Empowering Climate Transparency: Key Takeaways from the NDC Tracking Workshop in Panama
Empowering Climate Transparency: Key Takeaways from the NDC Tracking Workshop in Panama

The Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency - Global Support Programme (CBIT-GSP) organized a three-day workshop focused on tracking the progress of mitigation commitments within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from October 23rd to 25th, 2023. Transparency experts and delegates from various institutions in the Latin America and the Caribbean regions gathered in Ciudad de Panamá to enhance their skills in NDC tracking, a crucial step towards global climate goals.

The workshop was organized as a collaborative effort involving several notable agencies and governments including PATPA, UNEP, UNEP-CCC, UNFCCC, Government of Colombia, and the Government of Panama. It bridged two regional networks under the project: the Anglophone Caribbean and Spanish-speaking Latin America. This diversity fostered a rich exchange of ideas and experiences, underscoring the importance of global and regional cooperation in tackling climate change.

The heart of the workshop was its practical approach. Participants engaged hands-on with their country-specific data, filling out common tabular format tables. This practical training followed an introductory webinar that set the stage by acquainting participants with NDC tracking and its data requirements. In preparation for the in-person training, participants were tasked with collecting country-specific data, making the workshop a culmination of both theoretical and practical learning.

Key Lessons Learned and Takeaways

  1. Defining smart indicators for NDC tracking:  Smart indicators are specific, measurable, ambitious, relevant, and time-bound, and they provide a clear and concise way to track progress towards NDC targets. Defining smart indicators for NDC tracking is essential for ensuring that countries can effectively monitor and report on their progress towards achieving their mitigation commitments. 
  2. Importance of data quality: It is important to ensure that the data used to track and report progress towards mitigation commitments is accurate, reliable, and consistent. Poor data quality can lead to inaccurate reporting, which can undermine the credibility of the NDC. 
  3. Shared experiences lead to better solutions: Countries shared their experiences in defining and developing NDC indicators and planning their first Biennial Transparency Reports (BTRs). These shared stories provided valuable insights into practical strategies and common hurdles, paving the way for more informed and effective climate action plans.
  4. Innovation through collaboration: The workshop served as a fertile ground for exploring innovative solutions to transparency challenges. The diverse perspectives and shared challenges highlighted the potential of collaborative innovation in enhancing climate action efficiency.

As we reflect on the workshop's success, it is clear that such initiatives are more than just training sessions; they are incubators for the next wave of NDCs. Overall, the training workshop was viewed by participants as an eye opener as it gave them an understanding of the work required not only to plan but also to prepare the BTR. "This three days have provided a new perspective for me on the work required to develop the BTR. The practical exercise on BTR planning just showed us that planning is very important and this is something we always take for granted in general." Junior Anthony Alexis said. The training provided a valuable opportunity for participants to learn from each other, share experiences, and explore innovative solutions to common challenges. 

The Panama workshop is a testament to the power of collective effort and targeted training in supporting countries in their transition to the enhanced transparency framework. As participants return to their respective countries, armed with new knowledge and renewed enthusiasm, there's a palpable sense of optimism. The journey to delivering the first BTRs is challenging with many unknowns, but with initiatives like the CBIT-GSP the journey could be easier travelled. Needless to say, partnerships and collaborations are vital to effectively realize the impacts of such training and support to countries.

Area: Climate transparency, Data collection and management, NDC tracking
Sector: Cross-cutting
Region: Americas
Language: English
Transparency Network: Anglophone Caribbean, Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean