A training workshop on ‘Mentoring and Coaching for the Identification and Preparation of Bankable Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation Projects’ was organized by COMSATS, from the platform of its initiative COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS). The workshop was held in collaboration with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO); Egyptian National Commission to UNESCO – ICESCO – ALESCO; Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE); Regional Training Centre for Water and Irrigation Studies (RCTWS); and International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Held from 13th to 15th November 2022, the workshop was hosted by RCTWS at October 6 city of Egypt.
The workshop was inaugurated by Engr. Tarek Elsayed, Head of the Regional Training Centre for Water Resources and Irrigation (RCTWS), on 13th November 2022. During his address, Engr. Elsayed welcomed subject experts, local and foreign participants and expressed pleasure on hosting the workshop at RCTWS. He also thanked ISESCO, COMSATS, RCREEE and Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO for their collaboration in this regard. He considered this activity highly useful for the Member States of COMSATS and OIC. Emphasising the significance of financing for climate resilience, Engr. Elsayed deemed knowledge and skills necessary to convert key climate adaptation and mitigation projects into project designs for obtaining suitable climate financing.
The inaugural session was jointly chaired by Dr. Foued El Ayni, Expert – Science and Technology Sector, ICESCO; Mr. Sayed Elabsy, Assistant Secretary General, Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO; Dr. Manal Fawzy Ahmed, Chair, UNESCO-MAB (Man and Biosphere) Program & Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO; Dr. Huma Balouch, Deputy Director at COMSATS. The speakers collectively stressed on building the capacity of stakeholders and government representatives to develop bankable climate change adaptation projects and to adapt and build community resilience.
The primary objective of the workshop was to develop an understanding among the participants about where to look for climate change adaptation funding, the phases of project cycle as well as requirements of banks and donors, and acquire skills for preparing it. The training covered the topics, including Landscape of climate finance; Project cycle in the preparation of proposals and in the implementation of projects, Climate Change Impacts, Mitigation & Adaptation; Characteristic of Climate Change Projects; Contemporary Issues of Climate Change Projects; Energizing investment platform; and Exchange Experiences Case Studies to attract green finance, which were illustrated with case studies, best practice experiences and lessons learned.
Technical sessions of the three-day workshop were attended by more than 40 participants, including decision markers, planners, environmentalists, researchers and professionals involved in climate change management and risk reduction issues, representing different ministers and governmental departments, universities and research institutions from Egypt, Oman, Libya, Mauritania, Pakistan, Sudan, Brunei, and Morocco.
Dr. Manal Fawzy, one of the resource person, provided an overview of the cascading effects of climate change, from energy systems to livelihoods and labour. She shared on the key concepts and approaches for addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation, as well as the theoretical framework for planning adaptation actions to climate change.
Prof. Ahmed Hegazy from Cairo University, gave presentation on the international framework for addressing climate change, i.e. the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. He also highlighted the most important developments from recent climate change conferences as well as the significant problems that would be discussed at the COP27.
Mr. Khurram Lalani, Resource Future – Pakistan, presented an overview of the range of global and regional financial mechanisms as well as the programmes and initiatives that have been established to make the planning, design and submission of climate change project for climate finance easier. He further elaborated about the Climate Finance Explorer, a searchable database of global public climate financing options. It has assembled data on funding sources and displays them in a consistent and user-friendly manner to assist country practitioners and other stakeholders in locating, comprehending, and gaining access to appropriate funding options.
Dr. Sohail Malik from Climate Resourcing Coordination Centre (CRCC) – Pakistan, highlighted the value of needed Paradigm shift, degree to which the project can catalyse impact beyond a one-off project investment. He pointed out the key elements of Climate Rationale Principles, emphasizing project comprehension, looking specifically at how Identification, Response, Data, methodology, Monitoring & Reporting, when used properly, facilitate development and approval process of climate change projects. Further, Dr. Sohail also provided comprehensive presentation on contemporary issues of climate change projects.
Dr. Daniela from CIHEAM, provided comprehensive guidance on project cycle management built on using the result-based management principles and the logical framework approach. She described a set of methods, strategies, and templates for managing, monitoring, and evaluating projects that result in generation of pertinent information to improve informed decision-making during key stages of project. In her second presentation, Dr. Daniela provided information on the Interreg Next Med programme, a significant EU-funded initiative that comprises 15 countries for collaboration in the Mediterranean region. She went on to further discuss the policies, criteria and broad and specific objectives of the Interreg Next MED 2021-2027 programme for the funding period 2021-2027. She also briefed the participants about the major funding mechanisms and procedures of the new Horizon Europe initiative that supports innovation, research, and science.
Dr. Cosimo Tendi from CIHEAM, apprised the participants about the fundamentals related to writing project proposals and emphasized the importance of systemic metrics that reflect the breadth of the project. The workshop also included an interactive group exercise that was led by Dr. Cosimo Tendi, during which participants discussed their project concepts, suggested climate solutions, and revised their proposals in accordance with the trainer guidance. Overall, participants provided positive feedback for the training workshop, and it could easily be repeated in other nations in the region if necessary.
Mr. Ahmed Abdelrsoul, from RCREEE, elaborated the current state of energizing investment for energy efficiency in the Arab world, focussing on its objectives, institutional structures, legal frameworks, financing sources, and long-term plans for Arab world.
Following recommendations were made by the participants during the Workshop:
- Augment multi-stakeholders support for building data driven climate rationale to accelerate climate action for building climate resilience in developing countries;
- Initiate campaign plan, strategy for identifying drivers for mobilizing the private sector to participate in climate finance for initiatives that address climate change adaptation;
- Continue to build capacity of stakeholders, government representatives and youth to develop bankable climate change projects;
- Participants upon learning project preparation considerations, called for further comprehensive guide or training on submission process for Climate finance proposals to different Climate finance institutions;
- Enhance public understanding and support for taking action on climate change in developing countries; and
- Address information fragmentation and increase understanding of the relevant research institutions on evaluation procedures of climate finance institutions.
The workshop successfully concluded with the distribution of certificates among the resource persons, local and foreign participants, and organizing committee members by the representatives of ICESCO, COMSATS and Egyptian National Commission.