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Regional Hubs for Regional Solutions

19 April 2024

Originally published in the 2023 ICAT impact report.

The ICAT Regional Climate Action Transparency hubs made significant contributions in building capacity, enhancing national ownership, and promoting transparency across the full spectrum of climate action.


Climate change is a global challenge that no nation can combat alone. International and regional cooperation allows countries to join forces, learn from each other and progress against the common goal of building a sustainable future. For developing countries, the exchange of knowledge and experience on climate action, including on data and transparency, is central to their ability to respond to the climate crisis. The ICAT regional hubs leverage the power of regional cooperation to accelerate climate action through enhanced transparency in their member states.

With two hubs already operational in Central Asia and in Central Africa, in 2023, a third ICAT hub was launched for the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Over the course of 2023, the ICAT regional hubs provided a crucial platform for capacity building, knowledge sharing, and stakeholder engagement to advance climate action. They enhanced the capacity of national and regional experts in climate action transparency,  multiplied regional expertise, strengthened national ownership, and amplified political buy-in. With solid foundations laid, many member countries are looking at more advanced and ambitious climate action in the years ahead.

Capacitybuilding for effective NDC implementation

Capacity building is at the core of the approach of the ICAT hubs. In 2023, more than 250 people received training and participated in capacity-building workshops organized by the ICAT regional hubs, either in-country or on the regional level. The workshops were tailored to address the unique requirements of the hubs’ participating countries, as these were identified through prior assessments conducted by the hubs.

In Central Asia, 2023 was a year for delving deeper into climate transparency, with workshops and capacity-building sessions on topics such as greenhouse gas inventories and projections, the tracking of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), transparency for adaptation measures, and climate finance tracking. An example of the workshops’ success was where prior to the training many participants had a rudimentary grasp of modelling concepts and the selection process for specific models relevant to assessing NDCs, afterwards they reported significant gains in their understanding of modelling approaches, tools, and scenario building techniques. The strengthened technical capacity of national experts from Central Asian countries in data collection and processing has enabled them to produce more accurate and comprehensive reports to the international community.

“As an Annex I country under the UNFCCC, Kazakhstan undergoes a triennial review of its national report. In 2019, following this review, Kazakhstan was identified as a country that had not fully complied with the Kyoto Protocol due to insufficient transparency. Through the seminars conducted by the ICAT regional hub, significant improvements were achieved in quality control and implementation of other measures. As a result of these efforts, the UNFCCC secretariat recently removed this status from Kazakhstan,” said Ms. Aiman Yessekina, Head of the Department of Greenhouse Gases Inventory of Kazakhstan, during a COP28 side-event in December 2023.

Enhancing climate action through knowledge sharing and finance mobilization

The ICAT hubs are hosted by regional organizations that have a proven history of fostering dialogue and cooperation among their member states for mutual benefit. Bringing together experts from different countries, the hubs facilitate the exchange of best practices and lessons learned, as a way to further enhance climate action.

Within the newly-launched hub in Central America, hosted by the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (the Central American Integration System’s specialized environmental body), several countries are eager to share their experiences from their national initiatives. Examples include Costa Rica’s National Climate Change Metrics System (SINAMECC), the Dominican Republic’s legal MRV framework, Panama’s expertise in adaptation and loss and damage, and Belize’s experience in tracking climate finance, citing some examples of areas enhanced through previous ICAT country projects.

The Central American hub was launched at an event in Panama City in October, with the participation of high level dignitaries from all eight member countries. Read more about the launch of the ICAT website.

‍Climate finance plays a pivotal role in driving climate action forward. In recognition of this, the hubs addressed the issue of transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of climate finance tracking mechanisms to ensure that funds are effectively used for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. The hubs increased stakeholders’ understanding of transparency as it relates to the context of climate finance, including from a strategic perspective for allocating and mobilizing national and international resources. In Central Asia, a workshop focused on climate finance was organized. In Central Africa, the national transparency action plans include cost estimates for their implementation.

“We will inform policymakers … to stimulate ambition and resource mobilization. We will also share information and good practices … within the region. This is the framework that we want to establish in the hub’s member countries,” said Gervais Ludovic Itsoua Madzous, Coordinator of the Regional Climate Action Transparency Hub for Central Africa at a workshop organized in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2023.

Fostering national ownership to advance climate agenda

Beyond providing capacity-building opportunities, the ICAT hubs established forums for meaningful dialogue and consultation among stakeholders invested in climate action. The hubs’ workshops and events drew in participants from various stakeholders, encompassing a broad spectrum of expertise and perspectives. Representatives of climate change departments and environmental authorities engaged with representatives from line ministries, such as energy, forestry, finance, agriculture, mines and industry. Representatives of the private sector, civil society organizations and the scientific community also had a seat at the table, strengthening consensus-building on climate action plans.

In Central Africa, national capacity building workshops were held to develop comprehensive national transparency plans for each member country. As a result, 10 national transparency plans were developed. Through these plans, Central African countries are asserting ownership of their work on transparency, recognizing it as a crucial element of climate action and sustainable development. The plans include provisions to ensure continuous involvement of national stakeholders in transparency mechanisms, such as the formalization of institutional arrangements through legal frameworks, and dedicated teams and working groups. The plans will be used as roadmaps for transparency efforts at the national level. They will help to organize needs and activities, coordinate support offers, and guide engagement.

‍Ministers and senior officials from Hub member countries actively participated in ICAT events and workshops, confirming the significance of transparency on the climate agenda. Their attendance showcased the growing political support for transparency as a cornerstone of effective climate action.