The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is under the magnifying lens once again; and this year there are huge expectations ahead of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to be held in November 2015, Paris France. The much talked about COP17 that was held in Durban, South Africa in 2011, established the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). The ADP was mandated to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, which is to be completed by 2015. Ahead of this, the ADP negotiations are to be finalized; cementing talks on key issues such as how to close the ambition and financing gap and how equity and fairness should be reflected in the ADP.
With the ADP negotiations at a crucial stage, the Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF) recognized the need for an effective coordination of African civil societies, through a facilitated dialogue to develop a common understanding of the ADP and deliberate on how the ADP should reflect Africa’s challenges and realities, in order to promote a fair, equitable and ecologically sound new climate change agreement in Paris. With this realization, the HBF facilitated the participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from different African states to the African CSO Winter School on the 2015 Climate Agreement. The main focus of the winter school emerged as a deliberation of the ADP in order to prioritize Africa’s needs in the climate change negotiations, the development of a concrete understanding of the ADP in the African context, and lastly, a platform to allow African CSOs to network and identify potential areas of collaboration and common advocacy.