europe and Caucasus. The 3 subregional webinars focused more on approaches and tools for mainstreaming.

A total of 167 participants attended the two-part virtual training workshops from across the 3 sub-regions, including RCs, RC Offices, UNCTs, DCO and IBC member agencies.

Prior to the webinars, a survey on mainstreaming was filled in by registered participants, which helped the IBC to develop a demand-driven training programme,” pointed out Jonathan Baker, Regional Advisor and Head of Science unit, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe. The training package was in fact designed to be highly interactive and engaging, which enabled RCs and Country Team members to share experiences and learn from each other, while also providing insight to the IBC in identifying which areas needed most support. Various polls were conducted during the sessions to better understand UNCT needs and focus the discussions.

During the training sessions, participants were divided in parallel breakout group discussions, each breakout room included country presentations and discussion among participants. One group looked deeper into the application of risk analysis and tools for mainstreaming environment and climate change issues in Cooperation Framework design and implementation. Another group focused on approaches and tools used for creating results frameworks and identifying indicators for environment and climate change issues.

The training series are aimed at supporting the UN Country Teams rolling out new UNSDCFs and encouraging them to use the mainstreaming guidance at the relevant stages of UNSDCF processes including the Cooperation Framework’s Roadmap and CCA, within the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages. The agenda, meeting reports and presentations for all 4 sessions of the training are now available on the IBC webpage at this link. The IBC intends to continue working closely with Resident Coordinators Offices and UN Country Teams to pilot and implement the guidance at the country level.