Sunday, March 1, 2015

IPCC's next plan of action to make its report more accessible and involve developing countries closely!

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has taken a series of decisions to make its reports more accessible and involve developing countries more closely in its work. 

The decisions, following a review of the future work of the IPCC over the past year and a half, pave the way for the IPCC to prepare its next cycle of reports, which will be initiated by elections for a new Bureau and Chair in October 2015. 

Among the moves agreed to this week at its Session in Nairobi, Kenya, the Panel decided to increase the representation of African and Asian countries in the IPCC Bureau by increasing the number of its members to 34 from 31.

It also decided to continue preparing comprehensive assessment reports every five to seven years, which also cover regional aspects of climate change, taking into account the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in determining its future reports and their timing. 

It agreed that the different parts of an assessment report should be released within about a year, but no more than 18 months, with a staggering between working group contributions to allow information presented by one working group to be adequately reflected in the other working group contributions and the Synthesis Report. 

This meeting, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme at its headquarters in Nairobi, was the IPCC’s first since completing the Fifth Assessment Report in November 2014, the most comprehensive assessment of the science relating to climate change ever undertaken. 

The IPCC generally examines its operations and products at the end of an assessment cycle. The latest review, to help determine how the IPCC works in future, the kind of reports it produces and how it can draw on the contributions of all its members, began in October 2013.

Below is a selection of decisions taken by the IPCC at its 41st Session in Nairobi on 24-27 February 
Structure and operations of the IPCC 

·  Increase the representation of African and Asian countries on the IPCC Bureau by increasing the number of its members to 34 from 31; 
·  Request the Secretariat and Technical Support Units to command a respectful workplace, emphasizing policies and practices that promote diversity, fairness, collaboration and inclusiveness. 

Frequency and scheduling of reports 

·  Continue to produce assessment reports every 5 to 7 years; 
·  Parts of an assessment report to be issued within about a year and at most 18 months of each other. 

Making reports more user-friendly 

·  Ensure that up-to-date digital technology is used to share and disseminate information; 
·  Seek advice from various specialists to make IPCC reports more readable. 

Enhancing the role and contribution of developing countries 

·  Improve access for authors to non-English language scientific literature; 
·  Encourage the authors of non-English language literature to serve as expert reviewers, contributing authors and chapter scientists; 
·  Allow the possibility of both countries providing co-chairs for a working group or task force to host a technical support unit to enhance the profile and improve working conditions for co-chairs from developing countries; 
·  Consider how to broaden the nomination process for authors and review editors; 
·  Encourage the use of research assistants or chapter scientists to support authors; 
·  Encourage co-chairs and other Bureau members to engage experts from developing countries in technical support units, as authors and as reviewers; 
·  Increase the number of IPCC activities in developing countries; 
·  Arrange briefings and training sessions for government representatives, e.g. before IPCC sessions; 
·  Use communications and outreach activities to provide experts with information about the IPCC process and how they can participate in IPCC work; 

·  Consider ways of training and supporting young scientists from developing countries, even though training and capacity-building is beyond the mandate of the IPCC. 

(Source: Press Release from IPCC)

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