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Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is in Bonn, Germany at the Headquarters of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He is part of a team of technical experts participating in the fifth round of technical analyses of developing countries biennial reports (BURs). This is part of the international consultation and analysis (ICA) which consists of the technical analysis followed by a workshop for facilitating sharing of views under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). At COP 17 in Cancun, Mexico in 2010, developing countries agreed to prepare BURs which updates their greenhouse gas inventories and provides information such as the support they have received to undertake climate change actions in their countries and identifies additional support they will require. Small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) may submit BURs at their own discretion.
The fourth meeting of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture was held in Brussels from 22 to 23 July 2015, preceded by a meeting of senior fisheries officials on 20 and 21 July.
It provided an opportunity for the ministers to take stock of progress made in implementing the strategic action plan for fisheries and aquaculture, which was adopted in Nadi, Fiji in 2012, and to agree on the way forward to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources with a view to wealth creation and development in ACP countries.
More than 60 ACP member states are engaged in the export of fish and aquaculture products to regional and international markets, although these countries provide only 3% share in value of the global fisheries trade, worth US$150 billion per year.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the ministers adopted a roadmap for the implementation of the strategic action plan, calling for mobilisation of adequate financial resources and close collaboration with partner institutions which provide support to ACP fisheries sector, among them the EU, FAO, IFAD, UNIDO and the World Bank, to ensure effective implementation.
Given the negative impact of climate change on the fisheries sector, the ministers called specifically on the international community to agree to outline concrete, ambitious actions to reduce the effects of climate change during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
In light of the persistence of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and piracy, the ACP ministers also urged the international community to cooperate more closely with ACP countries and to provide financial and technical support for the efforts made at the national and regional level, to curb and eradicate these two extremely serious problems.
The ministers recommended developing aquaculture, the economic development of the fisheries sector as a means for creating decent jobs, especially for youth and women, as well as the preservation of aquatic biodiversity. They agreed to implement plans for the development of aquaculture and appropriate fisheries management measures in compliance with international agreements.
The ministers also stressed the need for coherence and appropriate policies among regional economic integration organisations and regional fisheries organisations to achieve this aim.
The ministers directed the ACP Secretariat to seek technical assistance and financial support from development partners, specifically the European Union, to strengthen ACP fisheries sectors and their national health and food security agencies to enable them to comply with increasingly stringent health requirements.
The ministers also agreed that the European Union should provide support to the ACP fisheries and aquaculture sector, through appropriate measures, to cope with the erosion of preferential tariffs for ACP fish exports to EU markets, and to support the ACP Position on Fisheries subsidies negotiations in the WTO negotiations.
Credit: Caribbean News Now
Caribbean Climate released a widely reviewed post called COP 19 – Five things the Caribbean anticipates in the lead up to the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC and the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Several decisions were taken at the event in Warsaw, Poland that are of particular relevance and importance to the Caribbean.
The region successfully lobbied for the establishment of a Loss and Damage Mechanism. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage consists of an Executive Committee, which will develop the modalities to assist developing countries that suffer loss and damage from extreme events and slow onset events precipitated by climate change. While it does not explicitly mention a compensation mechanism as demanded by vulnerable countries, it does not prohibit the Executive Committee from discussing it. The Mechanism has been established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework even though the position of the Caribbean is that loss and damage goes beyond what can be accomplished through adaptation.
Agreement reached to reduce emissions from the forest sector in developing countries. Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America pledged US$280 million to support these actions. This will be of particular relevance to CARICOM countries such as Belize, Guyana and Suriname.
The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) reached its target of mobilizing US$100 million to fund the six projects in its pipeline. These include a project in Belize, which had been submitted by PACT, one of only two National Implementing Entities (NIE) in the Caribbean accredited to the Adaptation Fund. The other NIE is in Jamaica, which has also received funding for its project.
The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is now fully operational. This follows the COP's adoption of CTCN's modalities and procedures. Starting December 8, 2013, Caribbean countries can submit their technology requests to the CTCN, which is hosted by UNEP's Danish office.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been operationalized. Developed countries have been asked to channel a significant portion of their US$100 billion per annum pledge for climate change though the GCF. The Board of the GCF has been tasked with ensuring that there is an equitable balance of funding for both adaptation and mitigation. All developing countries are eligible for funding from the GCF.
Parties to the Convention agreed to continue to work towards establishing a new legally binding climate change agreement by 2015. This would be achieved through the convening of a high-level Ministerial dialogue in June next year to increase the mitigation pledges by developed countries and the summit to be convened by the Secretary General of the UN in September 2014. A draft negotiating text should be available at COP 20 next year to enable Parties to finalize the agreement in Paris at COP 21 in December 2015.
We welcome these developments and will continue to advance the region’s interest.
The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC and the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will take place next week (November 11-22). The conference will be held at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland.
Five possible outcomes that will benefit the Caribbean:
COP 19 is billed by many as the "Finance COP". A Ministerial high level segment will address issues on long term financing for developing countries. A pathway detailing how donor countries will honour the US$100 billion a year by 2020 pledge made at the 2009 U.N summit in Copenhagen, accompanied by interim targets and a private sector engagement plan would benefit the region.
Currently, there’s no specific date for donor pledges to begin, but developing countries have already contributed a majority of emissions reductions even without promised support from developed countries.
Operationalization of REDD+ activities. The region's heavily forested countries, particularly Belize and Guyana, are facing increased deforestation and would benefit from comprehensive programmes aimed at addressing this problem.
Raise mitigation ambition. The development of a road map to use the Ministerial summit scheduled for next year to increase the level of mitigation ambition, specifically cutting emissions substantially to limit global warming to 2°C.
Establish Loss and Damage Mechanism. A decision to establish such a mechanism would allow for the provision of compensation to countries that have suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable damage and loss due to climate change.
Draft the new CCA. A significant shift from general discussions to the drafting stage for the new climate change agreement (CCA), the successor to Kyoto, would advance the likelihood that the negotiating text can be produced by the end of 2014 and ultimately allow for copious perusal and discussion.
Under Decision 1/COP.17, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was given the ambitious mandate: first, to deliver by 2015 a new international climate change agreement that brings all Parties together in taking action on climate change, and second, to undertake essential work on enhancing pre-2020 mitigation ambition. Success depends on all Parties and the Co-Chairs of the ADP working together to make the best use of the time available, guided by a clear plan of work.
**Bookmark this page for regular updates from the 5Cs’s delegation at COP 17.
The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) has released a study on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CAA) in the Pacific, titled “Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: an institutional and policy analysis.” The study analyzes the level of integration of DRR and CCA activities across the region.
DRR is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through analysis and management of their causal factors. It reduces exposure to hazards, lessens the vulnerability of people and assets, and improves management of the land and environment and preparedness for adverse events (UNISDR, 2009).
CAA is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCCC) as ‘adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects that moderate harm and exploit beneficial opportunities. This can include: (a) adapting development to gradual changes in average temperature, sea level and precipitation; and (b) reducing and managing the risks associated with more frequent, severe and unpredictable extreme weather events” (UNISDR, 2010).
The 67-page report includes analysis of seven Pacific island countries: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The results indicate that despite the low level of integration at the operational level, countries are making efforts to develop Joint National Action Plans for DRR and CCA.
The report says there is strong evidence of an increase in the observed frequency and intensity of weather and climate-related hazards. An assertion buttressed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change IPCC), which anticipates that in the short to medium term many impacts of climate change may manifest themselves through changes in the frequency, intensity or duration of extreme weather events. Having made these observations, the report makes an urgent call for a paradigm shift in DRR noting that the recent Global Assessment Report on DRR shows that mortality and economic loss risk are heavily concentrated in developing countries, disproportionately affecting the poor and posing a real threat to the achievement of the MDGs.
The report also outlines challenges and barriers to integration, highlights evolving good practice towards integration, and provides recommendations for regional and national stakeholders for further action. Key recommendations include: the establishment and maintenance of a database of DRR, CCA and related projects, and a database of Pacific-focused case studies and good practices; to co-convene meetings on disaster risk management (DRM) and CCA at times and locations that maximize coordination and integration opportunities; to develop an integrated Pacific Regional Policy Framework for DRM, CCA and mitigation for implementation post-2015; and for donors, Pacific island governments, nongovernmental and relevant regional organisations to work collectively and promote greater integration of DRR and CCA.
The study was produced in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with resources from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Peruse the full report here.
“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE
“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, according to Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE. He adds that this urgency is longstanding as it was recognized over two decades ago at the Rio Convention.
Speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados, Dr. Leslie noted that at that watershed convention countries agreed that:
Developed countries would curb consumption and production patterns
Developing countries would maintain development goals but take on sustainable development approaches
Developed countries would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures
Dr. Leslie notes that even with these longstanding commitments progress has been limited.
Despite continued intergovernmental processes, there has been little implementation of the agreements. At the time a pledge to commit 0.7% of national income to international aid was made. This pledge has only been met by five countries and where given, aid is unpredictable and poorly targeted and/or administered.
The two day regional workshop at which Dr. Leslie spoke primarily sought to review the various financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund, available to developing countries— specifically Caribbean Community member countries.
Developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching US$30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 and with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. This collective commitment made at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in December 2009 in Copenhagen is known as ‘fast-start finance’.
The Fast Start Funds:
New and additional resources
US$30 billion annually through 2013
Increasing to 100 billion by 2020
Unfortunately neither of the first two commitments has been accomplished
Following up on this pledge, the Conference of the Parties in Cancún, in December 2010, took note of this collective commitment by developed country Parties and reaffirmed that funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa, said Dr. Leslie.
What’s the Green Fund?
The Green Fund is the most recent of the Climate Change-related Funds now being developed for operational implementation in the near future. The Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
It is the expectation that this fund, unlike the other funds, will be better administered with an improved governance structure and will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, it is the expectation that the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries, such as Members of the Caribbean Community, to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The importance of this last statement is highlighted in the latest report (Turn Down the Heat) from the World Bank on Climate Change
The 32nd Session of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has ended. Mr Carlos Fuller, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer, participated in the recently concluded (June 17 and 18) event in Bonn, Germany. Mr Fuller functioned as the alternate member of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group (GRULAC).
The JISC is chaired by Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, who is also the substantive member of the Small Island States (SIDS) grouping. JISC is the body established by the meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) to provide oversight over joint implementation (JI) projects. Joint Implementation is one of the flexibility mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol that enables carbon credits to be generated by investments in projects, which reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in developed countries. The CDM on the other hand, generates credits by implementing projects in developing countries.
At present there are two tracks that countries can use to implement JI projects. Under Track 1, the host country supervises all aspects of the project. If a country decides to utilize the Track 2 approach, the project is supervised by the JISC which has the authority to approve and reject projects if it does not meet prescribed criteria.
During the past year and at this session the JISC has been drafting recommendations for the CMP to improve the efficiency of the carbon market. Among the recommendations it will make in Warsaw, Poland are:
- To have one track for JI projects,
- To establish an international accreditation system for the entire carbon market,
- To set mandatory guidance for countries hosting JI projects, and
- To develop measures for the establishment of emission baselines and procedures to demonstrate additionality.
These recommendations will be finalized at the next session of the JISC scheduled to be held in Bonn in late September 2013.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre participated in the recently concluded (June 3-4, 2013) Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Statistics Workshop in Port of Spain. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) event was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Resources for Latin American countries. This was the second of a series of regional workshops being undertaken by the FAO to raise awareness of the importance of agricultural statistics for the preparation of GHG inventories and the development of national mitigation strategies to improve agricultural productivity, food security and environmental sustainability.
Representatives of the FAO delivered presentations on agriculture and climate change, emissions from the agriculture sector and the data required for estimating these emissions. They also presented the FAO project, Monitoring and Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Potential in Agriculture (MAGHG). The activities of the project include the development of an online agriculture, forestry and land use emissions database (FAOSTAT). The database contains the emissions from all FAO Members in these sectors from 1990 to 2010 using the IPCC 2006 methodology. Further developments in FAOSTAT will include emission projections to 2050. Representatives of the IPCC Task Force on Inventories (TFI) presented on the use of the IPCC 2006 GHG Inventories software. Representatives of Brazil, and Ecuador presented on their national experiences in developing national GHG inventory processes.
The workshop included interactive roundtables on climate change, mitigation and adaptation, the requirements of countries to develop inventories in the agriculture sector, and the resolution of problems to improve national GHG Inventory systems especially in light of the UNFCCC decision on biennial update reports (BUR). In Doha, COP 18 decided that countries should provide biennial update reports of their GHG inventories to supplement the inventories in their National Communications.
The representatives of the FAO and the IPCC agreed that a similar workshop could be delivered to the Members of CARICOM upon their request. The Centre will undertake consultations with the climate change authorities in these countries..
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre showcased its work at the 10th Carbon Expo in Barcelona, Spain last week (May 29-31 2013). The Carbon Expo is the largest event for the international carbon market and attracts project developers, regulators, financiers, brokers, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
The Centre shared a display booth with Cuba and the UNEP Riso Centre. Despite the depressed state of the carbon market, approximately 2,200 participants attended the expo representing 110 countries and 150 exhibitors.
The expo was organized in three streams covering: policy, climate finance, and clean energy and clean technology in plenary, training and dialogue sessions. While the regulated market which developed as a result of the Kyoto Protocol has declined significantly in 2013, the voluntary market and the national and regional markets are expanding. The focus of the expo therefore was considering options for linking these diverse markets, exploring opportunities in NAMAs, understanding the new market mechanisms being negotiated under the UNFCCC, and bridging the gap until the new mechanisms come into effect. For the first time, the Carbon Expo included issues of adaptation on the agenda as the organizers appreciated the linkages between adaptation and mitigation.
The Centre’s representative at the Carbon Expo, Carlos Fuller, the International and Regional Liaison Officer, held discussions with the representatives of Cuba, UNEP Riso, Barbados, and representatives of several organizations to explore opportunities for collaboration in the Caribbean. The Centre work was also promoted through a World Bank display featuring the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) project.
The Centre’s attendance was facilitated by the World Bank. Carbon Expo 2013 was preceded by the First Forum of the standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC, where Mr Fuller was part of a panel discussion during which he highlighted the work of the Centre in adaptation in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr Carlos Fuller, was a panelist at the First Forum of the Standing Committee on Climate in Barcelona, Spain on May 28, 2013. At the historic forum addressing “financing and investment drivers for adaptation activities”, Mr Fuller discussed the Centre’s adaptation efforts across the Caribbean. He noted that these activities are in support of the mandate that the CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed in the region’s Implementation Plan for the “Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change”.
Other members of the panel included Mr Juan Hoffmaster of Bolivia, who represented the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, Ms. Smita Nakooda of the Overseas Development Institute and Ms Saliha Dobardzic of the LDCF/SCCF of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The panel was facilitated by the co-chair of the Work Programme on Long-term Finance, Mr Naderev Sano of the Philippines.
The Standing Committee is a body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established at COP 16. Its mandate is improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalization of the financial mechanism, mobilization of financial resources and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties.
Dr Hugh Sealy of Barbados, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the CDM was also a panellist at the forum addressing “Financing and investment drivers for mitigation activities”. Among the 100 attendees was Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, the Chairman of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and Mr Raymond Landveld, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations who is a member of the Standing Committee.
The Forum was organized by the Standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC with support by the World Bank Institute and the International Emission Trading Association (IETA). Panellists included representatives of national governments, international organizations such as the South Center, the International Finance Corporation, the IDB, GIZ, OECD and the private sector, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Bank (Nairobi). Carbon Expo 2013 will be held at the same venue on 29 to 31 May 2013.
At the conclusion of the Forum, the co-chair of the standing Committee, Ambassador Dianne Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda noted that the insights of the Forum would inform the next meeting of the Forum to be held in Bonn, Germany in June.
The Forum was formally closed by Secretary of State of the Environment of Spain, Mr Federico Ramos de Armas and Ms Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.