GCCA regional workshop in Maseru, Lesotho

Over 25 people, representing 10 countries, 5 regional or international organisations or programmes and 2 EU Delegations, attended the GCCA regional workshop on ‘mainstreaming climate change in national development planning and budgeting’ organised for Southern and Eastern African countries in Maseru, Lesotho from 25 to 28 October 2011. Participants included senior government officials involved in climate change coordination and in development planning/budgeting from Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Delegates of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the OECD and the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative also attended the event, alongside representatives of EU Delegations to Lesotho and Zambia.

The overall atmosphere and engagement of participants throughout the workshop was very positive – in spite of an extremely ‘packed’ agenda including presentations by trainers and seven participants, discussions, group exercises, and side events. Many participants had considerable experience in the field of climate change mainstreaming – and in addition to sharing it during discussions and group activities, several made presentations on aspects of their experience in relation to specific workshop topics. Issues addressed by these presentations included the economic challenges associated with climate change adaptation and mitigation, the implications of building large dams in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation, challenges experienced in accessing climate funding, how to make the most of climate change finance to achieve development effectiveness, and the status of climate change negotiations ahead of the Durban climate change conference. The CDKN representative also provided an overview of the services available under this initiative to support climate-compatible development.

On the evening of the first day, a special session was organised for participants from countries with GCCA-supported programmes, namely Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda. This session provided an opportunity to exchange and share knowledge on experience implementing the GCCA.

On the second day of the workshop, a field visit to Katse Dam was organised by the Lesotho Meteorological Services in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Lesotho. The visit enabled a visual appreciation of the landscapes and land use of Lesotho and facilitated informal discussion on the consequences of climate change. An overview of the Lesotho Highlands Development Project (LHDP) and the key features of the water diversion project of which the Katse dam is a major component was kindly provided at the LHDP’s Information Centre, followed by a short visit to the interior of the dam wall.

On the evening of the third day, a reception for workshop participants was organised at the kind initiative of the Head of EU Delegation, Mr Hans Duynhouwer. This allowed for more informal but equally interesting exchanges, in the very pleasant settings of the EU ambassador’s residence.

Click here for more information on this workshop.

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