Tag: South Asia

[VOICE] Climate Change and Bangladesh: Adaptation planning to address Impacts and Vulnerabilities

Bangladesh is expected to be the most vulnerable country in the world in next 30 years mainly because of its exposure to climate-related natural disasters and sea-level rise; human sensitivity in terms of population growth and pattern, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflicts; in adequate adaptive capacity to combat climate change (Maplecroft, 2010). In fact, multiple hazards instigated by various climatic factors including temperature variation, erratic rainfall, flood and recurrent flood, cyclone and storm surge, drought, saline intrusion coupled with social or non-climate factors (such as population density and poverty) are already affecting the many parts of country especially in the coastal region, north-west and low-lying areas.  

The Government of Bangladesh realizing the consequences of the climate change has made striking progress in terms of policy, strategy and institutional arrangement. Following allocation of 100 million USD in 2008 and 2009 together to bring adaptation and mitigation actions on the ground, the country recently established Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) and approved another 100 million USD for 2010/2011 to implement the projects and programmes under six major themes (i. Food security, social protection and health ii. Comprehensive Disaster Management iii. Infrastructure iv. Research and knowledge management v. mitigation and low carbon development and vi. Capacity building and institutional strengthening) of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP). This fund will be managed and implemented by the government and technical support will be provided by the World Bank to facilitate that the requirements are met in the implementation process. A governing council and a management committee chaired by the government will be the apex bodies to manage the fund. However, representatives of the line ministries, development partners and civil society will be included in both the council and management committee. In addition, a policy titled “Climate Change Trust Fund Policy” has been developed by the Cabinet as part of an integrated plan to face disaster due to climate change in the country.

The government also officially launched the “Climate Change Unit” under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in June 2010. At this stage, the CCU is headed by the Joint Secretary, MoEF. The unit will be equipped with 9 senior officers and 33 staff. National level experts will also be recruited as advisors to strengthen the unit and make it better functional. The MOEF and CCU have already approved 66 projects for implementation in vulnerable coastal zone, drought prone area, flood and low lying ecosystem, hilly and haor area, and charlands covering mainly water, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, health, capacity building sectors etc. Some of the projects are approved for conducting action research and institutional strengthening. However, most of these projects will be implemented by the different relevant government institutions. Some of the projects will be implemented by NGO or Civil Society Organizations at both national and local level. 

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CAN Submission: Cancun building blocks- Summary, October 2010

Cancun Building Blocks: Essential steps on the road to a fair, ambitious & binding deal outlines the balanced package of outcomes from Cancun, and the benchmark by which CAN’s 500 member organisations, and their millions of supporters, will judge the Cancun negotiations.

These building blocks were chosen not only because they provide a pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change but also because they pave a road which can be travelled, even taking into account political constraints. 

Success in Cancun will require meaningful progress in each area, agree­ment to work toward a legally binding deal in both tracks, including an indication that the Kyoto Protocol will continue, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations.

Cancun Building Blocks include:

  • Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties.
  • Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to se­cure sufficient scale and sources of finance.
  • Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and princi­ples and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.
  • Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.
  • Agree to stop deforestation and degrada­tion of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.
  • Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.
  • Acknowledge the gigatonne gap be­tween current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.
  • Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reduc­tions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).
  • Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17.
  • Commission at COP 16 a technical pa­per to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5°C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.
  • Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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Estimating least-developed countries’ vulnerability to climate-related extreme events over the next 50 years - 2010

 

When will least developed countries be most vulnerable to climate change, given the influence of projected socio-economic development? The question is important, not least because current levels of international assistance to support adaptation lag more than an order of magnitude below what analysts estimate to be needed, and scaling up support could take many years. In this paper, we examine this question using an empirically derived model of human losses to climate-related extreme events, as an indicator of vulnerability and the need for adaptation assistance. We develop a set of 50-year scenarios for these losses in one country, Mozambique, using high-resolution climate projections, and then extend the results to a sample of 23 least-developed countries. Our approach takes into account both potential changes in countries’ exposure to
climatic extreme events, and socio-economic development trends that influence countries’ own adaptive capacities. Our results suggest that the effects of socio-economic development trends may begin to offset rising climate exposure in the second quarter of the century, and that it is in the period between now and then that vulnerability will rise most quickly. This implies an urgency to the need for international assistance to finance adaptation. 
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CAN Southern CSOs Pre-COP 16 Preparatory Meeting (Mexico City) - 2010

 

This meeting was one of the most intense discussions in a focused setting for CAN’s southern members. Last year CAN International under the Southern Capacity Building Program engaged in inter-country and regional capacity building sessions which were narrower in their objectives.  
The Pre-COP 16 Southern CSOs Preparatory Meeting was in a sense the next logical step forward in the discussions amongst Southern CSOs to strengthen their capacities and develop a joint understanding of the challenges existing in the global south. The range of expertise and backgrounds represented within the group of participants was another positive element responsible for the outcome of this meeting.
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[VOICE] Global Climate Talks and Constitution Making in Nepal: A Comparison

Global Climate Change talks and the process of constitution making in Nepal has several similarities. The agreement made in Bali, Indonesia (resulting in the Bali Action Plan) and the provision in the Interim Constitution of Nepal. Both the processes had similar mandates - two years for drafting a new agreement respectively on a fair, ambitious and binding outcome under the UNFCCC / a fair Constitution for the Nepali people. Both were delayed, brushing aside the high expectations and with very little hope for meeting timelines, one more year has been added for both discourses as we found to our dismay at the beginning of this year. Lack of trust among the countries in the Climate Change discussions and among Nepali political parties engaged in the drafting of the Constitution is hampering the negotiations on both ends, and there's little hope that the negotiations/drafting will be complete within the revised-time frame. In this whole process, we, the Nepali Civil Society, are getting to see both the painful processes very closely.


Climate Change discussions peaked gradually after COP 13 held in Bali, Indonesia. Parties adopted the Bali Road Map as a two-year process to finalize a legally binding agreement in 2009 in Copenhagen. The Bali Road Map decided to establish subsidiary bodies under the Convention to conduct the process- the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) - that were to complete their work in 2009 and present the outcome to the Conference of Parties at its 15th session in Copenhagen. Ending with a weak political statement, the Copenhagen Conference was not successful and failed to meet our expectations. The parties were not able to remove the brackets (undecided issue within parties) from the draft text of Ad-hoc working groups; this resulted in the working groups being given extended mandates until Cancun, Mexico (COP 16) at the end of 2010.


The Nepalese Constituent Assembly is a body of 601 members formed as a result of the Constituent Assembly election on April 10, 2008. At the first session of the Constituent Assembly on 28 May, it voted to declare Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic, thereby abolishing the monarchy. Besides this, the newly elected jumbo body is receiving criticism on several fronts : lack of evidence about real work done to the public, the excessive expenses that are inflating the budget of the country towards its upkeep and alleged charges of corruption amongst members of the Assembly.

 
It is clear that the main reason for the failure to nail down a final agreement is a lack of political commitment endemic to both the discourses. At the Nepali Constitution Assembly front, members have not been able to move ahead with the constitution writing process and within the international climate discourse, member states clearly lack high level commitment to further the climate talks, thus the negotiations have failed to ratchet up its pace, and so has the constitution writing process. The priority at present should be the peace process and constitution making in Nepal. However, the parties are giving too much emphasis on who should lead the government, which shows the misplaced priority of the parties. By making the peace process and constitution writing their priority, the parties need to work collectively to write the new constitution and complete the peace process.


To contrast both a little, Climate change discussion at this moment seems quite progressive, as compared to discussions within parties here in Nepal. While the political powers seem to have forgotten the main issue and focus on getting their hands on the prime ministerial lollypop – the climate change discussion is moving ahead under the leadership of Christiana Figueres the new Executive Secretary of UNFCCC.


The extra year derived from the extension of the tenure of the Constituent Assembly in Nepal and the time frame between Copenhagen and Cancun is an opportunity for the political parties of Nepal and world leaders to create yet another milestone worth making Nepalese proud, both at home and abroad. We really hope that the leaders will make the best use of this opportunity for the advancement and welfare of this nation. Likewise we the people of Nepal hope that the International community and world leaders will make us all proud by agreeing to a international agreement on climate change that will be fair, ambitious, equitable and stem the tide of a changing climate before it is too late.

- Manjeet Dhakal

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The Cancun Building Blocks

Whilst parties are coming to the realisation that we need to move on from ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’, there is not much movement yet toward ‘nothing is agreed until enough is agreed’.  For those who don’t yet have a firm grasp on what ‘enough’ is, have no fear. ECO is here to show the way.

‘Enough’ is a set of outcomes that doesn’t just harvest the low hanging fruit but also cracks some serious political nuts and builds essential trust, so that next year negotiations don’t go around in the same circles as this year . . . and the year before that, and . . .   

‘Enough’ clarifies the road ahead: what it is that Parties are negotiating towards (a Fair, Ambitious and legally Binding agreement), by when (COP 17 in South Africa) and through which milestones.

So here are some highlights from the Cancun Building Blocks which will be unveiled by the Climate Action Network at its side event today:

• Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties, and outlines key principles for global cooperation.

• Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to secure sufficient scale and sources of finance.

• Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and principles and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.

• Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.

• Agree to stop deforestation and degradation of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.

• Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.

• Acknowledge the gigatonne gap between current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.

• Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

• Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.

• Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reductions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).

• Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17. 

• Commission at COP 16 a technical paper to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5° C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.

• Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  It is this clear pathway forward, with an agreed destination and an agreed route, that will make agreement at Cancun possible. 

Meaningful progress in each area, agreement to work toward a legally binding deal, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations, will deliver a successful and balanced package.

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