Mr Pa Ousman Jarju, Co-chair of the ecbi Advisory Committee and former Special Envoy on Climate Change, has been appointed Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources and Parks & Wildlife of the Republic of the Gambia. He recently made the following statement about his involvement in the ecbi (Annual Report 2013-14):
"I have been associated with ecbi for nine years – from my early years in the climate negotiations when I was a junior negotiator for the Gambia, attending one of the ecbi capacity building workshops during the Montreal conference in 2005. The ecbi has been a constant and indispensable companion through my journey since then, first as a negotiator for my country, then Chair of the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDC), and now as Gambia’s Special Climate Envoy.
The Initiative has played a key role in building my own capacity, and that of many of my developing country colleagues. It has also helped us develop personal relationships with negotiators from other countries, regions and groups, to enable us to communicate as friends, and hence raise the trust quotient in a process that is otherwise fraught with distrust. This is manifested through the annual Bonn seminars and Oxford fellowships.
The LDC Group, in particular, has benefitted from the activities of the ecbi. The Initiative has helped the Group cultivate experts in each complex strain of the UNFCCC negotiations through its workshops and bursaries. The constant support provided to the LDC Chair over the past ten years (both before and after my tenure as Chair) has helped the Group grow from strength to strength, and institutionalise many essential activities such as preparatory meetings and the LDC Paper Series, which I started during my time as LDC Chair.
Critical support has also been provided to LDC representatives in key climate-related processes such as the Green Climate Fund Board and the Standing Committee on Finance, hence ensuring that the concerns of the most vulnerable countries are not bypassed or forgotten.
In order to build such a close working relationship with many groups, the ecbi has had to demonstrate, first and foremost, that it is worthy of the trust placed in it by negotiators. The success of the Initiative is proof that it has managed to achieve this trust.
I am pleased to serve on the Advisory Committee, and see a critical role for the Initiative in the years to come, as we negotiate the perilous months and years towards a 2015 climate agreement, and its implementation in 2020."