A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the twenty-sixth sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB 26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
7-18 May 2007 | Bonn, Germany
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Events convened on Saturday, 12 May 2007

Climate change and biodiversity: Linking implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity to the UNFCCC

Presented by the CBD Secretariat

Jamie Webbe, CBD Secretariat, summarized CBD activities that integrate climate change issues, including informal consultations on the links between the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity and climate change, and cooperation between the two conventions. She noted the importance of identifying research and monitoring needs, and of developing indicators that are able to link climate change, biodiversity and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Pieter van Eijk, Wetlands International, noted the role of wetlands in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and stressed that threats to wetlands include land conversion and degradation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. Noting that wetlands are enormous carbon sinks, storing 528,000 million tons of carbon, he said wetlands must be included in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Laurence Pollier, UNFCCC Secretariat, reviewed the role of education and public awareness in climate change issues. She said such issues depend on each party’s technological and financial capacity, and encouraged cooperation, partnerships and networking among parties.

Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea, noted positive incentives for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in developing countries as the leading drivers of greater emission reductions, and underscored the opportunity to link REDD initiatives to MDGs and social benefits. Conrad stressed the challenge of capturing biodiversity benefits with UNFCCC instruments, and of linking them to livelihoods and sustainable financial resources, and suggested the CBD could develop a biodiversity offsetting mechanism.

José Miguez, Government of Brazil, outlined the Brazilian experience on biofuels, noting that renewable sources represented 44.7% of the country’s energy matrix. He highlighted that Brazil aims to increase biofuels’ share in its energy matrix, and noted the benefits of sugar cane ethanol compared to corn ethanol. Miguez underscored the social and environmental benefits of biodiesel, and highlighted the introduction of biokerosene for aviation use by 2008.

Faizal Parish, Global Environment Centre, discussed the nature and benefits of peatland issues, and suggested incorporating peatland issues in national mitigation and adaptation plans, and enhancing assessment of peatlands management and emissions.

Robert Owen-Jones, Australia, presented key considerations for cooperation and collaboration between the CBD and the UNFCCC, noting the need for each country to encourage synergies among focal points.

L-R: Laurence Pollier, UNFCCC; Faizal Parish, Global Environment Centre; Pieter van Eijk, Wetlands International; Jamie Webbe, CBD, Douglas Forsythe, Canada; Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea, and José Miguez, Brazil, discuss ecosystem services, biodiversity and climate change issues.
Katia Karousakis, OECD, notes that deforestation is the main source of GHG emissions from many developing countries.
Jamie Webbe, CBD Secretariat, outlines the cooperation between the CBD and the UNFCCC Secretariats.
Julia Martínez, National Institute of Ecology, Mexico
Contacts:
Jamie Webbe <secretariat@biodiv.org>
Pieter van Eijk <pieter.vaneijk@wetlands.org>
Laurence Pollier <lpollier@unfccc.int>
Faizal Parish <fparish@genet.py.my>

Capacity-building in Central America: progress with inventories, national systems and land-use change

Presented by the United States

William Breed, US Agency for International Development (USAID), highlighted USAID’s work in Central America, which aims to increase regional capacity.

William Irving, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) said the project sought to build sustainable national inventory systems and improve greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates, including through an effort to develop land-use maps to track carbon stock changes.

Mausami Desai, USEPA, focused on the tools developed to help build national inventory management capacity, noting the templates were developed collaboratively and facilitated, e.g., transparency, prioritization of potential improvements, institutional knowledge, and accommodation of varying national capacity levels. Desai then discussed the types of templates, including on institutional arrangements, sources, and a national inventory improvement plan.

Carlos Mansilla, Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala, highlighted the value of the templates and Guatemala’s use of remote sensing data. He said the lessons learned included the need for: transparency; permanent experts on GHG inventories; and archiving.

Ann Gordon, Belize, said that the project improved understanding of the GHG inventory process and facilitated the establishment of a network to facilitate future inventories. She highlighted that the lessons learned included the need to institutionalize the GHG inventory process and to improve data consistency.

Mirza Castro, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Honduras, said that the project helped Honduras identify priorities for future action, including improved technology, additional resources, and capacity building.

Stephen Ogle, Colorado State University, demonstrated the software tool Central American Agriculture and Land Use (CAALU), saying it: extends the design of IPCC worksheets; accommodates IPCC Tier-1 and Tier-2 Approaches; and serves as an archive. Noting that uncertainties are not currently estimated by the program, he said CAALU could be refined, including to be applied in other regions.

Dominique Revet, UNFCCC Secretariat, discussed international capacity building initiatives for national GHG inventories, and emphasized the complementarity of the tools developed.

Participants discussed the default values in CAALU, the value of CAALU and the templates for other countries, and the need for a CAALU user manual.

L-R: William Breed, US Agency for International Development (USAID); Carlos Mansilla, Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala; Mausami Desai, USEPA; and Dominique Revet, UNFCCC Secretariat
Carlos Mansilla, Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala, says the project provided the opportunity for Guatemala to undertake a “hands-on” project.
Mausami Desai, USEPA
Dominique Revet, UNFCCC Secretariat
Contacts:
William Breed <wbreed@usaid.gov>
William Irving <irving.bill@epa.gov>
Mausami Desai <desai.mausami@epa.gov>
Carlos Mansilla <eyamansi@concyt.gob.gt>
Mirza Castro <mosiris_castro@yahoo.com>
Ann Gordon <anngordon56@hotmail.com>
Stephen Ogle <ogle@nrel.colostate.edu>
Dominique Revet <drevet@unfccc.int>
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Karen Alvarenga, Ph.D. and Amber Moreen, Ph.D. The photographer is Leila Mead. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Soledad Aguilar <soledad@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for ENBOTS at this meeting has been provided by the donors who support the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory General Directorate for Nature Protection. General Support for the Bulletin during 2007 is provided by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other donors. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from SB 26 can be found on the Linkages website at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/sb26/enbots/. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA. The ENBOTS Team at SB 26 can be contacted by e-mail at <karen@iisd.org>.

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