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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 Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Resource Africa Theatre Group representing a community voice of Africa, expressed disappointment, “for years and years we are coming to this meeting and no solution; promises are made and promises are broken”.
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Climate Change Policy & Practice
 
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Land Day 5: Achieving Zero Net Land Degradation:
Impacts on Climate Change Issues


Organized by the Department of Evironmental Affairs, South Africa, UNCCD Secretariat
and the World Agroforestry Centre
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Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre, advocated for a low-cost grassroots global movement to harness the creativity of millions of people.
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Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa, responded to the pressure not to fail reaching an outcome at COP 17, explaining that this is a microcosm of broader challenges of global government.
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Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, remembered that “Forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them.”

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Tobogo Modise, Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, South Africa, stressed that failure to respond to climate change and desertification will have catastrophic results, exposing millions of the most vulnerable people to additional water stress.

Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, expressed hope for leadership to provide insight for foresight to prevent and reverse land degradation. He explained that policy design for international cooperation in the context of climate change, biodiversity conservation, desertification, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and water will either exacerbate or alleviate challenges, calling for: synergy between Rio conventions; development of an incentive approaches; and adoption of holistic management of natural capital. Kevin Grose, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emphasized the synergies between the Rio conventions, identifying the key role of national policy and need for assistance in developing countries to explore both short-term and long-term benefits. He reviewed pledges made at COP 17 and shared a portal on the UNFCCC website to track quick-start financing.

Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre, proposed that achieving zero-net land degradation globally and ending hunger is possible through a low-cost grassroots global movement. He underscored the need to monitor achievement through biomass production to direct investment. He recommended that: classification of land as degraded, regenerated, or stable to provide ratio data; promotion of evergreen agriculture and climate smart agriculture; and adoption of adaptation in communities.

G. E. Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development And Land Reform, South Africa, commented on programmes in South Africa developing animal and land management through rehabilitation, underscoring the need to scale-up. Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, indicated opportunities to enhance the interrelationships between climate change, desertification and biodiversity. She relayed the requirement to place people and poverty issues in the center of dialogue.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa, emphasized the inextricable link between food security, poverty, climate change and overall priorities for development. He said it is time to build momentum, move toward zero net-land degradation and meet MDGs, calling for: dedication of global funding and resources; integration of strategies and national legislation to embrace principles of sustainable development; allocation of resources fairly to the Rio conventions; integration of decentralized planning and security; and development of a legal framework. He acknowledged the need to factor in the experiences of marginalized people in discussions.

 
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Panelists gathered to address how to achieve zero-net land degradation and the impact of climate change.
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L-R: Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, in a conversation with H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.
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L-R: Dennis Garrity, World Agroforestry Centre; Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary; Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa; Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa; and Kevin Grose, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
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How the World can Curb Carbon Emission by Setting a Sustainable Development Goal on Land and Zero-Net Land Degradation as Target


Organized by the Department of Evironmental Affairs, South Africa, UNCCD Secretariat
and the World Agroforestry Centre
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Alexander Mueller, FAO, urged the world to deal with soils and water more responsibly.
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Uriel Safriel, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Israel, spoke of the challenge to “turn a vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle.”
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Graham von Maltitz, CSIR South Africa, said addressing climate change is about “moving the goalposts.”

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Siphiwe Ngwenya, Gauteng Economic Development Agency, South Africa, emphasized the concept of fair trade based on sustainability of production, not only manufacturing, and reduction of carbon emission.

Moderator Hans Nilsagård, Ministry for Rural Affairs, Sweden, introduced the key issue on desertification and degradation, and the relationships and synergy between zero-net target and carbon emissions.

Alexander Mueller, Assistant Director-General, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), discussed the importance of the world’s non-renewable soil resources, referring to FAO`s first State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture Report. He identified the major causes of agricultural systems at risk: loss of biodiversity; land and water scarcity; and deforestation. Calling for an integrated effort, Mueller described the synergies for soils, food security and environmental decision-making processes. He urged for improvement of the soil’s productive capacity by drastically reducing total food waste, post-harvest loss, and addressing the need for increased storage capacity.

Uriel Safriel, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Israel, spoke about the “vicious” circle of land degradation and climate change leading to: increase in extreme events and soil erosion; reduction in economic value, carbon fixation, and global stock. He demonstrated the continuation of the cycle where these events are magnified every time the cycle repeats. Safriel urged for replacing this with a “virtuous “circle that would ensure the continued existence of natural ecosystems and the provision of its services.

Graham von Maltitz, Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa, focused on the southern African perspective of dry lands´ features: tightly coupled human-environmental systems; land tenure that is often communal and weak and requires special considerations; and communities that exist in integrated landscapes subsisting on dry forests, crop agriculture, pastoralists, and non-timber products.

Jesper Hornberg, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, introduced the fund’s strategy of selecting projects based on competitive business ideas. He said key points are: the projects have to be sustainable; adaptation must be addressed; and funds have to be leveraged from investors to match the input.

 
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How Will Land Degradation Neutrality Impact Climate Change Issues such as Adaptation, Mitigation, and Resilience Building


Organized by the Department of Evironmental Affairs, South Africa, UNCCD Secretariat
and the World Agroforestry Centre
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Noel Oettlé, Environmental Monitoring Group, said no one is unable to invest, even if it is energy, imagination, money, or time.

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Mpume Ntlokwana, South Africa, shared South Africa’s commitment to reduce soil degradation from 70% to 55% by working with stakeholders.
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Elwyn Grainger-Jones, IFAD, explained that although not perfect, agronomical techniques will help to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

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Elwyn Grainger-Jones, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), identified existing challenges in affecting attitudes rather than in developing policy. He described agronomical best practices that double as methods for emission reductions and climate resilience, legitimizing IFAD´s aim to utilize the energy and finance behind climate change and fuel the scaling up of these techniques.

Michael Kidd, University of KwaZulu-Natal, IUCN, asserted that soil is a biological resource that demands attention on the same level as biodiversity. He reviewed the process of developing draft protocols for the security and sustainable use of soil to contain: guiding principles; key elements of strategies consolidated; guidelines for tools and requirements; linkages between instruments for soil and non-soil conventions; and motivation for domestic uptake motivation. Illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of placing the protocol under various conventions, he concluded the best area for implementation is within UNCCD.

Mpume Ntlokwana, Department of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries, South Africa, presented the LandCare programme, developed in collaboration with stakeholders, that has created food security, job creation and a better quality of life. She reviewed the guiding principles of the programme to, inter alia: integrate sustainable natural resource management; foster group or community involvement for ownership; support livelihoods; promote capacity building; and plan bottom-up policy.

Noel Oettlé, Environmental Monitoring Group, demonstrated how climate-smart agriculture driven on a local level, versus government or carbon finance, is likely to promote ownership and success. He illustrated the positive impact of climate friendly production to degraded landscapes. He warned that linking funding to mitigation and adaptation could serve government and businesses over poor land-users. He suggested avoiding an obsession with innovation and encouraged design and governance go to the local level. He reflected on the Nairobi Work Programme, to assist parties in developing countries improve understanding of vulnerability and make informed decisions with a framework for stakeholder engagement.

Daniel Ngwenya, Representative of Commercial Farmers Union, South Africa, shared his experience from a community-managed forest. He relayed ways that his community has sustainably managed the forest through sharing experiences with other community-managed forests, such as intercropping of plants to increase income potential. He recounted recent recruitment, emphasizing the voluntary community initiative demonstrating commitment to playing their part.

 
   
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Panelists provide diverse perspectives on opprtunities to combat the land degradation.
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More Information:

http://www.unccd.int
Contacts:

Wagaki Mwangi <mwangi@unccd.int>
Yukie Hori <yhori@unccd.int>
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Low Carbon Strategies in Europe

Organized by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation
and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
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Georg Maue, BMU, said that restructuring offers numerous economic opportunities.
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Ariane Labat, EC, underscored the need for ambitious legally-binding targets.
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Phil Wynn Owen, UK DECC, said his country will use more renewable energy and more nuclear power.
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Olle Björk, Swedish Ministry of the Environment, underlined that the biggest challenge for his country´s plan is to lower emissions from international bunkers and car fleets. Björk concluded that national policies and actions are efficient, combining taxes and emissions trade for a broad and sustained popular support.

Jernej Stritih, Slovenia, pointed to his country´s challenges to lower emissions in the transport sector with an increasing car fleet and new roads. He noted the need to invest in adaptation to increase his country´s resilience. Stritih underlined the keys to success, including: reducing primary energy use; stimulating investments into renewables; and building capacity.

Olivier De Guibert, Ministry of Environment, France, noted French targets for industry, household and transport by 2050. He explained the methodology used by his country to predict emissions and highlighted the dedicated climate-energy tool called SceGES. He noted agriculture is the hardest target to reach.

Georg Maue, BMU, explained the future of energy in Germany towards an age of renewable, and highlighted Germany´s goal of having 60% of renewable energy supply by 2050. He underscored Germany´s moratorium on nuclear power, which will be phased-out completely by 2022.

Ariane Labat
, European Commission (EC), outlined the roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy by 2050. She noted that the 2020 policy framework aims to foster sustainable growth and decouple growth from emissions. She underscored the need for the energy sector to decarbonize first, followed by the transport sector.

Phil Wynn Owen, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), outlined UK climate and energy policies, including: legally- binding carbon budgets; independent committee on climate change to issue recommendations to government; climate levy; and market-based mechanisms.


 
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Panelists discussed concrete national programmes towards a low carbon society.

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The Clean Energy Solutions Center

Organized by the US Department of Energy and UN-Energy
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Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General, UNIDO, pledged his support for the Clean Energy Solutions Center.
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Kimo Goree, Director of IISD Reporting Services, asked: “how will you know what is going on if you do not read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin?”
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Helen Bennett, Australia, spoke of the significant investment required to streamline energy efficiency.
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Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), emphasized the need for information on renewable energy technologies and strategies, suggesting: a suite of policies and strategies to implement; the steps to implement change; the size of investment needed; and the business model can be changed.

Mark Radka, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said the Clean Energy Solutions Center (CESC) aims to serve as a “one-stop-shop” to provide policy information to governments on: clean energy technology transfer; free assistance; and peer-to-peer, targeted and tailored country support.

Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI, Director of International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services, spoke about the IISD reporting team which, as a knowledge-broker and trusted intermediary group, takes large amounts of information and synthesizes it into digestible chunks. He said the partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory, through the CESC, will provide a knowledge environment to all people who use this data.

John Mollet, International Copper Association (ICA), said his organization aims to contribute towards improved quality of life worldwide through safe, effective, efficient delivery of gas, energy and water. He noted the value of strategic partnerships with all interested countries.

Helen Bennett, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Australia, spoke of her government’s view to: build an enabling environment; price carbon; strengthen multi-lateral partnerships; and create a hub of knowledge on issues such as carbon-capture and storage technologies.


 
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L-R: Kandeh Yumkella, UNIDO; Mark Radka, UNEP; Kimo Goree, IISD Reporting Services; John Mollet, ICA; and Helen Bennett, Australia; explored ways of assisting governments around the world with design and implementation of clean energy policies.
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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


IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Fifth Global Business Day, 5 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of Mountain Day, 4 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of Forest Day 5, 4 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of Development and Climate Days at COP 17, 3-4 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of Oceans Day at Durban, 3 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011, 28 November - 9 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
*IISD RS summary report of the Thirty-fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 18-19 November 2011, Kampala, Uganda (English: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference October 2011, 1-7 October 2011, Panama City, Panama
*IISD RS briefing note of the 4th Meeting of the Transitional Committee for the Design of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), 16-18 October 2011, Cape Town, South Africa (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference June 2011, 6-17 June 2011, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Workshop on Technology Needs Assessments, 1-2 June 2011, Bonn, Germany (English: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-third Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 10-13 May 2011, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference Bangkok - April 2011, 3-8 April 2011, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference, 29 November - 11 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at 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 summary report of Development and Climate Days at COP 16, 4-5 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of Oceans Day at Cancún, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico (HTML - PDF)
*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 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 26-29 October 2009, Bali, Indonesia (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (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 coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - March/April 2009, 29 March - 8 April 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (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
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*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
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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