Inside COP28: Updates from GNDR

6 December 2023

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Andrew knight, Policy Lead; Marcos Concepcion Raba, Executive Director, GNDR; Jekulin Lipi, Policy and Research Officer; Adessou Kossivi, Africa Regional Lead and Climate Cnahe Lead at COP 28

At COP28 in Dubai, GNDR was actively involved in shaping conversations and advocating for the needs of communities most at risk of climate impacts. From our network’s call to action to participation in critical events, here’s a quick overview of our engagements:

1. Call to Action:

As the GNDR secretariat and members engage in diverse activities and strategic involvements at COP28, our call to action, co-developed with GNDR members from across the globe serves as a guiding compass, outlining critical imperatives for climate negotiators and policymakers. 

2. Key Dialogues and Discussions:

  • Stakeholders’ recommendations to the operationalisation of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage

GNDR actively participated in this pivotal discussion with esteemed partners such as the International Disability Alliance, Norwegian Refugee Council, UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism, UNU-EHS, ActionAid, and Munich Climate Insurance Initiative. The focus of these engagements was the critical recommendations for the operationalisation of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage. Speakers from various sectors brought forth essential perspectives on the interplay of data, local knowledge, and transformative change in addressing loss and damage.

  • Transforming humanitarian assistance in the face of climate crisis

In this session, GNDR Executive Director, Marcos Concepcion Raba, shared valuable insights at the USAID – Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance event. The discussion focused on exploring the evolution of humanitarian response systems and translating insights into actionable strategies for a more resilient humanitarian response. The emphasis was on breaking down barriers to access, tailoring financing mechanisms, and ensuring conflict-sensitive approaches to adaptation and mitigation finance.

In another panel discussion, Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), a GNDR member, highlighted the escalating exposure and vulnerability of communities in the Arab region to various hazards. The pressures experienced result in both stresses and shocks that significantly impact daily lives. The event, featuring insights from UNDRR, delved into strategies for resilience and collaborative efforts.

  • Enabling climate action through data, transparency and finance

During a panel discussion on the crucial role of data in enabling effective climate action at COP28 UAE, our Executive Director, Marcos Concepcion Raba, joined a group of experts from International Monetary Fund, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), UNECE/FAO Forests, UNOPS/ICAT, the Government of Belize, and other key climate change practitioners in a comprehensive exploration of the challenges associated with leveraging data to enable climate action.

Marcos emphasised the importance of community-generated data and the need for greater involvement of local actors in assessing risks and planning responses. Despite the widespread acknowledgment that disaster risk reduction efforts are more effective with direct community involvement, many gaps and challenges remain. GNDR remains unwavering in its pursuit of tangible climate resilience solutions driven by local-level data, and a whole-of-society approach.

  • Risk finance for climate change vulnerable communities – needs, gaps & existing supplies

In this multistakeholder event GNDR member Tabi Joda, the Executive Director of GreenAid, provided a crucial local perspective on addressing technological knowledge gaps and understanding community needs, aiming to shape future programs and initiatives. Tabi Joda’s invaluable experience on the ground was evident as he posed a poignant rhetorical question: ‘Who exactly is insurance for?’ His emphasis on prioritising the needs of vulnerable communities received the longest and loudest round of applause, underscoring the significance of local perspectives in shaping effective climate change solutions. This moment stands as a powerful testament to the importance of community-centric approaches in addressing climate challenges.

  • A Santiago Network on Loss and Damage that reduces vulnerability

Adessou Kossivi, GNDR Africa Lead and Climate Change Lead, and Emmanuel Seck, the Executive Director of ENDA Energie and a Global Member of the Board for GNDR, participated in a panel discussion on the funding mechanisms for Loss and Damage. Adessou emphasized the importance of having a fund that is accessible to all and that reaches local communities directly. During the discussion, the panelists talked about the groundbreaking locally-led needs assessment and methodology that ENDA and its partners are putting in place. The work being done by these organisations is cutting-edge and is being carried out by those on the front lines of climate change and disasters.

  • How to assure anticipatory humanitarian action is mitigating intersecting vulnerabilities

In the session, Farah Kabir, the Former GNDR Global Board Chair and Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, emphasised the critical need for tailored anticipatory actions amidst the rising impact of climate-driven disasters. She called for simplified guidelines accounting for specific disaster types and recognising varied age group needs. Mihir Bhatt, Director of All India Disaster Management Institute (AIDMI), highlighted the increasing intersectionality of disasters and advocated for heightened investments, institutional mechanisms, and awareness. Lourivania Soares Santos, a Parliamentary Advisor in the State of Bahia, Brazil, underscored governance challenges at both national and municipal levels, urging mobilisation of civil society for effective implementation. Adessou Kossivi, Regional Lead for Africa at GNDR, emphasised the significance of ex-ante support and reframed community perspectives as stakeholders rather than beneficiaries. Fatima, a GNDR member from Pakistan, highlighted the crucial link between anticipatory actions and accountability within developmental programmes. Together, these diverse perspectives reinforce the urgent call for proactive measures in the face of mounting vulnerabilities, emphasising the formulation of targeted anticipatory actions amid the escalating impact of climate-driven disasters.

  • Human mobility in the context of climate change

The session shed light on pressing challenges and the urgent need for action. Hasina Razfindrakoto from GNDR members SAF/FKJM Madagascar highlighted increased mobility due to drought, lacking a national plan for affected communities. Pefi Kingi, representing PacificWIN (Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network) and PIANGO (Pacific Island Association for NGOs), emphasised reconnecting with indigenous people and policy coherence in the Pacific. Ranjan Panda discussed nature degradation’s impact in India, citing challenges in policy influence and urban settlements. Dr. Andrew Knight stressed policy implementation for displaced populations, citing the Grand Bargain’s underutilised potential.

During a side event at the Climate Mobility Hub, Dr Andrew Knight, Policy Lead at GNDR, joined distinguished panellists from Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Environment and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute to discuss Climate-Related Human Mobility into and within Cities in Asia and the Pacific. Dr Knight highlighted the excellent work conducted by GNDR members in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Indonesia on the USAID-BHA Making Displacement Safer project. He advocated for greater inclusion in decision-making processes and increased efforts on durable solutions for the displaced.

  • Stories slashing silos: Resilience storytelling circle from women at the frontlines

At the Women and Gender Constituency Pavilion at COP28, Hasina from Madagascar highlighted the challenges faced by vulnerable women in the country due to social structures and exposure to insecurity. Emphasising the support provided by SAF/JKM, she discussed empowering women, boosting their resilience, and enhancing financial solutions. Despite the absence of a political policy on gender in Madagascar, Hasina’s organisation actively supports women in advocating for gender policies and addressing the deeply patriarchal community.

  • COP Resilience Hub events

Co-leading the theme on Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Action at the COP Resilience Hub was both an honor and a privilege for GNDR. The discussions involved breaking down silos to foster synergy for universal access to crucial risk and resilience insights and tools. The sessions delved into navigating complex crises through climate adaptation, community leadership, local actions, and disaster risk financing within the challenging landscape of compounded crises.

To catch up on the enlightening discussions, explore the event recordings available on the Resilience Hub YouTube page: Resilience Hub YouTube.

3. Operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund:

During the first day of COP28, the Loss and Damage Fund under the UNFCCC was operationalised, marking a significant milestone. After three decades of collective advocacy from developing countries and civil society, the fund and its funding arrangements were set in motion. However, the journey is ongoing, and developed countries, primarily responsible for the climate crisis, must step up to #FillTheFund. Initial pledges, while substantial, fall short of the $400 billion required annually to address the urgent needs of those on the frontline of the climate crisis.

4. ‘Getting Ahead of Disasters’ Charter:

The ‘Getting Ahead of Disasters’ Charter was officially launched during COP28 on Relief, Recovery, and Peace Day. The Global Network of Disaster Reduction (GNDR) endorsed the Charter at the event. Led by the UAE COP28 Presidency, the Government of Samoa, and the UK Government, the Charter articulates five principles urging for collaborative action, optimised finance for risk management, and safeguarding climate vulnerable populations. Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s International Development Minister, endorsed the Charter, emphasising the collective need to pre-arrange vital finance.

GNDR’s engagements at COP28 – Full List
Back to top