Category: National governments

Montenegro's Third Biennial Update Report (BUR)

Justin Goodwin was contracted as an international expert to support Montenegro with writing the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) chapter for their third Biennial Update Report.

The Challenge

Montenegro is in a unique situation due to its status as a Non-Annex I Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a Candidate County for EU membership, and a Contracting Party of the Energy Community (EnC). This has an impact on the country’s international obligations for MRV and the reporting requirements concerning climate change actions.

A fully functional MRV system allows for the efficient collection and storage of relevant data, tracking of progress towards climate action goals, and an improved management process. In previous years, Aether has aided the development of Montenegro’s online MRV portal for its climate change mitigation and adaption actions. The portal is a data management site, designed to support the process of creating future reports such as National Communications (NCs), NDCs, and BURs. Further development of the online portal was needed to reflect the current institutional arrangements, improve data flows, and expand the types of information that the portal manages.

The Solution

Through collaboration with the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, a picture of the national institutional arrangements, data flows, expertise, tools, system and engagement activity needs was developed. Using this knowledge, Justin assessed the strengths and gaps in Montenegro’s MRV system, with the outcomes of this assessment displayed in a matrix.  The matrix provided a visual display of the current status of the MRV system across a variety of aspects that ranged from emissions projections to climate finance. The intention of this matrix is to aid in decision making, allowing Montenegro to prioritise its resources to where they are most needed.

Once the strengths and gaps of the MRV system had been established, an improvement plan was developed. This detailed suggestions for how the national MRV system could be further strengthened. It contained milestones for outputs that this would help to achieve, such as the completion of the National Action Plan (NAP). The improvement plan was added to the national online MRV portal, allowing real-time progress to be logged. A roadmap was then designed, which listed important medium-term milestones and their dates, such as the planned update to Montenegro’s Annual Data Collection Plan (ADCP). In this roadmap, these milestones and higher-level goals were linked to the list of MRV system improvements.

The Result

The MRV chapter of their third BUR will enable Montenegro to report transparently on the current capacity of the MRV system. More importantly, the online MRV portal allows Montenegro to track a variety of key information, from stakeholders to climate finance, to progress towards climate action goals. In doing so, national institutional memory is strengthened, and the development of future documentation (such as Biennial Transparency Reports (BTRs) and NCs) can be done more efficiently. The roadmap developed as part of the project sets out clear milestones for the medium term which Montenegro will have to meet. This includes the publication of key documents and deadlines for activities which will strengthen Montenegro’s MRV system.

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Justin Goodwin

Director

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Testimonial

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“The professional service provided by your company was of very high quality and completed within agreed timelines.”

Matthew Dudley, UNFCCC Secretariat

“Aether was a great asset in involving/engaging with Member States experts on highly technical subjects regarding GHG reporting. Very clear communication of issues and results.”

Andreas Pilzecker, DG CLIMA

“It is always an absolute pleasure working with Aether. I always know what is expected of me. Their work ethic is of a very high standard and projects are always handled in a very professional manner. I have learnt many skills in terms of project management, quality control and workshop training styles from Aether and I hope to carry these principles forward in my own work. I look forward to collaborating with Aether more in the future.”

Luanne Stevens, Gondwana

“The support provided by Aether for this project was especially remarkable considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and methods used in order to engage local stakeholders really added value to the capacity building of the national team.”

Shanna Emmanuel, Saint Lucia BUR Project Coordinator

“Aether delivered training workshops and generated learning materials for our SSN members, providing technical content in a manageable and comprehendible format. We particularly benefitted from their extensive knowledge and ability to interpret the needs of our members into the training materials.”

Jennifer Anderson, Sustainable Scotland Network

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional. Where there were problems, they provided solutions. The team were working to very short time scales but were able to deliver a high quality piece of work within the specified time frame.”

Sefton Council - for the Merseyside Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

“A heartfelt thank you to all the Aether team for this very comprehensive review – this is certainly turning out to be one of the most beneficial capacity building projects I have ever been involved in.”

Saviour Vassallo, Senior Environment Protection Officer, Malta Resources Authority

“Saint Lucia embraces the professional approach with which this project was undertaken by Aether, particularly their ability to develop mentorship relations with local government experts. This provides a basis for ensuring that the pool of local experts remain engaged and recognized over successive processes.”

Annette Rattigan-Leo, Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer

“If we have a need for any more reports in the future Aether will be first on my list.”

Alan Hardy, Kyson Design

“Engaging Aether to support us to develop the first GHG Inventory System and first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the United Republic of Tanzania has been a rewarding experience due to their high level of professionalism, creativity, timeliness and value for money. We will definitely consider Aether in our future initiatives.”

Abbas Kitogo, Programme Specialist Energy and Climate Change, UNDP Tanzania

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