The development, transfer and diffusion of climate compatible technologies are some of the cornerstones of the international effort to address the climate change challenge. UNEP is actively supporting developing countries in identifying national priorities both for adaptation and mitigation actions, with a strong focus on technology in its broadest sense. One of the major efforts is the GEF funded Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) project, currently providing support to 36 countries with planned expansion in 30 more.

The TNA project is based on the premise that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to the successful transfer and diffusion of modern technologies, and therefore specific measures are defined by countries, appropriate to their needs. It aims to help countries develop priorities for a transition to a more green economy that will be essential to meet the climate challenge.
Sylvie Lemmet
The TNA project is implemented by UNEP and the URC on behalf of the GEF. The project provides targeted technical and methodological support to 36 countries in conducting TNAs. An initial round of 15 countries from Africa, Asia, CIS, and Latin America started activities early 2010. An additional 21 countries including countries in the Caribbean, were engaged in the first quarter of 2011 and initiated national activities during second quarter of 2011.
The Technology Action Plans (TAPs) that are developed out of the TNA process establish an enabling framework for specific sectors and technologies; they define the realistic and appropriate set of actions and policies that can help overcome barriers to the deployment and diffusion of prioritised technologies.

This process is flexible, participatory and transformative, supporting efforts by the countries to implement their emission-reduction pledges.  TAPs are being submitted by a growing number of countries, all of which are committed to integrating planned technological innovations with Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and Low Carbon Development Strategies. Costa Rica, Indonesia and Thailand have made substantial progress on their TAPs, while sharing experiences that are informing the final stages of the process in other countries.

In terms of institutional support, the TNAs feed into the work and objectives of the Adaptation Committee and the Technology Mechanism agreed at Cancun (COP 16). The aim of the Technology Mechanism is to scale up investment in technology development and transfer to developing countries, taking into account the conditions found in each country. As such, the work and outputs of the TNA project, including the 9 UNEP and URC TNA Guidebooks are highly relevant in scoping the specific activities of the Technology Mechanism, which will be made up of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

TNAs can also be seen as a starting point for countries to raise their emission-reduction ambitions and think about longer-term strategies of adapting to climate change. This means a step change in increasing energy efficiency and the role of renewable technology, radically reducing deforestation, removing fossil fuel subsidies, among other measures. As always, partnerships between government, business, finance, NGOs and concerned citizens are essential in order for this transition to occur.

Sylvie Lemmet
Director of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

TNA Status update

by Jorge Rogat, URC and Lawrence Agbemabiese, UNEP
Training workshops were conducted in February 2012 for second round countries, bringing to a close the collective training programme of the project.  Any further capacity building will take the form of implementation-focused sessions delivered on request to country teams whenever feasible.

From the third quarter of 2011 through early 2012, additional Technology Needs Assessment reports were submitted by Ghana, Lebanon, Thailand, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Mongolia, Moldova and Zambia.  Final Technology Actions Plans (TAPs) have been received from Indonesia and Costa Rica, while advanced drafts have been submitted by Thailand, Vietnam, Mali, Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire.

For additional project information, please visit www.tech-action.org

Upcoming events
  • Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting to update PSC members on projects' progress and next steps, 24 May 2012, Bonn, Germany.
  • A UNEP, URC and UNFCCC Experience Sharing Workshop, bringing together TNA country representatives and financial/funding institutions to share experience and identify potential funding sources for their TAPs.  The event will take place from 10- 12 September, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • TNA side events at COP meetings, selected countries will present their climate and development technology priorities, plans and lessons learned to a multi-stakeholder audience including financial institutions and governments.

Overcoming barriers - Capacity Building workshops for 2nd Round Countries

The objectives of the 'Barrier Analysis, Enabling Environment and Development of Technology Actions Plans' workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin America included 1) identifying barriers and inefficiencies using market mapping and other tools; 2) identifying measures to overcome the barriers and inefficiencies for implementing selected technologies; 3) identifying activities to accelerate technology deployments; 4) TNA Reporting, Analysis of Barriers, TAP and project ideas.  The workshops were facilitated by URC, UNEP and the regional centres; the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), ENDA, and Fundación Bariloche and Libélula, respectively, for the Asian, African and Latin American regions.

The Asian regional capacity building workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, was attended by 20 participants from 7 countries representing Moldova, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The training included presentations by experts from URC and AIT as well as from UNFCCC, UNEP and the Thailand TNA Team (1st round country) on Technology transfer.   In addition to the programme, a half-day session on financing issues was organized, addressing a myriad of issues ranging from funding options to the detailed guidance on project idea preparation. In addition, the workshop gave countries an opportunity to provide feedback on the process and to understand the challenges faced in implementing the TNA project, thus allowing for improving procedures in the future.

The African regional capacity building workshop at Fringilla Lodge, Zambia was attended by representatives from 7 countries comprising Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Sudan and Zambia as well as members from ENDA, URC and UNEP. The purpose of the workshop was to guide the country teams through the remaining steps of Barrier Analysis and Enabling Frameworks, towards the ultimate goal of developing the Technology Action Plan. The core content of the workshop was based on the chapters of the "Barrier Guidebook" prepared specially by URC for the project. There was lively discussion and cross fertilisation between the groups, key concepts were identified and a number of misunderstandings clarified. Work plans were prepared for the remaining phase of the project in each country with arrangements for country assistance visits by the Regional Centre, ENDA, when required, and confirmation of the on-going 'Help Desk' facility whereby country teams can receive rapid response to any queries regarding the project.

The workshop in Lima, Peru was attended by 6 of the 7 second round countries from the Latin American and Caribbean region including Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Dominican Republic, with Bolivia being the only absentee. It also included the participation of Peru as the only first round country and as host of the event. The workshop concluded with all major objectives met. Some recommendations also emerged, such as to provide more information on indicators for conducting vulnerability assessments, to provide more information regarding sources of funding, and extending the duration of the workshop to allow a greater exchange of experience between participants, enabling spaces for more open discussions.

From TAPs to NAMAs: the case of Costa Rica

by William Alpízar, Director of the Climate Change Office, Costa Rica
Costa Rica conducted its TNA between July 2010 and April 2012 thus being one of the first countries to complete the TNA process. The TNA has become a methodological guide to identify and prioritize technologies for adaptation and mitigation. This has served as valuable support towards the carbon neutrality goal that the country aims to achieve by 2021.  It also contributes to the National Climate Change Strategy by serving as a platform for the design and structure of its sectoral Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in two sectors; transport and energy.

The design of the TNA process took a participatory approach from the outset and included key sectors for mitigation and adaptation, involving relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Costa Rica prioritized   4 sectors and 9 sub-sectors for Mitigation: 1) Energy; 2) Industry; 3) Waste Management; and 4) Agriculture and Livestock. For adaptation, 4 sectors were prioritized: 1) Infrastructure; 2) Water; 3) Forestry; 4) Institutional and 11 sub-sectors. Within these sectors, 56 technologies were identified for mitigation and adaptation. 26 technology options were evaluated each for mitigation and adaptation.  As a result of the process, two mitigation technologies were prioritized for conducting  barrier analysis and development of project ideas, which were: i) integration of public transport and reduced traffic congestion, and ii) energy efficiency and conservation. For adaptation, 8 technologies emerged as the most relevant and only two technologies were selected for barrier analysis and project-ideas. These technologies were: i) Adaptive co-management of watersheds; and ii) Higher resolution of climate change scenarios to assess country vulnerabilities. In addition, sustainable agricultural production was prioritized for both adaptation and mitigation.

The main barriers for the penetration and deployment of each prioritized technology were identified. For instance, for the technology of integration of public transport and reduced traffic congestion, the following barriers were identified:
  1. Financial barriers. Such as the difficulty to obtain funds from the international cooperation, or budget shortage to invest in infrastructure, or difficulties in the budget execution.
  2. Institutional and organizational barriers. Limited implementation capacity at institutional level, high level of fragmentation of responsibilities at institutional level, weak coordination mechanisms, and lack of long term of planning. 
The Technology Action Plan (TAP) identifies various measures and actions that need to be taken to remove the existing barriers and to create enabling frameworks for the prioritized technologies. Using the same example of the technology of integration of public transport and reduced traffic congestion, these are some of the measures which were identified to remove barriers and create an enabling frameworkfor this technology:

  1. Actions to remove political, legal and regulatory barriers. For example, to establish management actions of the private fleet (import, age of the vehicle fleet, etc.), integration of policies and urban plans and other modalities of transport.
  2. Actions to remove the institutional and organizational barriers. For instance,  the definition of policies and regulations for operation of concessions, ownership deed, structured products and public-private partnerships, and the clear division of council regulation sectors in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
  3. Actions to remove the economic and financial barriers. For instance, the definition of policies and regulations for operation of concessions, ownership deed, structured products and public-private partnerships.
  4. Others. For example, the national plan of public awareness on road safety education.
In the TAP every measure describes the specific actors who need to implement the action, how these measures need to be implemented, specifying the coordinating mechanism, the specific timeline and when it was possible the budget of the measure was also included. Similar information could be found for the other 4 technologies prioritized for Costa Rica.
As part of the main results, the TNA project in Costa Rica has enabled strong inter-institutional ties within the TNA team, stakeholder engagement and participation along the TNA process.

Top-10 must-do activities to engage stakeholders: a Lebanese perspective

by  Lea Kai Aboujaoude, On behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Lebanon
Lebanon started its work on the TNA in September 2011, only 6 months after the publication of its Second National Communication (SNC). The engagement in the TNAs can been seen as  a logical progression of the climate change activities initiated in 2007 by the SNC, and strengthened by the government's high profile participation in Copenhagen (COP 15) back in 2009. The TNA project was timed to sustain the momentum created at national level. Nevertheless, engaging stakeholders has always been a major challenge. Below we have put together a top 10 collection of practical tips that helped the Lebanese TNA team to mainstream the project within other national activities.
1. Conducting background work: We performed all necessary research and mapped the "who's doing what" in terms of adaptation and mitigation in the country. We also made sure to review all the existing and planned strategies within ministries and governmental agencies.

2. Joining the Circle: We accessed the "circle" of people working on climate change in Lebanon, which was an important step as people working on climate change usually operate similar to a small bee community, in which symbiotic relations link everyone together. Thus, becoming part of the community facilitated contacts and the acquisition of scarce data.

3. Identifying friends, befriending foes: We made sure not only to involve obvious friends (like the scientist or a colleague at the Ministry) but also to reach out to the pessimistic journalist, the unreachable skeptic and the highly positioned director. This was based on the principle that the final work is less likely to be criticized if the criticizer himself is involved throughout the process!

4. Meeting the right people: Instead of waiting for people to reach out to us, we decided to contact the officials ourselves and arrange meetings with them. Most of the decision makers cannot find time in their packed agenda to participate in workshops and most government employees need the permission of a dozen of supervisors to leave work. So taking the initiative to meet over coffee or lunch was the way to proceed.

5. Knowing what to share...and sharing it:  Summarizing a 100-pages technical report into a simple, reader friendly, straight-to-the point paper is an art in itself. We opted for this approach and shared the right documentation to facilitate discussion and encourage information sharing.

6. Knowing what to ask...and asking: This was an important factor as it is essential to be well informed about the field of work of each stakeholder so that awkward or irrelevant questions were not raised. And we tried to ask a minimum from them, realizing that everyone is already overloaded with work.

7. Joining hands and events: We recognized that our project is not the only project dealing with climate change in Lebanon, so we explored the possibility of holding joint events with other partners. Stakeholders, as a consequence, did not have to repeat the same idea twice and had to make the trip only once.
8. Being out and about:  We tried our best to participate in most events related to climate change and to be vocal about what our project is doing. This enabled sharing the TNA results and related upcoming activities to a wider group of people.

9. Taking the lead: We took initiative in organizing coordination meetings between all actors in adaptation and mitigation in the country and shared precious data and information as a proof of commitment and cooperation.

10. Spreading positive energy: We worked in a manner that would make us known for our approach, encouraging attitude and team spirit, thus allowing for more collaboration to follow!

Getting all stakeholders on board - the TNA experience in Mauritius

by Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Republic of Mauritius
In Mauritius, great emphasis was placed on ownership by local institutions of the outcome of the TNA process. This would ensure sustainability in the process, while creating the essential enabling environment in resource mobilization and implementation of the Technology Action Plan. Hence the crucial importance of ensuring multi-stakeholder commitment at all levels.

Engaging stakeholders over the duration of the project has been considered pivotal. A TNA Committee comprising stakeholder institutions, including the private sector, research organisations, academia and NGOs was constituted to oversee project implementation, with the technical back up from URC and ENDA.  Four technical sub-working groups have been set up for each priority sector, and each group is facilitated by the nationally-designated competent institution, with the technical guidance of local consultants. A high-level inter-ministerial Steering Committee has also been set-up to ensure continuous buy-in of the TNA outcomes.

Several complementary means were employed to engage key stakeholders into dynamic and participatory discussions. So far, our experience indicates that they are working quite well. Contributions of all members are equally valued.

Where necessary, as in the case of conducting Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA), a dedicated training workshop was held for about 50 members of working groups. This workshop also introduced members to monetary valuation techniques that will be useful for carrying out market barrier analysis. Also, all tools, methodologies, and working materials (e.g. sectoral briefs, calculations of incremental cost of technologies, CO2 emission reductions, job creation, presentations and reports) are made publicly available to all members of working groups, with working documents being shared in advance and further detailed during the sessions. These knowledge sharing and capacity development approaches create a win-win situation for the members (and the institutions they represent) of working groups and the TNA project.

In conclusion, there is an increasing recognition that climate change needs to be mainstreamed at the sectoral and cross-sectoral level, and this is reflected by the engagement of the technical working groups.

Importance of the TNA Project for Dominican Republic

by Mabel González Bencosme, Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic

The Technology Needs Assessments project (TNA) is assisting the Dominican Republic to tackle the causes and effects of climate change. The project focuses on mitigation for the energy sector, and on adaptation for the water, forestry and tourism sectors. The project is being implemented by the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), and supported by a team of consultants hired to manage the technical components of the project.
The project involves the participation of a broad range of stakeholders. Since the inception workshop and during all the working sessions and research analysis, technical teams for each sector have worked together with representatives from the public and private sector, as well as from civil society. High-level policy makers control the project's steering committee, providing advice on strategic decisions and are informed of the progress made. This ensures ownership of the project by each sector, and by extension, the whole country.

The sectors addressed in the project were selected taking into account their importance for human development, based on an analysis of national strategies and plans such as the National Development Strategy (converted into a Law in January 2012), the Economic Development Plan compatible with Climate Change, the National Action Plan for Adaptation (PANA), the Guidelines for Climate Change National Strategy, and the First National Communication.

During the first step of the project implementation, 15 preliminary technologies were identified per sector. Based on a Multi Criteria Analysis and expert consultations, 5 prioritized technologies per sector were selected to be further analyzed for Barriers Analysis and in a Technology Action Plan:

Priorities selected per Sector

Upcoming TNA publications

Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation in the Agriculture Sector
This guidebook provides information on 26 technologies for mitigation of climate change in the agriculture sector. These 26 technologies are in the areas of cropland management, livestock management, manure and bio-solid management, and bioenergy. It describes what policy makers, agriculture experts and other stakeholders in countries should consider while determining a technology development path in agriculture. Written by eminent scientists from China, India and the United States, and based on an extensive literature review, this guidebook is expected to stimulate further work on identifying options for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector within countries.  The Guidebook will be launched in June 2012.

International Financing Sources for Climate actions in developing countries and their application  - adaptation
The objective of this guidebook is to develop a short and easily accessible guide that will help TNA countries better identify and access financial resources for implementation of their national Technology Action Plans (TAPs). The guidebook will be divided into two main sections: 1. Guidance on accessing multilateral and bilateral funding sources, and 2. Guidance on how to access private funding from both international and local sources. The Guidebook will be launched in June 2012.

International financing sources for climate actions in developing countries and their application - mitigation
There are numerous international funding sources that developing countries can target when they prepare Technology Action Plans and project ideas. This guidebook provides an overview of the major existing international public and private funding sources for mitigation actions in the developing world. It also explains the proposal selection criteria of major funding sources and provides tips on how to prepare quality projects and programme proposals for better chances of acquiring funding.   The Guidebook will be launched in June 2012.

Technologies for climate change mitigation in the building sector
The guidebook on mitigation for the building sector is set to serve as a platform to assist participating countries to carry out TNA in this sector. Based on the TNA, the Technology Action Plan (TAP) can be developed to identify barriers to the acquisition, deployment and diffusion of priority technologies. Logical and practical actions can then be determined to overcome these barriers, in order to fully materialise the building sector's mitigation potentials. The guidebook puts in place the hard-ware, soft-ware and org-ware in a systematic framework, which defines and structures the technologies and practices to mitigate climate change from the most feasible to more sophisticated levels in developing countries' context. The Guidebook will be launched in July 2012.
For further information on the TNA Project, please contact:

Lawrence Agbemabiese
Energy Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Jorge Rogat
Project Manager and Regional Coordinator- Latin America and Caribbean

Ivan Nygaard
Regional Coordinator- Africa

Subash Dhar
Regional Coordinator- Asia and CIS
For additional project information please visit www.tech-action.org
For more information on UNEP and URC activities, please visit www.unep.org & www.uneprisoe.org
The TNA Newsletter provides information on the activities and progress within the TNA project and beyond. The views expressed in the newsletter do not necessarily represent those of UNEP, UNEP Risø Centre or GEF.
TNA newsletter editorial team:
Mette Annelie Rasmussen, meta@risoe.dtu.dk
Jorge Rogat, jorr@risoe.dtu.dk
Lawrence Agbemabiese, lawrence.agbemabiese@unep.org
Surabhi Goswami, surgo@risoe.dtu.dk