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Cancún Climate Change Conference

Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Cancún Climate Change Conference

29 November - 10 December 2010 | Cancún, Mexico


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Real lily pads and water on display in the impressive Brazilian exhibit.

Coverage on Wednesday, 8 December 2010
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International Year of Forests 2011: Forests for People

Presented by the UN Forum on Forests,
IUCN and the Clinton Climate Initiative Forestry Program
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L-R: Chea Sam Ang, Cambodia; Yetti Rusli, Indonesia; and Salvador Anta, Mexico.
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L-R: Stewart Maginnis, IUCN; John Liu, Environmental Education Media Project; and Cao Duc Phat, Vietnam.
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This event celebrated the upcoming International Year of Forests 2011 and its theme of “Forests for People.” Jan McAlpine, UNFF, explained that the first panel was hosted by the Clinton Climate Initiative Forestry Program. Stephen Devenish, Clinton Foundation, noted that his Foundation has set up a number of REDD+ projects around the world, which strive for simultaneous sustainable forest management and poverty elimination.

Chea Sam Ang, Cambodia, discussed linking community-based natural resource management to carbon markets in Cambodia. He said his government supports REDD+ implementation with at least 50% of net benefits going to local communities. Yetti Rusli, Indonesia, described national initiatives on forests and climate change, emphasizing that it is possible to involve small polluters and villages. She noted the need to scale-up finance. Salvador Anta, Mexico, discussed his country’s projects on forests and climate, highlighting the “ProÁrbol” program, and the recently created commission for climate change.

McAlpine explained that the second panel was sponsored by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. Stewart Maginnis, IUCN, stressed the potential for landscape restoration to deliver triple benefits for climate change by: reducing emissions; sequestering carbon; and helping rural people adapt to climate impacts. He cited a recent study that indicates that the level of livelihood dependence on forests is constantly underestimated and highlighted a recent IUCN project in Tanzania that delivered benefits for forests, agro-forestry, food security, climate, and women.

Cao Duc Phat, Vietnam, said his country is severely impacted by climate change, and highlighted a recent initiative on payments for forests, which provides opportunities for poor people to improve livelihoods by managing forests sustainably. John Liu, Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), presented a short film made up of several of the films he is working on around the world. He noted his films document ecosystem function, dysfunction and best management practices around the world.

Jan McAlpine, UNFF, announced the upcoming International Year of Forests 2011, and its theme “Forests for People.”
Yetti Rusli, Indonesia, called for a “repackaging” of global expectations and demands from forests.
Stephen Devenish, Clinton Foundation, discussed his organization’s national-level projects on REDD+.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.un.org/forests
http://www.ideastransformlandscapes.org
http://www.clintonfoundation.org
http://www.iucn.org
Contacts:
Jan McAlpine (Organizer)
<mcalpine@un.org>
 

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Standardizing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) towards Zero Transaction Costs

Presented by ClimateNet
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L-R: Axel Michaelowa, Perspectives; Paula Castro Pareja, University of Zurich; Eva Maria Filzmoser, CDM Watch; Kim Carnahan, IETA; Sarah Love, UK; Massamba Thioye, UNFCCC Secretariat; and Kimberly Todd, US.
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This event discussed the opportunities and challenges of standardizing the CDM. The event was moderated by Axel Michaelowa, Perspectives.

Paula Castro Pareja, University of Zurich, said standardization is not new in the CDM. She said one example of standardization uses predefined value parameters, which are applicable to many projects at once, such as grid emissions factors. She said standardization will increase efficiency of CDM projects and reduce transaction costs, which in turn will lead to an increase in project flows under the CDM. She explained that broader systemic improvements in standardization will improve the environmental integrity of the CDM and the distribution across host countries and project types.

Eva Maria Filzmoser, CDM Watch, said baselines must be independently verified by a third country to ensure they are not self-serving to the host country. She said scaling up CDM projects while ensuring environmental integrity is "very challenging." Filzmoser noted that standardization does not really address sustainable development but that there is potential to do so. She said taking precautions on the standardization of baselines is necessary.

Kim Carnahan, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), said stringent baselines imposed on projects in LDCs are not conducive to furthering development in those countries.

Massamba Thioye, UNFCCC, outlined five methodological approaches for baseline setting, including: identification of baseline fuels; the technology switch approach; GHG emission factors; and displacement of GHG intensive products. He said the UNFCCC is developing a broad standardized approach for baseline setting.

Sarah Love, UK, said standardization is a way of improving access, efficiency and environmental integrity of CDM projects. Martin Cames, Energy and Climate Division Berlin, said finance to support CDM projects can be funded by governments and institutions with financial resources. Kimberly Todd, US, said standardization approaches are amenable to a diverse set of project types. Panelists discussed methodologies for standardization.

Eva Maria Filzmoser, CDM Watch, stressed that standardization should not replace additionality testing, but complement it.
Kim Carnahan, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), said benchmarks should be devloped but the process will be slow and difficult.
Paula Castro Pareja, University of Zurich, said standardization will lead to greater objectivity and predictability for investers in CDM projects.

 

 

Contacts:
Bjorn Dransfeld (Organizer)
<dransfeld@perspectives.cc>
 


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Climate Change Vulnerability in Bangladesh: National Response and Global Responsibility

Presented by Bangladesh
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L-R: Ainun Nishat, Brac University; Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation; Hasan Mahmud, Bangladesh; Mihir Kanti Majumder, Bangladesh; Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh; Matthew Wyatt, UK; and William Breed, US.
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This event discussed Bangladesh’s vulnerability and ongoing activities to respond to climate change. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Bangledesh, moderated the event. Hasan Mahmud, Bangladesh, summarized climate impacts in Bangladesh. He said average loss in gross domestic product is more than 1% annually by most estimates, and stressed that Bangladesh is an “innocent victim” of climate change.

Ainun Nishat, Brac University, highlighted Bangladesh’s vulnerabilities including, sea level rise, increased intensity of cyclones, food security and salinity intrusion. He summarized the country’s efforts to address these issues, including its 2005 NAPA. He stressed that Bangladesh is making every effort to integrate climate change policy into all development planning processes. He said Bangladesh wants, inter alia: a legally-binding document; a 1.5 degree Celsius target in the long term; and immediate action on Fast Start finance.

After screening a documentary film on vulnerability in Bangladesh, Matthew Wyatt, UK, said the UK intends to spend 50% of its Fast Start finance on adaptation and that countries like Bangladesh should be prioritized in accessing these funds. William Breed, US, stressed the importance of economic growth, country ownership of decision-making, and “game changing investments” in addressing climate change.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh, stressed the urgency of mitigation in addition to adaptation. He noted unity across the political spectrum in Bangladesh on climate change, stressing that his country sees climate change as the most important national security issue. He added that Bangladesh is a role model on adaptation, and underscored the importance of disaster preparedness.

Noting that mitigation is also important, Fatou Ndeye Gaye, the Gambia, stressed that adaptation is a top priority. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, said developed countries must act on their responsibilities in terms of reducing emissions and providing finance.

Participants discussed: whether or not the UK should provide loans or grants; if the Bangladesh Constitution will be amended to give a legal right to the environment; and innovative finance.

Hasan Mahmud, Bangladesh, said his country is not one of the most vulnerable countries, it is the most vulnerable country.
Ainun Nishat, Brac University, highlighted the impacts of climate change on food security as a top priority for Bangladesh.
William Breed, US, said economic growth must be resilient to climate change.

 

 

Contacts:
Shawkat Ali Mirza (Organizer) <mirza@doe-bd.org>
 


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The United Nations System Delivering as One:
Adaptation to Climate Change

Presented by UNFCCC, UNDP, UN Human Settlement Programme (HABITAT), UNISDR, WFP, and WMO
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L-R: Helena Molin Valdes, UNISDR; Michel Jarraud, WMO; Helen Clark, UNDP; Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati; Xianfu Lu, UNFCCC; Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, UN HABITAT; and Stanlake Samkange, WFP.
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This event discussed the UN systems’ collective capacity and ability to support adaptation. Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, chaired the event, underlining that the adverse effects of climate change will continue to impede sustainable development.

Xianfu Lu, UNFCCC, outlined the UNFCCC’s adaptation-related negotiating items, including under the AWG-LCA, Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), and SBSTA. She called for increased technical and institutional capacity and technological and financial support for adaptation.

Helen Clark, UNDP, said UNDP aims to put adaptation “at the heart” of national agendas and development strategies. She outlined UNDP’s work, including in 20 Small Island Developing States and 33 LDCs. Clark described UNDP's work enhancing: policy and planning; decision-making; finance accessibility; and knowledge building.

Michel Jarraud, WMO, said adaptation requires making “big decisions” between conflicting national priorities. Emphasizing the importance of information sharing, he said there is a significant need to strengthen global observation systems.

Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, UN HABITAT, discussed her organization’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative, noting that the majority of the world’s people live in urban areas, with one billion people living in slums. On adaptation needs, she listed, inter alia: city-wide vulnerability assessments; research on sustainable use of urban wetlands; and improved integration with urban planning.

Recalling the Hyogo Framework for Action on resilience adopted by 168 governments, Helena Molin Valdes, UNISDR, said her organization supports adaptation, reducing risk and enhancing resilience at national and sub-national levels. She presented the PreventionWeb, an information conduit between nations and UN agencies.

Stanlake Samkange, WFP, highlighted his role as coordinator of the UN Joint Programme on Climate Change in Uganda, which aims to better align UN work with government and regional development. He said WFP aims to do this at the national-, district-, and community-levels.

In the discussion, panelists commented on: capacity building; communication and response between UN agencies and governments; health; and cost-benefit analysis of UN climate projects.

Underscoring the UN’s efforts to Deliver as One, Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, described it as a way to make “one plus one greater than two.”
Helen Clark, UNDP, said failing to integrate climate into national development policy translates into a “risk of pouring money down the drain.”
Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, UN HABITAT, called for improvement in urban governance and enhancing national-local policy dialogues on climate change.

 

 

Contacts:
Xianfu Lu (Organizer) <xlu@unfccc.int>
 

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Around the Venue
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The recycling bike at Cancunmesse.
Even UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has a facebook page.

Related Links
UNFCCC resources
*Side Events & Exhibits website
*Side events schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference website
*Cancún Climate Change Conference overview schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference programme
*Cancún Climate Change Conference conference documents
*Climate Change meetings archive

General resources
*Host country website
*Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change


IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference, 29 November - 10 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Global Business Day, 6 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Development and Climate Days at COP 16, 4-5 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Oceans Day at Cancún, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-second Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 11-14 October 2010, Busan, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Tianjin Climate Change Talks - October 2010, 4-9 October 2010, Tianjin, China
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2010, 2-6 August 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - May/June 2010, 31 May - 11 June 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - April 2010, 9-11 April 2010, Bonn, Germany (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-first Session of the IPCC, 26-29 October 2009, Bali, Indonesia (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Advancing the Integration of Approaches to Adaptation Planning, 2-14 October 2009, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks - 2009, 28 September - 9 October 2009, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2009, 10-14 August 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the IPCC, 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - March/April 2009, 29 March - 8 April 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Workshop on Integrating Practices, Tools and Systems for Climate Risk Assessment and Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies into National Policies and Programmes, 10-12 March 2009, Havana, Cuba (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference - Poznań, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Poznań Climate Change Conference, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
*Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate-L.org - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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