In September 2014, Dr. Camilla Bausch and Lena Donat conducted a 2-days training to enhance the negotiation skills of Lebanese negotiators at the international negotiations on climate change. The final workshop report is available for download.
How can Lebanon engage more effectively in the international climate negotiations? How do the negotiations work in practice and what tips and tricks can Lebanese negotiators avail themselves to influence the outcome? These questions become especially relevant in the run up towards a new climate agreement, expected to be adopted in 2015 in Paris.
Advanced training for a broad group of stakeholders
The workshop was designed as a follow-up on a workshop conducted in cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Environment in December 2013, which had focussed on essential knowledge and background of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The second workshop was designed to enhance participants' practical negotiation skills, providing more detail and depth as well as a different more practical perspective. The audience included participants from relevant Lebanese ministries (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture) and other political levels as well as participants from academia, media and civil society in Lebanon.
Training practical negotiation skills
The workshop provided insights in how to coordinate and participate effectively in the climate negotiations in a practical sense, including the interaction or coordination between the negotiators and the team at the international negotiation sessions as well as at the political and technical level at home. Through an interactive approach, the workshop practiced practical skills and also facilitated mutual learning among participants – as well as network building. Throughout the two workshop days, participants were engaged in an interactive mock negotiation exercise. Participants were asked to represent countries and to negotiate a decision text on a long term vision for the new climate agreement, actively engaging in different negotiation settings.
Using different channels and fora at the negotiations
The first workshop day provided tips and tricks on how to strategically organise the participation of a delegation in the international climate negotiations. The session focused on how to gather but not get lost in information, and how to use the available resources of a delegation efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, participants were introduced to the variety channels and fora negotiators can use to influence negotiations, their respective advantages and associated risks. These included back channels, such as the media or NGOs, and the official negotiation fora. Special attention was paid to formal bilateral meetings, which participants practiced in an interactive exercise. Finally, the afternoon was used for a moderated discussion on a strategy for Lebanon in the negotiations. Participants discussed which actors Lebanon could approach, and what to offer them, to gain support for Lebanon’s key priorities.
Influencing the outcome text of the climate negotiations
The second workshop day focussed on means to understand and influence the concrete wording of text in the negotiations. Participants got acquainted with the most essential codes used by delegations in the context of the negotiations of the new climate agreement. The session also familiarised participants with language used in decision or agreement text, and with specific terms negotiators should pay attention to. The participants used these skills in the afternoon to analyse in depth a draft decision text that will be on the table of the next negotiations in December 2014. They developed proposals for amending the text to reflect the Lebanese position.