COP28: BHC project seeks to strengthen CSOs engagement with climate policy


Ahead of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), holds in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12, 2023, three not-for-profit are involved in a project that aimed at improving the communication, lobbying and advocacy competencies of climate civil society organisations (CSOs) to ensure a more active participation at the global summit.

The three not-for-profit organisations are – Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st), EnviroNews Development Network (Endenet) and Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP).

Sponsored by the British High Commission (BHC), the project is also aimed at developing a harmonised engagement approach for CSOs to engage with government and COPs processes.

The project will likewise ensure that there is strong synergy between CSOs and Government and other relevant stakeholders at COP28 to ensure Nigeria gets the best outcomes that will protect its people from the devastating effects of climate change.

The project plans to conduct a scoping study on Nigeria’s CSOs and other CSO participation and role in climate change negotiations and UNFCCC processes at COPs in the past two years. The study will identify gaps and issues that need to be addressed in ensuring effective CSOs engagement with climate change processes at national and global policy levels towards COP28.

The findings of the scoping study will be used to design capacity building initiatives, communication plan and, facilitate multi stakeholders’ dialogues with relevant government climate and related institutions to foster joint advocacy and networking in influencing climate negotiations on the road to COP28 and beyond. The project will prioritise effective communications of climate issues among CSOs.

The virtual capacity building and knowledge sharing sessions, which commences on Friday, November 10, are designed to navigate the various negotiating streams at the UNFCCC, explore the different negotiations interest, and crystalise Nigeria’s interest within the African climate change position.

Themed: “Nigerian CSOs on the Way to COP28: Navigating UNFCCC Processes and Participation”, Friday’s (Week One) session that focuses on “Overview of UNFCCC”, features two presentations: “Understanding UNFCCC” and “The UNFCCC Governance Structure”.

While topics of discussion for Week Two are “Climate Justice and other related concepts” and “Concept of Nationally Determined Contributions and the Paris Climate Agreement”, Week Three features “Overview of the UNFCCC Negotiation Process” and “Negotiation Streams at COP28”.

The Week Four has “Understanding the UNFCCC Major Groups and Constituencies” and “Media Engagement and Coordination at COP28”.

Titilope Akosa, Executive Director of C21st, remarked: “This timely training programme will equip climate focused CSOs in Nigeria with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of UNFCCC negotiations. By participating in an informed manner, CSOs can effectively contribute to global climate policy discussions.

“Armed with knowledge, Nigerian CSOs will be better equipped to advocate for their priorities, influence policy outcomes, expand their network and drive meaningful change.”

Similarly, a communications plan that prioritises campaigns on critical points of negotiations for Nigeria at COP28 such as adaptation and mitigation priorities, loss and damage, climate finance and global stocktake will be articulated and implemented. Dissemination of relevant information among CSOs, government officials and the public before, during and after COP28 will be pursued.

The project is expected to link participants to ongoing processes such as the Technical committee on loss and damage, Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSOC), African Group of Negotiators (AGN), the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), Country BLOCS and other relevant climate change processes in Africa to understand the African position and mainstream it into Nigeria’s CSOs campaigns and advocacy on the road to COP28 and beyond.

Gender is a key component of the project, and a key output is dedicated to gender awareness project implementation and activities. Gender will be mainstreamed throughout the project implementation.