Information Matters: ambitious climate reporting

Project description

Title: Information Matters – capacity building for ambitious reporting and facilitation of international mutual learning through peer-to peer exchange
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Project phases I-II (2013-2018): Chile, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Colombia, Philippines, Viet Nam. Project phase III (2018-2019): Ad-hoc Facility for African countries, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDSs) and other developing countries.
Lead executing agency: Chile: Ministry of the Environment (MMA) Dominican Republic: National Council for Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism (CNCCMDL) Georgia: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) Ghana: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Colombia: Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) Philippines: Climate Change Commission (CCC) Viet Nam: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
Overall term: 2013 to 2019


In the course of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community set itself the goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius. This will require a substantial decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to monitor their progress towards reducing greenhouse gases, all countries must submit reports to the UNFCCC Secretariat every two years on the current levels and trends in their greenhouse gas emissions and on their national climate change activities. However, many developing countries lack the necessary human, financial and institutional resources needed to prepare these reports.


The partner countries are in a permanent position to submit the biennial update reports (BURs), which are of a high standard of transparency and quality, thereby meeting the current requirements set out in the UNFCC. They are familiar with the relevant guidelines and instruments and are able to use them without external input. This means that they are also equipped to meet the future reporting obligations set out in the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework.


Together with local partners, the project analyses the existing reporting system and the relevant institutional structures. The project consults closely with all stakeholders to produce a plan that is adapted to the respective conditions and circumstances in each country in order to establish a transparent, sustainable and informative reporting system.

The project trains the specialists and employees responsible for reporting in several national workshops. International experts from think tanks and consultancy firms provide professional support. 

Staff employed at the partner organisations receive assistance and advice on detailed questions. Staff from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are on hand in all partner countries to support this process and provide information about the countries’ current needs. The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) also supports the project with its long-standing expertise in UNFCCC reporting.

Guidelines help experts to review the existing reporting system in each country and to make suggestions for improvements based on their findings. In regional events, the partners are also able to share experience, insights and success factors with their colleagues from other countries.

In its third phase, the Information Matters project offers support for other countries under the flexible ‘Ad-hoc Facility’. This involves carrying out targeted activities, such as one-off workshops or the assignment of experts to address short-term needs for improving sustainable reporting.

In addition to support at country level, knowledge resources in the form of guidelines, studies and handouts have been developed on the basis of experience gathered from the partner countries. These resources make both knowledge and tools accessible to other developing countries.


Chile was one of the first developing countries to submit a BUR in 2014 and to take part in the first round of the review process in 2016. In November 2016, it submitted its second BUR. The Chilean Ministry of the Environment launched the Latin American Greenhouse Gas Inventory Network in 2016 in order to promote regional networking and exchange. GIZ, and in particular the Information Matters project, provides expert support to the network.

In preparing its third National Communication, the Dominican Republic completed a greenhouse gas inventory using its own human resources for the first time and improved the institutional framework.

Ghana submitted its first BUR in July 2015 and completed the associated review process in May 2016.

Georgia underwent the review process for its first BUR in 2017. The second BUR is scheduled for completion in 2018.

With the support of Information Matters, Colombia is working on establishing a regular reporting process within its government institutions.

A national climate data management system will soon go into operation in the Philippines.

Viet Nam submitted its second BUR to the UNFCC Secretariat in November 2017.

The active partner countries have now created the conditions needed to improve the quality of the reports in future, and to produce the reports using their own resources.

Information Matters - Transparency through Reporting

In addition to the seven partner countries, other countries have also benefited from the results and products: Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Namibia, Paraguay and Zambia have been able to draw on the experience of the partner countries. Some of these countries have also used the support provided for under the Ad-hoc Facility for ambitious reporting. The activities in Lebanon geared to supporting the institutionalisation of sustainable and high-quality reporting on greenhouse gas emissions have made an important contribution in bringing together various ministries and in facilitating their cooperation on data collection. These activities were carried out in coordination with other donors.