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1. Introduction

The poorest and most climate vulnerable countries continue to face significant challenges in engaging in the increasingly numerous climate negotiations, especially the UN climate negotiations, which are technical and complex in nature. Negotiators from these counties often lack the capacity for crucial preparation, the capacity to access expertise to cover all areas of negotiations in depth and the ability to ensure that their delegations are large enough to match those of their richer peers.

Yet the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries, in particular the small island developing states (SIDS), stand to suffer the most from extreme weather events, sea level rise and other negative climate impacts, simply because they have fewer resources with which to adapt.

In September 2011, the UK government announced the launch of an initiative to support developing countries in international climate talks. This is being managed by CDKN over 4 years, as the Climate Window of the Advocacy Fund.

CDKN’s vision is that international climate negotiation processes and agreements should reflect and respond to the positions and challenges articulated by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. We are working with the leaders and negotiators of these countries to help them become better informed and more skilled at negotiating, as well as to become more active, networked and influential actors in the international climate change talks. Only once they have a strong voice and can exert their influence in the international negotiating arena will more robust, progressive and equitable outcomes be possible for all parties. Through our projects, we:

  • Provide legal and technical support to inform negotiation positions and related policies. This includes providing real time (hands on) legal assistance, technical advice, training and briefing papers to least developed and most climate vulnerable countries. These projects increase the knowledge of negotiators in order to enable them to develop national climate legislation and policies and have stronger representation and influence over the outcomes of international climate talks.
  • Facilitate training and capacity-building for negotiations teams. CDKN supports projects which improve and strengthen the negotiation positions of individuals and climate change negotiating groups from the least developed and climate vulnerable countries with the aim to increase their influence and build consensus at international climate talks.
  • Support least developed and most climate vulnerable countries’ meaningful participation in international climate talks and related meetings. CDKN uses services from key international experts to facilitate and coordinate preparation and meetings or strategic workshops.
  • Improve negotiators’ access to information on climate issues. CDKN provides support to improve and simplify procedures for negotiators to access resources such as climate finance, and to improve access to new scientific climate evidence and research at a global, national and issue specific level.

In addition, CDKN supports more informal negotiating platforms such as the Cartagena Dialogue, each of which offer opportunities for negotiators from developed and developing countries to engage with each other in less formal surroundings, and to build alliances and partnerships with each other in advance of major negotiating events such as the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP).

2.     How we respond to and commission projects

CDKN manages the £10million ‘Advocacy Fund’ from DFID, dispersing this through various projects. All projects are commissioned though an open competition process, and reflect the fact that CDKN is a demand-led organisation, a process through which CDKN responds to opportunities identified in collaboration with the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries. We prioritise working with existing negotiating groups, and in rare cases countries where we can engage with leaders in the negotiation process; however, we remain flexible to support initiatives where there is the opportunity to accelerate key areas of negotiation. Projects occasionally collaborate with other CDKN outputs (Research, Knowledge Management, Technical Assistance). CDKN works with a diverse range of suppliers from around the globe, and where possible we encourage suppliers from the global South to work with us.

The advocacy fund occasionally promotes opportunities for projects through ‘innovation challenges’ which aim to support and promote innovative ways to support negotiators and the negotiating process in order to ensure the least developed and climate vulnerable countries have a greater influence and sufficient representation in international climate talks.

If you would like to be a potential future service provider, please register on our CDKN Roster of Experts in order to receive news of CDKN procurement processes seeking your areas of expertise. For further details of what it means to work with CDKN as a service provider or service recipient, please see how to work with us.

3.     Advocacy team structure

Dan Hamza-Goodacre: CDKN head of Advocacy Fund
Kinga Lodge: CDKN programme manager
Leo Roberts: CDKN project manager
Nick Moss: CDKN project manager
Karen Sutherland: CDKN project manager
Charlotte Finlay: CDKN project manager
Jack Steege: CDKN project manager
Simon Scott: CDKN Advocacy Support

4. Current advocacy project opportunities

Please click here to view the latest advocacy-related project opportunities.