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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011

28 November - 9 December 2011 | Durban, South Africa
 
DAILY WEB COVERAGE
 
Coverage on Monday, 5 December 2011

Baobab tree, COP 17 symbol on the Durban beachfront.
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Climate Change Policy & Practice
 
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Global Green Growth Institute: Green Growth in Action

Organized by the Republic of Korea
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Lord Nicholas Stern, Co-Vice Chair, GGGI, said “it is no horse race between poverty reduction and development versus climate change and the environment.”
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Han Seung-soo, GGGI Chair and former Prime Minister, Republic of Korea, said “our walk will contribute to fostering global collaboration and set us on our course towards sustainability.”
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Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), emphasized the strong focus by his country to reduce their large carbon footprint.

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Han Seung-soo, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Republic of Korea, spoke of the institute’s potential for new growth while alleviating poverty in developing countries. He called for comprehensive and coherent green growth policies that are aligned with economic objectives. He stressed utilizing the existing potential within developing countries such as devising alternative opportunities inter alia, carbon markets and the need for financial tools such as the Green Climate Fund.

Hyunghwan Joo, Secretary-General, Presidential Committee on Green Growth, Republic of Korea, defined green growth aims to make a transition towards eco-friendly lifestyle, stressing the need for a holistic approach by: setting targets such as mid-term GHG Mitigation Targets and energy security; establishing enabling conditions such as green procurement, infrastructure, test-beds and consumption; and building a legal, institutional and public investment framework.

Ato Newai Gebre-ab, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, spoke about the lessons on developing a green growth strategy in Ethiopia, and stressed the need to develop a strategy for climate resilient green growth. He announced that the agricultural sector in least developed countries was the largest source of emissions because of deforestation, livestock and tillage practices.

Karen Regina Suassuna, Ministry of Environment, Brazil, recounted the establishment of a federal climate regulatory framework within Brazil that included: an action plan for prevention and control of deforestation in the Legal Amazon and the Cerrado; a ten-year energy plan and low-carbon plans; and sectorial plans for chemicals, pulp and paper, mining, health services, civil construction, fisheries and agriculture.

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE, presented the Green Future, and spoke about the UAE fundamental economic transformation over the last two decades. He elaborated on the national transformation plans, and emphasized green growth components as: development of a national strategy that incorporates action plans for efficiency, innovation and pollution abatement; development of a GHG inventory; green growth capacity building; and education of the general public, initiating policy dialogues, training programs and workshops.

Lord Nicholas Stern, GGGI Co-Vice Chair, emphasized that the GGGI goes beyond climate change, and said it is founded on the belief that economic growth and environmental sustainability are compatible objectives.

 
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L-R: Richard Samans, GGGI Executive Director; Han Seung-soo; GGGI Chair, Lord Nicholas Stern, GGGI Co-Vice Chair; Karen Regina Suassuna, Ministry of Environment, Brazil; Ato Newai Gebre-ab, Ethiopian Development Research Institute; Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE; and Hyunghwan Joo, Republic of Korea; presented green growth experiences from three partner countries.
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L-R: Han Seung-soo; GGGI Chair and Lord Nicholas Stern, GGGI Co-Vice Chair
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More Information:

http://www.gggi.org
Contacts:

Richard Samans <richard.samans@gggi.org>
Youngran Kim <yr.kim@gggi.org>
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Mobilizing Finance and Investments for Water Security and
Climate Resilience


Organized by the Global Water Partnership Organization (GWPO) and
International Hydropower Association (IHA)
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L-R: Baimass Taal, AMCOW; Ania Grobicki, GWP; Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Water, Government of Alberta, Canada; Anders Berntell, Stockholm International Water Institute; and Stef Raubenheimer, SouthSouthNorth; reflected on ways to mobilize finance and investments for water security and climate resilience.
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Baimass Taal, Executive Secretary of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), presented the framework for water security and the climate resilient development tool that will serve as reference document for developing countries in Africa. He described the deliverables of the framework: technical background document which includes methodologies, protocols and decision support tools; strategic framework and policy briefs that will provide strategic guidance to policymakers; and the Capacity Building Strategy.

Pervaiz Amir, Global Water Partnership (GWP) South Asia, noted Pakistan’s costly floods in 2010 and 2011, which were a wake-up call for his country, setting priorities for investments for water security. He said the Pakistan case demonstrates both a challenge as well as an opportunity towards developing strategies and priorities for climate change adaptations and mitigations. He pointed out challenges that can be warning signals, inter alia: donor fatigue when his country needed funding the most; weak infrastructure can disguise political corruption and weak governance; and conflict around the issue of water insecurity.

Cameron Ironside, IHA, urged for prioritization of low-carbon investments in sustainable water infrastructure and explained the application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol provides a framework to assess the sustainability of hydropower projects. He warned of the: risk of not combining adaptation and mitigation strategies; need for development of infrastructure, which fall exactly within the world’s most water-stressed areas; and the move from agrarian societies to urban societies, which will require large-scale solutions.

Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Water, Government of Alberta, Canada, spoke about the challenges her province faces in protecting the quality of water, particularly in the area of the Athabasca oil sands. She stressed the need for a robust monitoring system that would inform the decision-making knowledge base and talked of Alberta’s Water for Life-strategies that focus on: education of users; attraction of funding; understanding of groundwater systems; and mapping of groundwater systems.

Ania Grobicki, GWP, called for a focus on the side benefits to ensure that hydropower is realized as a cross-cutting issue in mitigation and adaptation.

Anders Berntell, Stockholm International Water Institute, emphasized the: need for a comprehensive assessment of the portfolio of options; potential to use scenarios to predict future outcomes; and assessment of impacts for sustainable programs. He spoke about the components for collaboration in existing water resource management.

Stef Raubenheimer, SouthSouthNorth, mentioned mitigation as a co-benefit in the adaptation process, and warned of the potential for conflict in water scarce regions.

 
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Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Water, Government of Alberta, Canada, urged for a stepping-up of monitoring actions.
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Pervaiz Amir, GWP South Asia, warned that the floods in Pakistan “are just the trailer run of the picture.”

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Ania Grobicki, GWP, said intelligent water management is fundamental to adapt to the changes in water availability.
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More Information:

http://www.gwp.org
http://www.hydropower.org
Contacts:

Steven Downey <steven.downey@gwpforum.org>
Cameron Ironside <ci@hydropower.org>
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South-South Cooperation to Address Climate Change

Organized by the Delegation of China
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Minister Xie Zhenhua, NDRC Vice Chair, underscored that developing countries are facing complicated tasks of promoting socio-economic development and combating climate change.
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Hasan Mahmud, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh, welcomed China's support in developing projects in his country.
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Minister Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chair of National Center for Climate Strategy Research and International Cooperation of China (NDRC), highlighted the importance to promote South-South cooperation among developing countries for addressing climate change since they are more vulnerable to its impacts. He said that the Chinese government has planned climate change initiatives with developing countries, including: adaptation infrastructure; early warning systems; adaptation technologies; and demonstration centers.

Karl Hood, Grenada's Foreign Minister, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), congratulated China for initiating South-South cooperation on climate change. He said that small island developing States (SIDS) need technology transfer especially for ecosystem management, and food production and security. Hood underscored the importance of the China-AOSIS climate change programme, which is a key mechanism to assist SIDS in their adaptation efforts.

Hasan Mahmud, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh, informed the need for technology transfer and financial mechanisms for developing countries to follow a different path of development.

Li Xin, Ministry of Science and Technology, China, explained that South-South cooperation is a mechanism to promote dialogue among developing countries to exchange expertise and identify technologies to address climate change. He summarized challenges in South-South cooperation, including: unknown demand and supply of cost-effective technologies; inappropriate assessment of developing countries' technology needs; shortage of local capacities on adaptation; and lack of effective mechanism for knowledge diffusion, technology transfer, and information sharing.

Wang Yuwu, Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection, China, outlined Chinese activities abroad, especially in Africa where China: established overseas branches; and conducted projects with local governments and financial institutions.

 
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More Information:

http://www.actc.org.cn

Contacts:

Chen Xumei <chenxumei@ccchina.gov.cn>
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Pathways to Clean Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Organized by the US Delegation
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Phindile Nzimande, National Energy Regulator CEO, South Africa, concluded that regulatory cooperation and coordination is essential to promote effective energy regulation, investments and regional integration.

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Cleveland Thomas, USAID/Southern Africa, said his organization's approach to climate change is part of a broader programme
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Oton Iskarpatyoti, AIP Deputy Director, outlined USAID objectives on global climate change to establish enabling environments for renewable energy.
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Cleveland Thomas, USAID/Southern Africa, said his organization's approach to climate change is part of a broader programme to: provide clean and reliable energy; promote renewable energy; and support monitoring, reporting and verification activities.

Oton Iskarpatyoti, Africa Infrastructure Programme (AIP) Deputy Director, focused on identifying projects, removing obstacles, and providing capacity building. He explained the programme provides capacity building and transaction advisory assistance to advanced-stage- viable projects that face barriers to financial closure. He summarized financial barriers, including: diverging interests, complexity of project finance, and an uneven playing field. Iskarpatyoti said AIP funds are used to, inter alia: hire power sector specialists with project finance experience; assist shaping the enabling environment at par with international standards; and mitigate project risks structuring deals based on development finance community criteria. He summarized a variety of USAID AIP project and assistance in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and many other African countries.

Phindile Nzimande, National Energy Regulator, South Africa, said Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) objectives include: promotion of capacity building and information sharing among its 15 country members; facilitation of policy legislation and regulations; and activities on regional regulatory cooperation and synergies. She underscored RERA´s three main areas: improving regional investment in the power sector; developing an enabling regulatory environment for access to and operation of a viable regulatory electricity market; and enhancing RERA's capacity image and credibility. Nzimande said funding from USAID/AIP was used for a variety of clean energy activities, such as: 2011 regional workshop; production of the Renewable Energy Handbook; and promotion of training course for regulators.

 
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View of the side event on pathways to clean energy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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More Information:

http://www.AIPPROJECT.com
http://www.rerasadc.com

Contacts:

Jeffrey Humber <jhumber@usaid.gov>


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Role and Contribution of Forest Certification Towards a Low-Carbon Forestry, Afforestation/Reforestation and REDD+ Projects

Organized by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and CarbonFix Standard
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Pieter van Midwoud, CarbonFix, discussed the extensive stakeholder dialogue in the ClimateFix framework.
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Stefan Salvador, FSC, highlighted key themes from the FSC Strategy Paper.
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Jeffrey Hayward, Rainforest Alliance, said that “forests are a lot more than carbon”, describing opportunities for multiple economic streams.
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Pieter van Midwoud, CarbonFix, presented the potential of afforestation and reforestation projects to contribute to reducing global climate change. He identified the distinguishing features of the CarbonFix framework to: ensure social and ecological standards; include ex-post carbon savings; and accept smaller land size so that smaller projects and communities can benefit. He shared the vision to join strengths with FSC to increase applicability of standards globally.

Stefan Salvador, FSC, introduced the release of the Strategic Framework for an FSC Climate Change Engagement, highlighting the role of FSC as an instrument to safeguard the themes of stewardship, monitoring, accounting, and rewards. He reviewed the goal to link with REDD+ programmes and standards.

Jeffrey Hayward, Rainforest Alliance, reiterated that emission reduction from halting deforestation could contribute greatly to reducing global climate change, highlighting the importance of sustainable forest management and need for REDD+ financing. He framed recommendations to increase the area of forest that is sustainably managed, such as: view landscapes as a mosaic that can be productive; harvest responsibly from forests; drive domestic demand for forest products from certified forests; reform barriers for communities to manage forests; and create an investment for long-term forest management.

Adrian Enright, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), provided two case studies from Viet Nam that studied the feasibility of developing forest carbon projects. He explained how the projects explored FSC certification with smallholders, and carried out analysis through estimating carbon sequestration, carbon credit generation and cost benefit analysis. He shared outcomes: carbon credits are not always worth pursuing; financial viability can improve if the funding gap can be bridged at the start of the project; data is key; and financial viability could improve if bundled with other ecosystem services.

Eduard Merger, UNIQUE, explained how his experiences in afforestation, reforestation, REDD+ programmes, agricultural soil carbon projects and certified forest management help to develop a policy framework for government to design their national REDD+ mechanisms. He identified opportunities not yet realized, such as sustainable agricultural intensification to reduce pressure on forests. He described three factors for success: multiple revenue streams; local implementation capacity; and complementarity of voluntary standards with national REDD+ programmes.

 
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More Information:

http://www.fsc.org
http://www.rainforest-alliance.org

Contacts:

Stefan Salvador <salvador@fsc.org>
Jeffrey Hayward<jhayward@ra.org>


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Towards Building a Governance Framework for REDD+ Financing

Organized by the Swiss Confederation and the Philippine Climate Change Commission
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Antonio La Viña, Ateneo School of Government, the Philippines
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Bruno Oberle, State Secretary for the Environment, Switzerland
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Naderev Saño, Philippine Climate Change Commission.
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Riff Fullan, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation; panel moderator
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Over lunch today, the Philippine and Swiss governments hosted a side event entitled “Towards Building a Governance Framework for REDD+ Financing”, with the assistance of the Ateneo School of Government, the Climate Markets & Investment Association, and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. The event was a culmination of months of engagement with more than 100 party representatives and stakeholders on developing a governance framework for REDD+ that lays the foundation for securing financial commitments for the full implementation of REDD+ while addressing drivers of deforestation and adhering to social, environmental and governance safeguards. The findings of the initiative were captured in a report and presented at the side event.

Key findings are: the international community should catalyze adequate financing for REDD+ in all phases of implementation; unlocking private finance requires demand for REDD+ credits and incentives for sustainable investments; planning for REDD+ financing should be part of a broader policy approach, which directs investments towards specific country strategies and objectives; REDD+ payments should cover implementation and monitoring of environmental, social and governance safeguards; and governments in REDD+ countries should ensure balanced investments within and outside the forest sector in order to address all drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

 
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View of the side event's panel discussion.
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Participants can avail of free bike rental at the designated COP 17 bike stations.
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Related Links
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resources
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 website
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 side events schedule
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 documents
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 overview schedule
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 daily Programme
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the Seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17)
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parites to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7)
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the Thirty-fifth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 35)
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the Thirty-fifth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 35)
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the Resumed fourteenth session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)
*Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 agenda and documents for the Resumed sixteenth session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)
*Meetings archive

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


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*IISD RS coverage of the Fifth Global Business Day, 5 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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*IISD RS coverage of the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011, 28 November - 9 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
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