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International Development Research Center (IDRC) at COP 22

8-18 November 2016 | Marrakech, Morocco

Highlights for Saturday, 12 November 2016

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(L-R): Catherine Simonet, Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Chebet Maikut, Agriculture Commissioner, Uganda; Robert Hofstede, IDRC; and Emma Bowa, Care International

IISD Reporting Services is providing coverage of selected IDRC events at COP 22, including written, digital and video coverage.

The following events were covered on Saturday, 12 November 2016:

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kimo Goree
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Ambition, Commitment, ACTION! Perspectives on Implementation
Toward The Paris Agreement Organized by International Development Research Center (IDRC)



This session was moderated by Robert Hofstede, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), who posed as an imaginary journalist ‘Roberto Papparazzi’ interviewing the presenters in groups of three. This was followed by a small group discussion on the role of national governments, local governments, development organizations, planning organizations and business in implementing climate action. The small groups reported back to plenary.

Charles Ouma, Kigali, Rwanda, emphasized opportunities to turn waste into wealth as a mitigation strategy that empowers marginalized communities. He noted the need for a mindset change, and elaborated on a project targeting most vulnerable people and showing them that there was a way to get out of poverty.

Fiona Percy, CARE International, stressed food insecurity in rural Niger. She underscored community-based disaster risk management and community-based adaptation planning. She said that measures such as providing meteorological information are expanding the geographical and temporal scales of people’s planning. She noted that a side effect of the use of phones for communicating meteorological information was the creation of employment from selling solar panels. She underlined the need for access to financial services. She pointed that localized impacts need a response at the appropriate level.

Batu Uprety, Nepal, explained the experience of elaborating the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) through a bottom-up exercise collecting experiences and adaptation plans at the local level. He underscored the challenges in coordinating 9 ministries and over 200 officials involved in the process.

Emma Bowa, Care International, explained how the development of local adaptation plans in Kenya through a participatory process including women generated new avenues of income. She underscored that, with many valuable initiatives happening in small pockets, there is a need for people to talk to each other.

Catherine Simonet, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), underscored the importance of using language and understanding the priorities of the different sectors to engage them in adaptation measures. She noted the opportunities to improve business value chain economic performance through adaptation measures, using examples from the cotton and livestock sectors. She cautioned about unintended consequences of climate measures due to poor understanding at the sectorial level.

Chebet Maikut, Agriculture Commissioner, Uganda, noted that adaptation planning is first and foremost a partnership between the national government, regional and local governments, civil society, and other organizations. He underscored the role of the government, inter alia, in promoting rainwater harvesting techniques and obtaining better agricultural prices by providing access to information. He stressed that adaptation plans need to use all kinds of knowledge, including traditional knowledge. He noted the need to include women and youth in discussions about income-generating activities.

The ensuing discussion, among others, focused on the possibilities for generating value from adaptation and mitigation activities, the need for concrete examples of good practice at the local government level, the development of a vison for climate change, processes for engaging players at all levels of governance, the need to be strategic in terms of economic development and adaptation plans, and the need for clarity on what part of the private sector is targeted for engagement.


Chebet Maikut, Agriculture Commissioner, Uganda

Emma Bowa, Care International


Catherine Simonet, Senior Research Officer, Risk and Resilience Programme, Overseas Development Institute

Batu Krishna Uprety, Team Leader of the Nepalese National Adaptation Plan Formulation Process, Nepal Ministry of Population and Environment


Charles Ouma, Deputy Director, Policy and Advisory Services, Kampala

Panel Moderator Robert Hofstede, IDRC, Associate Director, Climate Change, Agriculture and Environment


Participants during breakout session

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Catalyzing Climate Action and Leadership – Innovative Approaches to Designing, Implementing and Communicating Research Presented by International Development Research Centre (IDRC)



The event, moderated by Heidi Braun, IDRC, focused on innovative approaches to design, implement and communicate research in ways that engage stakeholders, stimulate leadership, and encourage governments and others to act on climate change.

Margot Steenbergen, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, noted the importance of participatory ways of doing research on climate smart resilience. She highlighted games as an effective and enduring mechanism to design, implement and communicate research. She emphasized the need for new ways to gather information and highlighted co-peer review processes as a learning tool. She stressed the value of implementing partners to share experiences and reach out to others around the world.

Sara Benbrahim, GIREPSE, presented the case study of a project in the Ourika Valley, Morocco, to empower marginalized women through IT to take adaptation action. She highlighted how women built filter prototypes with local materials to access potable water after floods and shared their designs through social media. The project also provided technical assistance for composting and recycling waste. Benbrahim said a challenge is how to ensure long-term sustainability of the project.

Michele Leone, IDRC, explained how extrasensory experiences in near-death situations, where there is a detachment from the body, have been reported by those experiencing them as either so pleasant that it leads to inaction, or so awful that prompted action by the subjects to try to get back into their bodies. Showing a drone video from a village being flooded by storm surge in Ghana, he compared it to an extrasensory experience, which may prompt action. He said the use of drone technology to document climate change impacts is being used to educate and prompt action by policy makers in Ghana.

Berhane Gebru, FHI 360 Tech Lab, explained a project in Uganda to help farmers address the impacts of drought, unpredictable rain and market price variability through dissemination of technical, meteorological and market price information. He underscored the importance of diversifying communication channels to reach farmers, including radio, SMS, and community loudspeakers. He said the engagement of local civil and religious authorities had been key to the success of the project. He noted the project had reached 200,000 farmers, with over 75% taking action as a result, and said there was interest from other African countries.

Chris Wright, Climatetracker, explained his organization’s mission to capacitate the next generation of climate journalists in tracking climate change around the world. He stressed the need to use the right language, both literally and figuratively, to reach the right audience. He noted one of the main barriers to communicate climate science was academia, which was constrained by academic language and methods, and the need to re-educate journalists after they leave university.

In the ensuing discussion, participants broke out in small groups, and reported back to plenary. Participants discussed, among other the cost and long term sustainability of communicating information, the view from media organizations, language barriers, and technology options. A journalist noted that everyone wants news but no one wants to pay for them, stressing the lack of capacity of media organizations to deal with scientific information and the need for visual stories. There was a proposal to develop SMS-based applications to reach people without smart phones. It was noted that applications help manage conversations, not starting new ones.


Heidi Braun, IDRC

Sara Benbrahim, GIREPSE, Morocco


Margot Steenbergen, Learning Specialist, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Michele Leone, Senior Program Specialist, Agriculture and Environment at IDRC

Chris Wright, Director, ClimateTracker.org


Berhane Gebru, FHI 360 Tech Lab

Participants listening to panelists


Participants during the event

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