22 June 2021: The United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) collaborated to compile a publication entitled, “South-South in Action: Capacity Building for Climate Actions in Southeast Asia”. The publication focused on the role of TGO and its Climate Change International and Technical Training Centre (CITC), initiated under a triangular cooperation project with JICA, and its capacity building activities in the Association of South-East Asian Nation (ASEAN) region.
On 22 June, 2021, TGO, UNOSSC and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Thailand Office, virtually launched the publication on the sidelines of the “Sustainable & Livable Low-carbon Cities” event convened by TGO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The launch was well attended by local and municipal representatives in charge of environmental issues in Thailand, ASEAN secretariat, UN partners (UNDP, UNFCCC) and other stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Adel Abdellatif, UNOSSC Director a.i., stressed that developing countries in this region had scaled up their efforts and were promoting South-South and triangular cooperation to achieve climate action ambitions, as exemplified in this South-South in Action publication.
Mr. Morita Takahiro, Chief Representative, JICA Thailand, highlighted that, by adapting a unique triangular approach through the Climate Change International Technical and Training Center (CITC), the programme has successfully enhanced the implementation of climate change actions throughout the region. “As we have witnessed steady growth of this regional capacity building platform, The CITC experience proves that a regionalized approach in the context of South-South and triangular cooperation can be effective in facilitating and expediting climate actions,” he said.
Mr. Kiatchai Maitriwong, Executive Director, TGO, stressed that South-South and triangular cooperation enables developing countries to work closely and assist each other in strengthening capacity building and tackling climate change.
Mr. Thawatchai Saengkhamsuk, Director of Capacity Building and Outreach Office, TGO, highlighted the work of CITC and its contributions towards the ASEAN Community. “The publication focuses on the capacity building of climate actions in Southeast Asia to enhance the National Determined Contributions (NDC’s) under the Paris agreement. Training focuses on technical issues. Networking and collaboration enhance the capacity building and climate actions.” He added that knowledge dissemination is very crucial to the education of the young people for them to be the future leaders for climate action.
After the launch, representatives from TGO, UNDP, UNFCCC, ASEAN Secretariat, JICA, and UNOSSC, took part in a panel discussion on “South-South Cooperation for Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Southeast Asia Region”. Some key takeaways from the panel are as follows: 1) There are some opportunities to enhance NDC’s in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, such as aligning green recovery with climate targets; 2) The potential for South-South cooperation can go beyond capacity building to address changing needs in climate actions; 3) On transparency, countries can work together through South-South cooperation on collecting evidence-based data; 4) A meaningful manner of engagement of the private sector is essential, especially to address technological and financial gaps; and 5) While working together can be slow, all stakeholders need to join hands as partnership is the key to success.