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Through the training and support provided by the European Capacity Building Initiative(ecbi), which helps junior delegates navigate the climate negotiation process, I learnt there would be a range of negotiations tracks all happening at the same time; it would be more effective to focus on a specific theme rather than trying to follow them all.

In Laos, as in many other LDCs, people rely heavily on agriculture. Approximately 70% of the population depends on the sector for their livelihoods. Changes in temperature, rainfall or flooding have severe impacts on food production. For Laos, finding ways to adapt to these changes is a priority.

As a former designated national expert for the National Mekong Committee’s Climate Change Adaptation Initiative and given my department’s involvement with the NDC, it made sense for me to follow negotiations on‘ Adaptation Communications’ – looking at ways of communicating national adaptation priorities, implementation and support needs, plans and actions under the Paris Agreement.

As well as the advice given as part of the ECBI workshops, the experience also taught me the need to prioritise. During my first climate negotiations at COP23 in Bonn – for which I thought I had come well prepared– I ended up running from one negotiation to the next. I was confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and amazed by the incredibly fast pace at which the negotiations take place. Being pulled in so many directions was exhausting. I didn’t feel I was making an effective contribution.

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