China and South-South Scoping Assessment for Learning and Development

Report / Paper

China and South-South Scoping Assessment for Learning and Development


January 2013


The overarching aim of Phase 1 of the China and South-South Scoping Assessment for Learning and Development initiative is to identify key opportunities and avenues for South-South learning and climate compatible development and how to best channel resources to share China's and developing countries' experiences of integrating climate adaptation into the development process. This project is being implemented in ten (10) countries across three regions including Africa (Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda); Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia) and the Caribbean (Grenada, Jamaica). Final outputs from Phase 1, including the Full Report and Country Reports follow details on the project below.


Climate change is a global problem with the need for collective action. Whilst the global element to action has traditionally been seen as emissions targets and mitigation ambition, how each country adapts to the impacts of climate change is also a trans-boundary issue. When done well, successfully replicating and learning from other’s adaptation experience can rapidly accelerate a country’s capacity to effectively adapt. Conversely, maladaptation poses the risk of aggravating tensions around resources and borders and can undermine a country’s mitigation efforts. For this reason, adaptation cannot remain a national issue and can be greatly enhanced by international sharing, particularly between developing countries who share similar challenges and contexts.

China has an important role to play in global development, climate resilience and South-South cooperation. Numerous Chinese ministries are working with developing countries on climate compatible development through adaptation strategies, science and technological advances across a range of sectors. During its 11th Five-Year Plan period, China established 121 assistance programmes for climate change implementation that provided capacity building to over 207,000 personnel. The 12th Five-Year Plan includes provisions to assist other developing countries even further to address climate change.

At COP 17, on 5 December 2011, Xie Zhenhua, NDRC Vice Minister and head of the Chinese delegation, announced 4 major areas of investment through South-South collaboration:

  1. Adaptation: help developing countries that are most vulnerable to extreme weather to develop weather forecasting, disaster prediction capacity, and improved early-warning capacities;
  2. Promotion of climate change adaptation technology, including sustainable agriculture assistance, and technology to help needy countries with drought resistance, water conservation, and biodiversity;
  3. Dissemination and donation of technology in energy conservation, water conservation, and renewable energy to small island developing states and least developed countries;
  4. Continuation of capacity building programs for developing countries that need it. In the next 3 years, China plans to continue to carry out a series of capacity building activities in climate change and train 1,000 officials in developing countries.

The project ‘China and South-South Scoping Assessment for Learning and Development’ (CASSALD) focuses on addressing climate adaptation needs and potential for south-south learning in 10 developing countries.