Tag: adaptation

My Bonn, Germany Experience!!!

Pelenise Alofa
Kiribati Climate Action Network

It was my first time in Germany!  My first experience (frustrating) at the airport trying to find my way to my hotel in Bonn.  My first experience with the CAN International Southern Capacity Building at the UNFCCC. It was also my first experience to be robbed. Mona Matepi (Cook Islander) and I bought ice cream and later when I looked for my purse, it was gone.  Someone had pick pocketed me while shopping! Well, there will always be the first time for everybody but Bonn was a multiple of first experiences for me.

But not all is gloomy…..Bonn, was actually the beginning of exciting experiences. Our first meeting with the lovely young people in the SCB team was wonderful and exciting. Each person came from different parts of the Global South and each was able to take up his/her responsibility with enthusiasm and professionalism.  It was not my first time attending CAN-International sessions, but it was my first time to be involved with CAN-International as a participating member.  Things began to fall into perspective and to make sense.  During the previous CAN-I sessions I’ve attended…I was always confused when people gave reports because I did not know the procedures.  I was thankful for the opportunity to attend as a Southern Capacity Building member.

Yes, the UNFCCC could be very confusing and frustrating. It was like being in a marketplace (too much fuss and bustle), but everyone does one business: negotiation. But thanks to the advices and counsels provided by Gaines (during orientation) and the CAN-I Secretariat things became more clear.

I was supposed to do REDD+ and Capacity Building.  I ended up following most of the Capacity Building because, deep in my heart, I know that this is the key issue to help my people in the Pacific.  Working with Mona, Mamady and Pat was extremely valuable and rewarding. Pat is a well-experienced leader who knows the ins and outs of the Capacity Building issue.  I realized that Capacity Building (CB) was not treated as a major issue, but integrated into almost every other Climate Change (CC) issue. We ended up drawing a plan of action calling that CB should be developed in each CC window, and that funding should be spent on building capacity in developed and developing countries to meet local mitigation and adaptation needs.

Could Capacity Building lead to our Survival in the Pacific?
The impacts of CC have been seen and felt in our islands for many years, but our relationship to CC was not known.  When our coastal lands were eroded and line of trees fell, when our well water became saltier, when sea water intruded into our gardens, when it rained too much at the wrong time of the  year, when there was drought for too long, when our fishes got washed up dead on our shores, when the king tides swept over the island like a tidal wave, we wondered, do we need science to explain CC to us? We live in it day by day. Actually, today, it is part of our lives and we learn to adapt to the impacts as they come. In fact, we have stronger evidence or and stronger voices today to support us at the negotiation arena. We provide the facts of the impacts of CC while science explains the causes and effects and how they are related.
But CC is not just the science, the cause and effect.  It also involves negotiations, commitment, passion and time.  Most Pacific islanders have the passion and time, but not the negotiation skills. The lack of negotiation skills stems from a culture of sharing. We share the fruits of our land freely, thus land ownership is very important to us. Our survival depends on our lands and oceans, which provide our livelihood. We do not sell anything to our neighbors because selling is contradictory to sharing. The reality is that we lack the negotiation skills because negotiation goes beyond the boundary of our culture. The only negotiation we know is based on trust. We want people to trust us and vice versa. But alas, we are waking up to the fact that we live in a global village where everyone thinks differently and lives by different values. We are taught to give from the heart, but today we are in a world that sells, bargains, gambles, negotiates, etc.  What’s more, we are negotiating on a major crucial issue…the survival of our people. It is scary, terrifying and mind-boggling! It’s like jumping to the moon to bring it down to earth! Do we stand a chance to survive? I am sure we can, if we take capacity building seriously…by learning the skills of negotiations at a global level and integrate capacity building in every aspect of CC.

The Laughing Corner – A typical Kiribati Negotiation or Business Deal
I will try to explain a business or negotiation humor conducted in a typical Kiribati style. As I explained earlier, negotiation or business (selling) is not part of our culture.  An expatriate family was ready to leave Kiribati permanently after serving in the islands for four years so decided to hold a garage sale before leaving. This was completely new to the islanders but nevertheless, many people went to buy all the second hand things for sale. At the end of the day, two women came along to buy, but there was nothing left except two cats (ex-pat’s pets) and according to the ex-pat, one of the cats was pregnant which means, whoever buys it will make money by selling the kittens. One of the ladies spent her $50 on the two cats and carried them home.  Her husband was anxious to see what she bought but was very angry when he found that she bought two cats. He was upset because their house was already full of cats and dogs and having a pregnant cat would make it worse.  And furthermore, they cannot sell the kittens because no one sells animals (pets) in the islands.

Why did the lady buy the cats?  Simple answer, she wanted to help. She was shocked that the expat family was selling their goods including animals, which mean that they were really, really in need of money. The I-Kiribati was ready to help by buying everything including their pets even though they did not need these. The motive for buying was not to acquire and to accumulate goods, but rather to help someone who was in need. Do you think that we islanders have a chance at international negotiations with this attitude? Talk about cross culture!!!

Related Member Organization: 

The Adaptation Committee: A Direct Link to the COP is Crucial!

Good news, everybody! ECO is pleased to see that negotiations on the Adaptation Committee have started and that there are a number of convergences. Important elements for its procedures will be broad expertise, openness to observers, and a clear mandate to strengthen adaptation under the Convention. ECO also suggests that non- governmental stakeholders should be members to the Committee to harness their expertise.

In ECO ́s view, making the Adaptation Committee the driver for more coherence on adaptation under the Convention and for raising the profile of the issue will require direct reporting to the COP (with no detour through the SBs), which some developed countries question. There are good arguments for a direct link. Regarding effectiveness and efficiency, direct reporting of the Committee to the COP is one less loop to go through, than if it reports to SBI/ SBSTA and then subsequently to the COP. But there are also legal arguments. According to article 7.2(i) of the Convention, the COP can establish subsidiary bodies where deemed necessary, in addition to the SBI and SBSTA, which were created by the Convention itself. It has been done so in the past, when inter alia the LEG, the CGE and the EGTT were created, but without automatic hierarchy under SBI/SBSTA. The COP established the Adaptation Committee through the Cancún decision, so it can be regarded as another subsidiary body according to Art. 7.2(i). In terms of the LEG, the founding decision stipulates explicitly that it would report to SBI and SBSTA, but the Cancún decision on the Committee, on contrary, does not even mention the SBI or SBSTA. Since the Committee has been founded by a COP decision, reporting to the COP is the logical step to take. Another argument is that some of its provisions ask it to directly provide information for consideration by the COP. Taking these together, ECO is strongly convinced that the correct decision on this is clear, and will be taken in order to not be an obstacle in operationalising the Adaptation Committee in Durban.


Progress on Adaptation Possible in Bonn

Yesterday afternoon, around 40 people came along to take part in an event organised by partners of the Nairobi Work Programme for partners and Parties. Discussion on a series of topics – including using climate models for local adaptation planning, integrating adaptation into national planning, best practice for knowledge sharing mechanisms, the challenges in accessing good practice faced by SIDS and LDCs, and  measuring adaptation outcomes – was animated, over several hours. We heard some Delegates who left the lively discussions to do their duty waiting for SBSTA to start did to express great regret at wasting their afternoon, when they could have enjoyed a meaningful discussion.

ECO hopes that the lessons of Tuesday’s workshop will encourage SBSTA to advance progress on the next phase of NWP in Bonn with more enthusiasm.

Related Newsletter : 

Expectations For Bonn

Friends, delegates:

We find ourselves at a crucial time.  A record increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, to the highest carbon output in history, puts your target of keeping warming below 2 degrees in jeopardy.  It puts the more important temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees – the limit needed to keep the sovereignty of many small island states intact – in even more grave danger. 

Parties, delegates, this is your moment.  The threat of climate change has never been more evident; just ask the hundreds of millions of people in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa who are already experiencing a food crisis.

Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, says that disaster can be averted, if governments heed the warning. "If we have bold, decisive and urgent action, very soon, we still have a chance of succeeding."

The decisive action you must take, delegates, is to be productive at this Bonn intersessional, set yourselves a workplan for this year, that allows substantial progress to be made at Durban.  This work includes the following:

Advance the Adaptation Committee so that it becomes a driver for promoting coherence on adaptation under the UNFCCC. Agree on a Work Programme on Loss and Damage in Bonn and a further phase of the Nairobi Work Programme. Also advance modalities and guidelines for national adaptation planning that follow an inclusive and integrated approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems.

Bonn must take concrete steps to close the gigatonne gap. The first baby step towards that end is for developed and developing countries to clarify their pledges, including their assumptions on LULUCF, AAU carry over and carbon offsets, so that we know what amount of GHGs the atmosphere will see in 2020.

Ambition in the LULUCF sector can be increased by measures that include incentivizing emissions reductions below historical levels to add to overall effort and assist with deep, early cuts and increased targets. Parties must also move to address the bioenergy / biofuels emissions accounting loophole, ensuring that all bioenergy emissions are accounted for, either in the energy or LULUCF sector.

Parties must also talk about conditions that countries have attached to the high end of their pledged ranges – how will we know when these conditions have been met?  All that done, what do developed country Parties propose to do about the fact that their pledges are (far) below the 25-40% range and in some cases even below something Kyoto 1 targets.

Developing countries should be invited to make submissions on key factors underlying their BAU projections as well as the level and form of international climate finance needed to implement NAMAs that are conditional on such finance.

REDD+ negotiations need to start promptly in Bonn on all of the subjects that were mandated in Cancun.  By the end of the year, the COP needs to be able to decide on a mechanism for REDD+ that delivers adequate, predictable and sustainable

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Submission - LCA Agenda Proposal - April 2011



This process must deliver concrete action to ambitiously address the climate change challenge. We need an agenda and a work plan to deliver on that by Durban.
The agenda discussions are important because they frame what countries want to, and will be able to, achieve in Durban.

CAN agrees with the sentiment expressed by many countries in the LCA opening last night, including EU, Australia, Norway, AOSIS, Singapore, Egypt, Chile on behalf of a number of Latin American countries, Pakistan, Philippines and China that we should use 2011 to BOTH implement the Cancun Agreements AND fill in the gaps that clearly resolve the issues that address the challenge of climate change (gigatonne gap, finance sources and others) that remain. This is easily possible by merging the various proposals for agendas as outlined below .
The priority issues for 2011 are italicised under the relevant heading.  Where time allows, additional issues can be addressed in 2011. Issues that parties have agreed to address in other agendas (such as SB) should be focused there.

1.    Opening of the session

2.    Organisational matters
a.    Adoption of the agenda
b.    Organisation of the work of the session

3.    Preparation of an outcome to be presented to the Conference of the Parties for adoption at its seventeenth session to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012.

3.1 a shared vision for long-term cooperative action
    a) Global goal for emission reductions and global peaking
[Item 3 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.2 Mitigation
a) Registry
[Item 7 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.2.1 Mitigation commitments or actions by developed country Parties
a) Work programme on enhanced measurement, reporting and verification for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention
[Item 5 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

b) Quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention.
[Item 4bis of the supplementary provisional agenda]

c) Options and ways to increase the level of ambition of developed country Party economy-wide emission reduction targets
[Item 17(c) of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.2.2 Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties
a) Work programme on enhanced measurement, reporting and verification for Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention
[Item 6 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

b) Nationally appropriate mitigation actions to be implemented by Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention.
[Item 4ter of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.2.3 Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries
a) Financing options for the full implementation of mitigation action in the forest sector
[Item 8 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.2.4 Cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specifc actions, in order to enhance the implementation of article 4.1.c of the Convention

3.2.5 Various approaches to enhance cost effectiveness of mitigation actions

Combined sub-items for 3.2.4 and 3.2.5:
a) Market-based and non-marked-based mechanisms
[Item 11 of the supplementary provisional agenda]
b) Agriculture
[Item 17(d) of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.3 Enhance action on adaptation
    a) Adaptation Committee
[Item 4 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.4 Enhanced action on technology development and transfer
Arrangements to fully operationalize the Technology Mechanism
[Item 12 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.5 Capacity Building
[Item 13 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

3.6 Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment
a)    Standing Committee
[Item 9 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

b)    Scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding to developing countries,in accordance with paragraph 97 of the Cancun Agreements
[Item 9 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

c) Review of information provided by developed countries on the resources provided to fulfil fast-start finance commitments
[Item 17(b) of the supplementary provisional agenda]

4.    Review: further definition of its scope and development of its modalities
[Item 14 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

5.    Legal options for an agreed outcome with the continued mandate of the AWGLCA
[Item 16 of the supplementary provisional agenda]

6.    Other matters
a) International aviation and maritime transport;
[Item 17c of the supplementary provisional agenda]

b) any other matters

7.    Work Programme 2011
CAN expects Bangkok to agree a detailed work programme for 2011, containing
-    the number of sessions this year;  
-    What issues will be dealt with and when;
-    Number, timing and content of technical workshops;
-    Invitations for submissions from Parties and observers;
-    Technical papers, etc.

8.    Report of the session

More Good Steps From AFB

The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) convened its 13thsession three weeks ago and some areas of progress gives us real reason for optimism. The AFB has helped expand adaptation efforts in developing countries when it approved projects in Ecuador, Eritrea, and Solomon Islands. Unfortunately expanding direct access to the funds remains a challenge. The AFB decided to make the key points discussed in the project decisions available to the public, including the weaknesses that have to be addressed. This information will allow the public to engage in the improvement of projects. They  also strengthened the role of the stakeholder consultation in the project review; it still requires further guidance and should include measures to avoid maladaptation. The AFB has also further progressed the monitoring and evaluation framework. However, it should firmly prioritise giving special attention to the most vulnerable communities. AFB had a promising start. ECO wishes the new AFB chair a good year and hopes it stays on track. 


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