Methodological and Technological issues in Technology Transfer

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4.5.6 Capacity Building: Current issues

The centrality and significance of the 'capacity-building' agenda has become recognised by the G77 and China group within the UNFCCC, which sponsored a decision for consideration at CoP5 (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.9), which related to all the CoP4 decisions and was agreed with some modifications. If action follows at CoP6, and there is now a parallel text covering the countries with economies in transition (CEITs), it will provide an integrated framework on capacity building covering all dimensions of the Convention, not just technology transfer. The focus of required action is within the developing countries suggesting: the strengthening of national (and regional) focal points to cover training and human resources development; research activities; expertise on specialised aspects such as information technology; and a networking system between these components. The concept effectively is to develop National Systems of Innovation identified in Section 4.3.

The need to place emphasis on strengthening capacity within developing countries to their agenda has been recognised by the OECD (1995).

... Capacity issues in all states including those in the Southern countries are embedded in political, cultural, and social dynamics of enormous complexity, a good number of which are likely to be beyond the understanding of the donor community. Raising the environmental performance of organisations and institutions in any society is a daunting task even for its own citizens. Assuming this can be done easily by outside interveners may be the first mistake in any capacity development programme (OECD, 1995, p.10).

Capacity-building is required at all stages in the process of technology transfer. It is a slow and complex process to which long-term commitments must be made for resources and to which the host country must also be committed if results are to bear fruit. Fundamental change requires an autonomous capacity to innovate, acquire and adapt technologies. For the mitigation agenda, there are specific needs for additional resources at the assessment and repetition stages: (a) to ensure there is a broad national commitment to ESTs and that those most appropriate for national circumstances are selected; and (b) to ensure that indigenous capacity for ongoing innovation is developed to encourage North-north, South-North and South-South flows. For adaptation there is a need a) to strengthen scientific expertise and institutions capable of undertaking the relevant assessments and to promote linkages with this infrastructure with other parts of the public and private sectors; and b) to identify relevant tools and techniques to produce outputs for nationally determined priorities.

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