European Capacity Building Initiative

Head of ecbi Programme named among top 15 female climate champions

We are extremely pleased to be able to congratulate Dr Achala Abeysinghe (IIED), the Head of the ecbi Training and Support Programme, for having been listed with Christiana Figueres and Mary Robinson as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world in a recent publication by Professor Maria Ivanova, Director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General. Her commendation reads as follows:

"Most of the least developed, or poorest, countries have been empowered to negotiate by Achala Abeysinghe, the legal and technical adviser to the chair of the least developed countries in the UN. A Sri Lanka national employed by the policy group International Institute for Environment and Development, she has made it her mission to augment the capacity of national delegations to understand the issues, stand up, and defend their rights.

She leads the European Capacity Building Initiative, which trains UNFCCC negotiators from vulnerable developing countries in legal matters, helps coordinate their negotiating positions, bolsters communication among them, and brings implementation evidence to the negotiations. Since 2005, the program has convened 76 events and engaged 1,626 negotiators, policymakers and policy implementers."

We fully embrace Professor Ivanova’s call for more women to be engaged in the UN climate change negotiations and will continue to strive to achieve this, not least though the training and support activities headed by Achala.

Well done Achala!

Dr Benito Müller (Director ecbi, Chair ecbi Executive Committee),
H.E. Minister Pa Ousman Jarju and H.E. Ambassador Bo Kjellen (Co-chairs ecbi Advisory Committee)

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