Events convened on Tuesday, 6 November 2001
How ecosystem management approaches can help communities to adapt to climate change
Presented by the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
IUCN Moroccan National Committee, highlighted that Morocco has
been suffering from the effects of climate change for the past
few decades. He emphasized that the emission of greenhouse gases,
largely from industrialized countries, has resulted in high temperatures,
drought and desertification in North Africa.
Jamie Skinner, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, described climate change adaptation in the water sector. He noted that as a result of climate change, rainfall distribution patterns will change across the globe, higher temperatures will lead to greater evaporative losses from dams and crops, and an increase in extreme weather events will have implications for run-off. He stressed that these impacts will result in a reduction of water resources available for human use. He also highlighted the importance of ecosystem functions and services provided by rivers, floodplains, wetlands and lakes, and noted that if some of these functions and services are lost as a result of climate change, the replacement costs would be extremely high.
Listen to Skinner's presentation
IUCN Asia Regional Environment Assessment Program, outlined IUCN's
efforts to strengthen national capacity to address climate change
in Bangladesh. He explained that the Program aims to: review national
and international initiatives and opportunities for climate change
adaptation; develop a climate change database; enhance the Government
of Bangladesh's expertise in climate change negotiations; improve
the skills of various sectoral agencies in incorporating climate
change issues into their plans; strengthen Bangladesh's ability
to undertake climate change projects; raise stakeholder awareness;
and increase coordination among stakeholders.
Small is feasible: Designing small-scale CDM projects
Presented by the Swiss delegation in collaboration with Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands and UNDP
Ambassador Beat Nobs, Switzerland, introduced this event, which reviewed Swiss studies on small-scale CDM projects.
Listen to Grütter's presentation
Listen to excerpt from Sutter's presentation
Jan-Willem Martens, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), outlined streamlined CDM procedures for solar home systems. He explained that it is important to standardize baselines for solar home systems to reduce transaction costs, reduce investor uncertainty, and improve transparency. He recommended that the CDM Executive Board and Parties allow: the use of standardized emissions reductions factors based on a global value; the use of existing administrative procedures for monitoring and verification; and automatic eligibility for solar home system projects.
Listen to excerpt from Martens' presentation
UNDP, provided an assessment of the CDM potential of selected
UNDP projects and discussed UNDP's potential role in small-scale
CDM projects. He concluded that: only methane projects meet the
international CDM cost-effectiveness criteria; small-scale, off-grid
projects are expensive; there is a significant lack of capacity
throughout the CDM project development cycle; there is a focus
on bringing down CER generation costs through bundling, standardizing
baselines, and streamlining validation procedures; and the public
and private sectors are often willing to invest in relatively
expensive CERs to gain on-the-job learning and boost public relations.
Finding new money and building local capacity: Challenges for the CDM and the UNFCCC
Presented by Environment and Development Action in the Third World (ENDA-TM)
Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Woods Hole Research Center, highlighted the need to build capacity in developing countries if technology transfer is to succeed. He stated that developing country implementation of UNFCCC commitments is dependent on industrialized countries fulfilling their capacity-building commitments.
Ogunlade Davidson, Energy and Development Research Centre (EDRC), stressed the need to build on institutional structures already in place, rather than creating new institutions to address issues related to climate change. He described EDRC's high-level science and technology training programmes.
Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, outlined linkages and joint programmes on capacity building being undertaken by government agencies, universities and research institutes, industry and NGOs in Brazil. He highlighted the Brazilian Center for Sustainable Development, which facilitates cooperation between state companies, Petrobras and the private sector on emissions abatement projects, and the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change, which seeks to strengthen linkages between NGOs, government and scientific research institutions, and generates projects and public debate on climate change.
Thomas Black-Arbelaez, Andean Center for Economics and the Environment, discussed the importance of building capacity to maximize the value of the CDM for developing countries. He stressed the need to build the capacity of project owners in developing countries to understand the rules of the CDM and to enable them to extract the CERs from projects and retain the gains from trading.
Amber Leonard, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, emphasized that host country governments and the private sector share a common interest in job creation and capacity building in developing countries. She stated that focusing efforts on strengthening existing capacity can help to attract private investment. She highlighted the need for coordination of existing bilateral and multilateral capacity-building efforts, identification of specific capacity-building needs, and South-South collaboration.
Irving Mintzer, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, emphasized that the success of project-based activities is predicated on strengthening existing institutions rather than constructing new organizations. He stressed the importance of creating an attractive environment for investment for developing countries that want to participate in the CDM. He noted that capacity-building efforts will have ancillary benefits in fostering other aspects of development.
Financial accounting for carbon: Protecting profits, managing risks
Presented by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)
This event addressed challenges and opportunities arising from the lack of guidance for financial accounting and disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions permits.
Listen to excerpt from Gadd's presentation
Listen to excerpt from Harrison's presentation
Listen to excerpt from Edward's presentation
Doug Russell, Global Change Strategies International, introduced the Pew Center on Global Climate Change's study on corporate GHG emissions reduction targets, which revealed that: companies set targets to manage regulatory risk and reduce costs; the choice of target type is a strategic business decision; and those responsible for reducing emissions must be involved in determining the target level. The study demonstrated that many businesses are already meeting or surpassing their targets.
Presented by UNEP
Klaus Töpfer, UNEP, emphasized that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, although their greenhouse gas emissions levels are substantially lower than those of developed countries. He underscored the importance of taking into account the concerns and expectations of developing countries when identifying adaptation strategies, and noted that UNEP has been developing methodological tools for adaptation.
Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development, explained why information on vulnerability and adaptation is needed. He highlighted problems with developing vulnerability indices, including the cross-sectoral nature of vulnerability and a lack of information. Huq outlined methodological tools used to identify a country's vulnerability. One such methodology involves identifying the vulnerability and capability of a country to adapt to climate change, focusing on its human and organizational resources and its attitude toward adaptation. He stressed the need to: obtain a clear understanding of the application of vulnerability indices; link regional, local, national and global vulnerability indices; and improve the quality and quantity of relevant data.
Pierre Giroux, Canada, reviewed draft UNFCCC decisions on adaptation to climate change. He explained that the draft decisions: emphasize the need to develop adaptation methodologies that are consistent with developing countries' needs and take into account the type of data available; recognize the importance of implementing adaptation projects; and address the need for data generation. A recently finalized decision addresses integration of the results of the IPCC's Third Assessment Report into discussions on adaptation. Giroux concluded by underscoring the need for policy makers to implement these decisions.
Nijavalli Ravindranath, India, explained that LULUCF activities can be used to mitigate climate change. He outlined interlinkages between climate change, forestry, biodiversity, food supply, and land degradation. He noted that the adaptive capacity of agroforestry systems is greater than that of modern agricultural systems, and outlined adaptation benefits of agroforestry, including soil stabilization, increased soil productivity, improved soil water retention, and reduction of the socioeconomic vulnerability of small-holder farmers. He underscored the importance of developing and adopting guidelines on mitigation and adaptation activities, involving local communities, making use of traditional knowledge, and developing and applying vulnerability indices.
Discussion: Participants debated whether vulnerability indices should be used as tools for prioritizing adaptation investment, and agreed that this is not desirable.
For RealVideo coverage of these and other side-events at COP-7,
please visit the UNFCCC's "On Demand" webcast page
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