ICLEI South Asia organised Regional Scoping Workshops titled “Understanding Regional Needs and Priorities for India, Nepal, and Bangladesh” on the 3rd, 16th, and 28th of February 2023, respectively, in collaboration with local knowledge partners and stakeholders. The webinars were organised as part of the IDRC and DGIS supported CDKN – Accelerating Inclusive Action project to be implemented for a period of five years. The webinars aimed to identify the explicit demands for evidence/action on the priority action areas of gender and social inclusion, ecosystem-based adaptation and climate finance and how best can CDKN respond to these demands. It also identified further opportunities for CDKN to partner with other organizations to respond to these demands.
Various government and local organisations working on climate change and gender-related issues participated in the informative sessions. The outcomes of previous phase of CDKN were reviewed and the knowledge brokering services provided in key thematic areas such as the water-food-energy nexus, gender equity, social inclusion, climate finance and cities were discussed.
In India, the key points of discussion revolved around nature-based solutions, gender and social inclusion disaster risk reduction, food and water security and heat resilience. Capacity building, particularly at the local and sub-district level as well as for communities to bring in inclusivity was recognised as an important need. While locally led adaptation was understood as an important aspect of inclusive resilience building, however, participants also raised the issue of operation and maintenance of community-based interventions and infrastructure.
For Nepal, a key point of discussion was the possibility to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for equity-based and resilience-focused projects at the local level that can be fed into the national project monitoring process. In addition, training on climate finance and the need for vertical integration in capacity-building initiatives among local, regional and national government authorities were also discussed as important needs from the country.
During the Bangladesh session, the participants emphasised the importance of climate justice and good governance starting from the grassroots level, and highlighted the need for a monitoring system to evaluate changes, particularly changes in gender and social equity outcomes. The participants highlighted that lack of implementation of well-developed policies hampers urban resilience. Gender sensitive resilient infrastructure development and value addition to traditional and indigenous knowledge was also discussed in the session.
ICLEI South Asia explained in the webinars that the current phase of CDKN project would focus on resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation, promoting gender and socially-inclusive urban resilience planning, supporting locally-led adaptation efforts, improving access to finance for resilience through enhanced capacity, and developing strategies to address urban heat resilience or coastal resilience. In this regard, an expression of interest will be developed for a small grant to be given under the CDKN project and shared by the end of March 2023.