Strengthening institutional and technical Macedonian capacities to enhance transparency in the framework of the Paris Agreement

Project Inception Workshop, 19 September 2019

Strengthening institutional and technical Macedonian capacities to enhance transparency in the framework of the Paris Agreement

Project Inception Workshop, 19 September 2019


The objectives of the workshop were to present project scope, objectives and activities and present and validate the project strategy to the key stakeholders, and discuss any changes in the overall context that might influence the project strategy and implementation

The project inception workshop took place on 17 September 2019 with the participation of 58 relevant stakeholders from 22 Institutions, 75 % of them woman. The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, other relevant Ministries and Departments, State Statistical Office, members of the National Climate Change Committee, Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector and Academia, attended the workshop.​The objectives of the workshop were to:
•    Present project scope, objectives and activities;
•    Present and validate the project strategy to the key stakeholders, and discuss any changes in the overall context that might influence the project strategy and implementation;

At the beginning of the workshop, participants were greeted by Jani Makraduli, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, who gave an impassioned speech about the importance of climate action and the need for government leadership in this area and Ms. Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative. Mr. Makraduli stressed the importance of this project which is a continuation of the collaboration between the Ministry and UNDP, and an important part of the overall support which UNDP is provided to the country to meet its commitments to the UNFCCC.

Ms. Sahakyan reflected on the broader UN climate change picture, emphasizing UNDP commitment to ensure that the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning will result in a successful transition from project-based data collection and reporting to a continuous process.

The International Consultant supporting the CBIT inception activities, Susan Legro, then moderated a brief “ice-breaker” session using innovative on-line platform, which allowed the team to test the participants’ knowledge regarding the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and to assess their background and sources of information on climate change. Workshop participants logged onto a website via smart phone to answer two quiz questions and two survey questions.

The first of the two survey questions indicated that the modal participant was someone who dealt with climate change at work as one of several issues (29 of 44 respondents), while the second survey question indicated that the most frequent source of information on climate change for participants was “the Internet in general” (19 of 45), followed by the national CC website, klimatskipromeni.mk (9 of 45).


Figure 3: Survey Question 1 Results


Figure 4: Survey Question 2 Results

The second session provided more detailed information on MRV/transparency systems and other issues important to project activities, such as gender.


•    Ms. Pavlina Zdraveva, UNDP Project Manager for the CBIT project in Macedonia delivered a presentation on “Solid institutional arrangements as key to enhanced transparency,” which was followed by an interactive exercise to illustrate the “organized chaos” of data exchange in MRV systems. Several participants noted that they were surprised to see how many entities could be involved in reporting in a single sub-sector. The exercise was particularly effective because many of the stakeholders were present and represented their own institutions. Feedback on this exercise was very positive.
•    Ms. Susan Legro, International Consultant, gave a brief presentation entitled “Building sustainable domestic MRV systems for tracking and reporting NDC achievement” where she emphasized that a well-designed system that adhered to good practices in environmental information systems would be flexible enough to adapt to future requirements on reporting.
•    Ms. Ana Petrovska, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and CBIT Focal Point then introduced the global CBIT platform and described some of its features.
•    Ms. Susan Legro, International Consultant, then gave a brief presentation on available tracking tools for transparency-related actions and progress.
•    Ms. Natasa Markovska from the Macedonian Academy of Sciences then linked CC reporting on reporting on the SDGs in her presentation “Measuring climate action in line with SDGs”
•    The final presentation by Ms. Olgica Apostolova, focused on “Gender and Climate Change,” and she provided a baseline description of gender equality and participation related to climate change issues in Macedonia, as well as the implementation of the gender and climate change action plan developed within the Second Biennial Update Report on Climate Change.


The second session provided more detailed information on MRV/transparency systems and other issues important to project activities, such as gender.

•    Ms. Pavlina Zdraveva, UNDP Project Manager for the CBIT project in Macedonia delivered a presentation on “Solid institutional arrangements as key to enhanced transparency,” which was followed by an interactive exercise to illustrate the “organized chaos” of data exchange in MRV systems. Several participants noted that they were surprised to see how many entities could be involved in reporting in a single sub-sector. The exercise was particularly effective because many of the stakeholders were present and represented their own institutions. Feedback on this exercise was very positive.
•    Ms. Susan Legro, International Consultant, gave a brief presentation entitled “Building sustainable domestic MRV systems for tracking and reporting NDC achievement” where she emphasized that a well-designed system that adhered to good practices in environmental information systems would be flexible enough to adapt to future requirements on reporting.
•    Ms. Ana Petrovska, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and CBIT Focal Point then introduced the global CBIT platform and described some of its features.
•    Ms. Susan Legro, International Consultant, then gave a brief presentation on available tracking tools for transparency-related actions and progress.
•    Ms. Natasa Markovska from the Macedonian Academy of Sciences then linked CC reporting on reporting on the SDGs in her presentation “Measuring climate action in line with SDGs”
•    The final presentation by Ms. Olgica Apostolova, focused on “Gender and Climate Change,” and she provided a baseline description of gender equality and participation related to climate change issues in Macedonia, as well as the implementation of the gender and climate change action plan developed within the Second Biennial Update Report on Climate Change.

The project team then solicited feedback from participants on the presentations and proposed project activities.

Growing global awareness of the climate crisis and high-level meetings such as the UN Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change (21-23 September) have provided some momentum for the implementation of the project, and the issue of EU accession is an additional potential driver for climate-related activities in Macedonia.

The following conclusions and recommendations resulted from the inception workshop:
•    The project implementation modality remains the same as agreed at the project approval stage;
•    The project management structure shall remain as planned in the project document.
•    The initial project board meeting is planned in the fourth quarter of 2019;
•    Project budget and work plan reaffirmed, as stipulated in the project document;
•    The project’s Monitoring and Evaluation framework remains the same as the initial proposal that was approved by the GEF. The project’s Logical Framework i.e. indicators, means of verification, assumptions were re-confirmed;
•    Stakeholders matrix updated with additional relevant stakeholders (Table 1);
•    No changes to the project results framework have been proposed and they remain the same as in the approved project document.
•    Project activities as planned within the project document were confirmed. The following recommendations for enhancing project implementation were given:
•    The Paris Rulebook and new requirements regarding MRV and transparency present an opportunity to put into place solid frameworks that can also support other reporting requirements; e.g. Energy Community requirements to align the MRV system with the EU MMR (which itself is in the process of reformulation for 2021) and alignment with the climate acquis.
•    Stakeholders do not have any significant concerns with the UNDP-GEF CBIT project at implementation. Recommendations included:
         * Promotion of future-oriented information technologies,
         * Digitalization of existing data, designing for open data,
         * Work with editors to support participation by journalists in CC training and development of Macedonian CC reporting
         * Climate mainstreaming during the development of the new National Gender Equality Strategy and Law on Equal Opportunities
         * Gender mainstreaming into Strategy and Law on Climate Action
         * Engagement with the Ministries of Finance and Information Society and Admin.
         * Use social media to disseminate data (MakStat is currently piloting this)
         * Link CC issues into risk management, which has a different coordination structure
•    In the area of project coordination, it would be good for Macedonia to exchange experience with other CBIT project countries that have triple reporting requirements (UNFCCC, SDGs, MMR). There is also potential to leverage experience from countries currently reporting to the EC and the UNFCCC, such as the Czech Republic
•    It will be important to coordinate with the EU-funded “Preparation of Long-Term Strategy and Law on Climate Action” project, which is being implemented by GFA Consulting Group. It will be particularly important to coordinate with them on 1) the necessary sub-legislation; 2) the delegation of authority for climate data collection and management under the strategy and the law; and 3) the design and responsibilities of the interagency committee.
•    There are multiple NDC tracking tools that have been developed by donors and NGOs. The CBIT Global Platform project should be able to assist in screening some of the tools. They may also be able to identify opportunities for twinning and longer-term knowledge exchanges as opposed to short-term, one-time training.

 An Institutional arrangements exercise

An Institutional arrangements exercise has been introduced to illustrate the “organized chaos” of data exchange in MRV systems in the country and to present simple MRV structure to be established during CBIT project implementation.                                      

The “Share of Renewables in Electricity Production” was taken as example i.e. the process of collecting/monitoring/verifying relevant data and reporting towards UNFCCC, EU and Energy Community, since it is an important and valuable data (the electricity production is the largest GHG emitter in the country, EU is pushing for a low-carbon development and the Energy community for larger penetration of renewables). On the other hand, certain aspects of the Share of Renewables are neglected and/or data is missing (households, private sector, electric vehicles etc.).

The result of the exercise revealed stunning number of 22 institutions involved in the current process for collecting, monitoring and reporting country data for the share of renewables in electricity production (see Table below).

1.    Ministry of Economy
2.    Energy Agency
3.    Energy and water services regulatory commission
4.    Energy and distribution providers
5.    Private sector/Business community
6.    Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning
7.    Ministry of Finance
8.    Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy
9.    Hydro-meteorological service
10.    Academia/Scientific Community
11.    Banks    12.    Ministry of Interior
13.    State Statistical Office
14.    Households
15.    NGOs/CSOs
16.    Farmers
17.    Donors
18.    International Community
19.    Innovation Fund
20.    Office of the Prime Minister for Economic affairs
21.    Ministry of Labor and Social Policies
22.    Ministry of Information and Administration

Each person on the pictures above represents an institution. All participants have been connected with a red string tangling one person in the middle that represented the required one single data that needs to be reported: Share of Renewables in Electricity Production.

In the end, the central person was asked to “brake free” from the chaotical interconnected strings and the new simple data collection MRV module has been presented. This module has been developed within the Macedonian Biennial Update Reports on Climate Change. The CBIT project activities shall contribute towards implementation of the proposed MRV system. 


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