The ACU at COP28

Join at ACU at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28)

09 - 12 Dec 2023
Expo City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

As an accredited organisation, the ACU is sending a delegation to COP28, and will be co-hosting and participating in a series of side events, roundtables and events together with our partners and members.

Throughout COP28 the ACU will be showcasing the vital role that universities play in delivering climate action and emphasising their readiness to support the realisation of the COP commitments.

Please note the events below will require Blue Zone access

Empowering Equitable North-South University Collaborations: Unpacking the Education Sector's Role in Climate Action for a Sustainable Future – 4 December 9:30-10:45 GST (UTC+4)

The ACU is co-hosting this official side event in the Blue Zone together with YOUNGO - the official youth constituency at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Universities play a key role in addressing the challenge of climate change – not just through research and education, but also through the facilitation of knowledge exchange and action-orientated collaboration with business, civil society, and the public sector. In doing so universities help create the conditions to increase ambition and accelerate implementation.  

Radical collaboration between global north and global south universities amplifies this impact, helping increase capacity, leverage resources, share knowledge and best practice, and increase understanding of local and regional context.  

The panel will explore the opportunities provided by North-South university collaboration on climate change, as well as some of the challenges and potential pitfalls - including issues around equitability, fairness and protection of knowledge and innovation. 


  • Association of Commonwealth Universities (also Moderator)

  • Dr Daniel Otieno, University of Kenyatta

  • Yoko Lu, Youth Expert, YOUNGO

  • Prof Mizan Khan (TBC), Least Developed Countries Universities Consortium on Climate Change South and ICCCAD

  • Dr Shehnaaz Moosa, Director, South South North 


  • ComSec Pavillion, Blue Zone


Commonwealth Intergenerational Dialogue – 8 December 14:30-16:00 GST (UTC+4)

This event has been co-designed by the ACU, the Commonwealth Youth team, Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN), Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET) Youth and CW Ocean Youth Working Group (OYWG) as a platform for fostering dialogue between young climate leaders across the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth leadership spearheaded by the Commonwealth Secretary General.


  • ComSec Pavilion, Blue Zone


UNFCCC side event: Fostering youth-led entrepreneurship and innovation for climate-resilient communities – 9 December 16:45-18:15 GST (UTC+4)

Watch the event recording

The ACU is co-organising and moderating this official side event exploring the role of educators, institutions and policymakers in scaling youth-led entrepreneurship and innovation for achieving the SDGs. Climate action through skills development and lifelong learning, access to finance and mentorship, academic partnerships, technology and innovation, and policy frameworks will be considered.


  • Martin Masiya, CSET Youth
  • Dr Nfamara K Dampha, University of Minnesota
  • Laura Rodriguez Salgado, World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)
  • Durreshawar Mahmood, Commonwealth Scholarships Alumnus


  • Annabel Boud, ACU


  • SE Room 2
  • Open to anyone that has Blue Zone access

Event partners: The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), University of Minnesota, Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET) Youth and Scouts

Speaker bios

Aboud Headshot

Annabel Boud, ACU

Annabel Boud is Head of Commonwealth Scholarships at the ACU.

Nfamara Photosb58 (1)

Dr Nfamara K Dampha, University of Minnesota

Dr Nfamara K Dampha is a Lead Scientist and Director for the Natural Capital Project at the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, USA. As a UNFCCC Party Delegate and Executive Director for Household Disaster Resilience Project-The Gambia (HELP-Gambia, a registered national climate-driven nonprofit), Dampha will be negotiating the Global Goal on Adaptation for The Gambia at COP28 and helping the government to mobilize climate finance for project implementation. Dr Dampha will also be a speaker at various side events on the topics; 'fostering youth-led entrepreneurship and innovation for climate-resilient communities”, 'catalyzing climate action through research and student exchange programs', and 'loss and damage - Gambia’s call for climate justice', and 'youth climate innovation: bridging implementation and finance'. Dr Dampha’s research and professional work focuses on the intersection of climate/disaster risk analysis, natural capital accounting, ecosystem service modeling, forced displacement, and international sustainable development. He has a successful track record of independent and interdisciplinary research, multi-stakeholder engagement in strengthening resilience and reducing climate/disaster risks, and exemplary youth leadership as a Mandela Washington Fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

Laura Rodriguez

Laura Rodriguez Salgado, WOSM

Having started in the scouting movement as a beaver, Laura Rodríguez is a 22-year leader for beaver scouts. She was born and raised in Madrid. She began her studies on Sociology and International Relations, but now as a Social Work student, Cooperation, Development and emergency response with people in social exclusion contexts is the field where she is willing to specialize. At her regional scout organization, Laura coordinates the institutional representation as an advocate with the public administration, social platforms, and the youth council. Her role in her NSA - Scouts of Spain, is coordinating the Sustainability Team since she is involved in climate activism, sustainable development and environmental education projects and groups. Being a recent participant at the first Sustainability Forum of the European Scout Region and the Interamerican Leadership Training has enhanced her compromise with scouting and has powered her skills as a change agent for society.
In addition, she has been part of the student body at her university and has promoted Model of United Nations, becoming President of Complutense University of Madrid MUN Association and training about the UN Structure and committees, Sustainable Development Goals, public speaking, women rights and political conflicts at the international scenario. Scouts and MUN have a lot in common, but most importantly, they share a goal 'Creating a better world' through the collaboration of diverse voices. Laura, current Environment Youth Representative, is looking forward to endorsing and addressing the positive impact of scouting across borders as a way of living consciously and respectfully on Earth.

Durre' Mahmood

Durre Mahmood, Commonwealth Scholarships Alumnus

Martin Masiya Headshot (1)

Martin Masiya, CSET Youth

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