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NEWS: E-learning course to support IPCC reviewers

There is still time to register – before the 4 June deadline – to take part in a special e-learning course, which is designed to support experts on to become reviewers of the Assessment Reports of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Read on for registration details.

The Future Climate for Africa programme invites interested individuals to attend a micro e-learning course on Expert and Government Review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports. The objective of the course is to increase the involvement of African experts and governments in the review process for the IPCC 6th Assessment Report (including Special Reports) with a view to enhancing both the scientific quality and policy relevance of the IPCC reports for African stakeholders. The training is aimed at African experts and governments on physical climate science, climate impacts, adaptation, vulnerability and mitigation. The course will be delivered by distinguished international experts with extensive past involvement in the IPCC.


The IPCC Assessment Reports are internationally regarded as authoritative sources of climate change knowledge. The periodic Assessment Reports are also highly influential. Not only do these reports play a central role in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, they also inform policy making on national and subnational levels, actions by local and international civil society, private sector investments, and news and popular press reporting.

A strict process for developing the assessments has ensured extensive international collaboration, transparency, academic rigour and policy relevance. The Fifth and latest Assessment Report involved 831 authors from over 70 countries.

However, participation from African authors and reviewers has been extremely low. For the 5th Assessment Report (AR5), out of approximately 8000 reviewers across Working Groups 1 – 3, only 92 (1.15%) were African. The big majority of African reviewers have been from South Africa, while many other African countries have not participated in review rounds at all.

To support increased participation of African reviewers, FCFA is hosting a micro e-learning course on Expert and Government Review for the IPCC Assessment Reports, targeted at African experts from academia, private and public sector and governments with relevant interest in climate change and its policy responses.

Course content

The micro e-learning course will include:

·       How the IPCC and its review process works;

·       IPCC guidance to expert reviewers;

·       Judging draft texts, diagrams and figures;

·       Analysis of the validity of a statement by checking underlying literature sources;

·       The appropriate usage of grey and non-English literature.

Course Structure and Schedule

The course will be conducted in English and will consist of three one-hour webinars, presented live on 5, 7 and 19 June 2018. There will be the option of personal feedback by the presenters, on a one-to-one basis by email exchange, for those who want to receive guidance on preparing their review comments.

Webinar 1: How does the IPCC work?
Tuesday, 5 June 2018, 1-2 pm CEST / 11-12 am GMT
Presented by Dr Leo Meyer and Prof. Jean-Pascal Ypersele

Webinar 2: How to conduct an IPCC review
Thursday, 7 June 2018, 1-2 pm CEST / 11-12 am GMT
Presented by Dr Leo Meyer and Prof. Jean-Pascal Ypersele

Webinar 3: In-depth review analysis and further guidance
Tuesday, 19 June 2018, 1-2 pm CEST / 11-12 am GMT
Presented by Prof. Arthur Petersen and Prof. Yacob Mulugetta

Webinars will consist of presentations and Q and A’s. Webinar recordings will also be posted on the YouTube channel of FCFA after each session.

The course will be held within the Expert Review period of the First Order Draft of the Special Report on Land and Climate Change (SRCCL), and the Government Review period of the Final Draft Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on 1.50C (SR1.5). It will focus on applying course content to an actual review of either of these reports. However, the content of the course will also be relevant to experts and governments interested in future reviewing any of the other Special, Working Group, or Synthesis reports of the IPCC.


The course is open to anyone with an interest in contributing to the quality and relevance of IPCC reports, either by being or becoming an Expert Reviewer or as a government official involved in the IPCC. There is no limit to the number of participants for the webinar sessions, but participation in the one-to-one feedback with the presenters may be limited, depending on the number of individuals who wish to receive such personal guidance.

Cost and IT requirements

The course is offered free of charge. Supporting materials are digital and will be shared online. You will need a sufficiently fast and steady internet connection to view a standard webinar (minimal 1.5 Mbps upload/download).


To apply, please complete an online application form here. The registration period closes at 12:00 PM (GMT) on 4 June 2018.

Course Presenters

·       Dr Leo Meyer

·       Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele

·       Prof. Arthur Petersen

·       Prof. Yacob Mulugetta

Senior advisors

The following distinguished senior experts are members of the Advisory Committee to the course, together with the presenters:

·       Dr Youba Sokona

·       Dr Cheikh Mbow


Questions relating to the course? Mail:


Image: Youba Sokona, IPCC Co-Chair, credit Heinrich Boell Stiftung.


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