A key limitation of the UN climate change negotiations is the lack of a level playing field between delegations, both
North-South, and South-South. Another major obstacle lies in mutual misunderstanding and a lack of
trust, particularly between industrialised and developing countries.
The European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) was launched in 2005 to overcome these limitations
and obstacles through a number of capacity and trust building activities, subsumed under two complementary integrated
Between 2005 and 2013, over 75 events have been organised in 20 countries, reaching out to well over 1700 negotiators
and policy makers. 60 Fellows from 30 developing countries have attended the Fellowships. The recently initiated ecbi
Finance Circle, open to a broader membership, already includes over 60 members from several countries, ranging from
Australia, Barbados and Brazil, to the US, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
"the interaction with all the colleagues who you see, but never have the opportunity to really spend some time to get to know one another, and discuss issues in a relaxed and more open way, was really wonderful"
Lydia Greyling, D'ty Director, Foreign Affairs, South Africa
Management and Timeframe
Internal Management. The day to day running of the Initiative is managed internally through the
two ecbi Lead Partners - who form an Executive Committee - each
individually responsible for the running of one of the ecbi Programmes:
External Management. Strategic guidance and quality control is provided from outside the ecbi Membership by the participating government Partners. An Annual General
Meeting - to be held in parallel with the UNFCCC sessions - is open to all the participating
government Partners and is the main quality control instrument for the initiative. Strategic
guidance for the content of the Initiative is given by a Steering Committee, co-chaired by two
eminent people, from one of the European and one of developing countries participating in the
Centrally Managed Activities. Communication with the target participants of the ecbi is crucial to
the success of the initiative. Certain communication activities - such as the
selection of participants for the Workshops and
Fellowships - are most efficiently carried out at Programme level. Other centrally managed
administrative activities are the provision of support to the ecbi Committees, organising the AGMs,
producing the Annual Reports, supporting the independent evaluation process, and representational
functions during the UNFCCC sessions, such as organising the ecbi Fellows Dinner.
Timeframe. The ecbi began with a one-year pilot phase (2005) and a two-year 'proof-of-concept' phase
(2006-7). In 2008 the ecbi established itself as a longer-term European instrument for the sustained
building of developing country negotiation capacity through a second Phase (2008-2012) and has entered its Phase III.