Hello. This is my space for writing about things that interest and inspire and worry me – and sometimes all three at once – about working and travelling in the context of climate change.
I work independently on climate-resilient development – mainly at a strategy and policy level. In Africa as well as globally. And I am also an inveterate travel junkie. So you can see where the possible contradictions come in.
CV – Penny Urquhart
Penny Urquhart is an innovative and proactive freelance climate resilient development specialist and policy analyst, and a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. Her main focal area is adaptation to climate change, building on previous experience in governance for sustainable development, water, environment, ecotourism, local planning and rural development. She was recently Lead Expert on a Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project to develop the National Climate Change Policy of The Gambia. Other recent work has included developing a southern African regional knowledge co-production framework on climate change; and modules and a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning tool for a transfrontier conservation area managers’ training course. She has developed climate change adaptation programmes in Eritrea (approved by the Adaptation Fund), Ghana and Nigeria for UNDP and GEF; carried out global analytical reviews for IFAD and WFP to promote mainstreaming climate change into strategy and programmes; and designed country strategy and project level climate change mainstreaming tools for IFAD.
Penny has managed participatory multi-stakeholder processes on conflict over natural resources; and has worked since 1995 as a freelance consultant internationally and in the African region with public, NGO and other organisations. Clients have included donors (EU, IDRC, DfID, GTZ, DANIDA, USAID); UN organisations (IFAD, UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, UNECA, UNESCO); NGOs (IUCN-SA, Care International, Environmental Monitoring Group); and think-tanks (e.g. International Institute for Environment and Development and the World Resources Institute).
Her creative leadership and communication skills, flexibility and strong understanding of developing country issues have been of proven value in cross-cultural situations, including as coordinator of a global multi-stakeholder process to review private sector participation in water supply. Other work has focused on effective policy for sustainable agriculture and regenerated rural economies, desertification and adaptation to climate change; analysis on poverty reduction/ ecosystem services linkages; evaluations for UNICEF on humanitarian issues and water; and integrative work on South Africa’s National Framework for Sustainable Development.
Penny was a member of the Scientific Committee for the ‘Our Common Future under Climate Change’ conference held in Paris in July 2015, and a member of the Expert Review Panel for the recent GEF Adaptation Book. She also served on the International Stakeholders’ Panel on Tools for Environmental Mainstreaming of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), linked to the Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP); on IIED’s former Advisory Panel for Africa; and as a former board member of the Southern African Institute of Ecologists and Environmental Scientists (SAIE&ES).