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Climate change is one of the world’s most urgent problems, yet those nations most affected are often the least equipped to participate in policy processes that will determine their future.
Since 2008, Diplo has initiated several conferences and events, and created a new online course with scholarship opportunities for diplomats, civil servants and academics from small and developing states. We have built a vibrant online community, created illustrations for use in publications, awareness building, and training, and initiated a project to translate key climate change terms.
In February 2008 Diplo, in partnership with the Maltese Foreign Affairs Ministry, organised a two-day international conference in Malta to address the pressing issue of climate change. The discussion focused on the use of online tools in climate change diplomacy, the capacities of small island states, e-learning and other innovative techniques for training, and developing capacity building partnerships.
Between 2008 and 2011 Diplo ran eight online courses with scholarship opportunities, training almost 200 participants (diplomats, civil servants, scientists, academics, and media representatives involved in climate change research processes and negotiations on climate change diplomacy). The courses enabled participants to acquire the skills and knowledge to engage effectively in climate change negotiations and policy processes. At an introductory level, the courses provided a broad overview of climate change issues, equipping participants to represent and promote the interests of their own countries in the global climate change policy process.
By the end of each course, participants had been trained to:
- Demonstrate understanding and the ability to participate in current diplomatic and policy processes in the field of climate change.
- Employ current scientific and policy-related climate change terminology.
- Identify those international institutional climate change frameworks where their national interests may be most effectively promoted.
- Identify appropriate partners for climate change policy initiatives.
- Recognise opportunities where global initiatives and processes can contribute to local development needs.
- Propose or contribute to an effective national approach for participation in global climate change processes.
Together with online course participates we created an online community open to everyone interested in climate change. By the time we closed the community, we had 426 members, 304 blog posts, and five different discussion groups.
Diplo developed various illustrations for the courses and the community and to help raise awareness and support capacity development effort. One of the key results is the Climate Change Building illustration, which visualises the complexity of climate change negotiations as a building under construction.
Translate climate project
The Climate Change Building illustration served as the basis for the Translate Climate project. A capacity building initiative that used online cooperation to translate key climate change terms into 25 languages – among them Chinese, Mongolian, Hebrew, Arabic, Welsh, Kiswahili, and Kwanyama (a tribal language from Namibia). Based on this, we produced 18 new illustrations.