Dryland Forestry

WeCaN trainees put negotiation skills into practice ahead of UNFCCC


WeCaN’s members have benefited from an informative and useful training session conducted by Angela Ebeleke, one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Gender & Climate Change Focal Points, designed to level up negotiation skills ahead of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Twenty members took part in the two-part training session, which began with a theory-based seminar on how to make the most of negotiation sessions and advocacy opportunities at UNFCCC. This included a useful run-down oon how to take the floor during negotiations. A large part of the session also included a thorough explanation of treaties and texts, and how to advocate for the most powerful gender language when these are being adopted. Angela took us through the most useful words in negotiation texts, highlighting differences between the connotations involved in “noting”, “stressing” and “reaffirming”.

Angela also shared her tips on how to make the most of these events outside the negotiation room, including how approach delegates before, during and after Convention of Parties (COPs).  identifying key actors to engageand structuring and positioning  interventions.

The second day then put all of the previous session’s lessons into practice through a ‘simulation project’, which analysed a gender-action plan agreed last year in Glasgow.

Trainees were given countries and split into small groups with a text to deliberate. Many lively discussions ensued, with trainees advocating for their choice of words. Although “stressing”, “noting” and “reaffirming” may seem similar actions in a text, some are indeed stronger than others. Members put their newfound knowledge into practice through role play and passionately advocated for that which best captured their countries’ needs, and the exercise encouraged a real South-South knowledge exchange between the participants, especially those who joined previous climate change consultations.

Overall, the two sessions gave a thorough overview of the traditions, formalities and expectations of representing and negotiating at the UNFCCC and other similar events, increasing the confidence of the members who have yet to participate. Angela inspired all the attendees with her knowledge and passion for efficiently outlining and advocating her interests. She said: 

"Women's voices will accelerate the transformational phase to reach gender balance, social justice and economic growth on a sustainable and healthy planet."

About the WeCaN training

The WeCaN Advocacy Training Journey is designed to increase women's access and contributions to planning and decision-making in dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral management. This includes deepening members’ understanding of gender issues associated with climate change, drought, and desertification, highlighting specific gender-based inequities, ad strengthening the leadership, speaking and negotiations skills of WeCaN focal points to influence the current policy dialogue.The training series comprises of several sessions, with eight focused on advocacy design and strategies to influence powerholders, strategies  two focusing on  Gender in UNCCD COP 15: Findings, advocacy spaces and opportunities,and a further two on UNFCCC policy framework and CSO inclusion at UNFCCC COP27: Advocacy opportunities for youth and women led organizations.

© FAO/Alessandra Benedetti