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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supported the region’s first National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services in Belize last week (October 30- November 1, 2013). The consultation, organized in association with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Meteorological Service of Belize, and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), sought to advance the priorities under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) by focusing on:
Assessing climate services needs in the agriculture and food security sector based on generated climate information in the country;
Recommending effective mechanisms and practices to improve interfacing and interactionsbetween climate service providers and users;
Articulating the capacity building needs in terms of mandates, infrastructure and human resources for all the components of GFCS;
Recommending actions to improve productions, sustainable operations and accessibility for climate predictions and services to aid the flow of climate information from global and regional scale to national and local scales;
Charting a roadmap for the effective development and application of climate services in support of agriculture and food security and other climate sensitive sectors in Belize,particularly water, which is of strategic import to the Agricultural Sector of theCaribbean Region.
The consultation brought together key decision-makers and users from the initial four priority areas under the GFCS: agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction. It identified suitable mechanisms for improving and sustaining the flow of climate information to users with particular focus on agriculture and food security. The exercise also sought to enhance understanding of the need for climate services on sectors most impacted by climate change that can be implemented at the national level across the Caribbean.
The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was established in 2009 at the World Climate Conference-3, which was organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in collaboration with other United Nations (UN) agencies, governments and partners to steer the development of climate services worldwide.
The vision of the GFCS is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable to such risks.
The GFCS, which was launched in the Caribbean in May 2013, use five components for the production, delivery and application of climate information and services in the four priority areas outlined:
User Interface Platform
Climate Services Information System
Observations and Monitoring
Research, Modelling and Prediction
The next National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services will be held in Barbados.
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.
Experts warn that only a complete overhaul of our economic growth and international negotiations can prevent sea level rises that will destroy coastal cities like New York and London.
Energy expert Ian Dunlop and policy-planner and scholar Tapio Kanninen delivered a stark message in New York at the end of April that even limiting global warming to 2°C could eventually produce sea level rises of up to 6 to 7 metres (23 feet), wiping out coastal cities like New York, London, Shanghai and Tokyo. They told shocked audiences at the United Nations that if we continue with current policies, temperatures could rise 4°C or more, leading to sea level rises of up to 70 metres (230 feet).
See CARICOM’s Liliendaal Declaration on Climate Change and Development (2009), which calls for global average surface temperature increases to be limited to below 1.5° C of pre-industrial levels.
Kanninen and Dunlop were in New York to address a series of packed meetings and panel discussions, organised by the Finnish Mission to the United Nations, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Club of Rome, the Temple of Understanding and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
They presented new evidence demonstrating the severity of the crisis of global sustainability and global survivability and discussed with diplomats, political decision‐makers, sustainable development experts and NGOs how to persuade the UN and other international institutions to take immediate emergency action.
Commenting on recent scientific findings, Ian Dunlop – with over 30 years’ experience at the Royal Shell Group as engineer and senior executive and a former leader of Australia’s Emissions trading panel said: “Today’s leaders refuse to accept that climate change science and the concept of peak oil condemns the international community to a catastrophic future. Why are we still exploring for fossil fuels, since we can only burn off 20-30% of reserves if we wish to keep climate change to the 2 °C limit, while current policies will result in warming of 4-6 °C?” he asked.
This level of temperature rise means that the globe can only carry 0.5-1 billion people, not the present 7 billion, leading experts evaluate.
Tapio Kanninen, a former long time UN staff member and policy-planner, said that scientists have determined a number of “tipping points” that exponentially and dramatically accelerate global warming trends. As they begin to kick in, in a matter of years not decades, we must take action before it is too late to avert a catastrophe.
The severity of the global crisis goes unrecognised: we need a global emergency response and new policy models
Dr Kanninen said current international and national institutional and political systems are incapable of preventing the increasing severe global crises; it requires a change in the entire system plus an emergency response. If runaway climate change leads to rising sea levels the next move has to be to urgently overhaul the UN and our global governance system so it is capable of dealing with rapidly changing global and regional conditions.
Ian Dunlop said that many scientists and practitioners are wrongly dubbed ‘alarmist’, but diplomats, politicians and the whole intergovernmental system have failed to grasp the severity of the crisis. If we fail to act we could find ourselves like a ‘ship of fools’ floating on rising sea levels.
Failing to institute a major global policy change will inevitably lead to the gradual implosion of the economic, ecological and social structures on which we depend, and they called for “An urgent joint effort by member states, NGOs and scholars to improve the quality of global negotiations on climate change and sustainable development”.
Setting up new structures
Faced with the reality gap between what scientists predict and what politicians are prepared to do, part of the solution to global inertia lies in creating an independent Global Crisis Network of regional, national and local centres with a global coordination unit that will interact with a revamped UN. Eventually, the UN Charter has to be totally rewritten to correspond to the new global reality.
Source: The Club of Rome, an international think-tank, based in Switzerland, with 1500 members and over 30 National Associations. Its mission is to undertake forward-looking analysis and assessment on measures for a happier, more resilient, sustainable planet
The Limits to Growth, a 1972 report to the Club of Rome was written by Denis Meadows, Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William Behrens III. It used computer models to project possible future scenarios with different assumptions of how humans would react to earth’s physical limitations.
Dr Tapio Kanninen is Senior Fellow at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a Co-Director of the Project on Sustainable Global Governance. He was Chief of the Policy Planning Unit in the Department of Political Affairs (1998–2005) at the United Nations and worked earlier to set up a global environmental statistical framework in a UNEP-funded project in the UN Statistical Division. He is a member of the Club of Rome.
Ian Dunlop is an Australian Energy Expert, a fellow to the Centre of Policy Development and a former senior executive at the Royal Dutch Shell Group. He is Chair of Safe Climate Australia, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and a Club of Rome member.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is a German political foundation with over 100 offices around the world, including an active UN office. It is the Germany’s oldest organisation to promote democracy, political education, and promote students of outstanding intellectual abilities.
The Temple of Understanding is an interfaith NGO working to promote global survivability, and an active member of the NGO community working on the inside of the United Nations to advance social justice.
Today is the International Day of Forests. This historic United Nations General Assembly designation is “to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests”.
For centuries forests have been a source of food, fibre, livelihoods, resources and water. They are also central to combating climate change, but until today, and despite a multitude of special days honouring or commemorating key elements of human life, there has never been a globally recognized day for paying homage to the world’s forests.
In a message for the new International Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “By proclaiming the International Day of Forests, the United Nations has created a new platform to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forest ecosystems to sustainable development.”
Learn more about our work to improve forests across the Caribbean here (search using relevant terms as you would in Google).
Here’s a sample of what we have done… Morne Diablotin National Park: Improved Management Plan 2011-2016 and Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site: Improved Management Plan.
**Source: United Nations Press Release. Read more…