SPREP Trains Pacific Negotiators Ahead of Durban Climate Conference

31 October 2011 : The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) hosted a training session for over 18 Pacific delegates in preparation for the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa, in November-December 2011.

Opening the training session, David Sheppard, SPREP Director, highlighted the challenges faced by Pacific delegates, noting that while many developed countries have a team of several hundred people at the negotiations, many Pacific countries only have 3 to 4 representatives. He underscored that this makes it "impossible to compete at an individual country level, and at a practical level to attend the myriad of working groups and committees, such as those on adaptation, mitigation and climate finance."

During the three-day session funded by the UK Government, participants carried out a mock-negotiating session using actual climate change text and material to refresh delegates' negotiating skills. Participants were also trained on how to communicate with the media to share messages.  [Opening Statement to the UNFCCC Preparatory Meeting from David Sheppard] [SPREP Press Release]