Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)

 

Vol. 12 No. 232
Monday, 3 May 2004
 

SUMMARY OF THE UNFCCC WORKSHOP ON THE PREPARATION OF NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES:

26-30 APRIL 2004

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) workshop on the preparation of national communications from non-Annex I Parties was held from 26-30 April 2004, in Manila, the Philippines. The workshop brought together 88 participants representing 50 countries and 13 organizations, including non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and UN organizations, including UNDP and UNEP. The event was organized by the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines, in collaboration with UNDP Philippines and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). Funding for the workshop was provided by the Governments of Spain, Switzerland, the US and APN.

The workshop provided an opportunity to inform non-Annex I Parties on the application of the revised Guidelines for the preparation of non-Annex I national communications adopted at COP-8 in 2002, and the Guidelines user manual developed by the UNFCCC Secretariat. It also provided an opportunity to exchange information on financial and technical support, including information on the procedures for accessing financial resources and support for preparing national communications from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its implementing agencies. Finally, the workshop aimed to identify other specific needs and concerns relating to the preparation of national communications, and ways to overcome these.

Throughout the week, workshop participants attended 11 plenary sessions on relevant issues, including: national circumstances; national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories; measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change; measures to mitigate climate change; other information relevant to the UNFCCC; constraints and gaps, and related financial, technical and capacity needs; the development of project proposals for funding second national communications; relevant regional and multi-country projects and programmes; multilateral and regional support programmes; and bilateral support programmes.

The workshop discussions resulted in agreement on a series of recommendations on non-Annex I national communications that will be submitted as part of the report of the workshop for consideration at the twentieth sessions of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies (SB-20), scheduled for June 2004 in Bonn, Germany.  The workshop was immediately followed by a meeting of the Consultative Group of Experts on non-Annex I national communications (CGE), who were expected to discuss the training programmes, support and technical assistance required by non-Annex I Parties in preparing their second national communications, based on outcomes at the workshop.

This report summarizes the discussions at the workshop, organized according to the workshop agenda.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF NON-ANNEX I REPORTING UNDER THE UNFCCC

UNFCCC: The international political response to climate change took shape with the adoption of the UNFCCC, which entered into force in 1994. The UNFCCC sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric GHG concentrations at a level that would prevent human-induced actions from leading to “dangerous interference” with the climate system. Under the UNFCCC, all Parties are required to provide regular reports on the steps they are taking to implement the UNFCCC.

NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Consistent with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” the content and timetable for submitting these reports – or “national communications” – varies depending on whether the country is an “Annex I” (industrialized countries and most economies in transition) or “non-Annex I” (mostly developing countries) Party. Due to their circumstances, the UNFCCC granted non-Annex I Parties a more flexible timetable for preparing and submitting their national communications. Most non-Annex I Parties must submit their first national communications within three years of becoming Parties to the UNFCCC. Although the least developed countries (LDCs) are entitled to make their initial communications “at their discretion.” Non-Annex I Parties are eligible for financial and technical assistance from the GEF for preparing these national communications. In addition, other donors and agencies have also provided assistance.

Building on the provisions in the UNFCCC, further work on non-Annex I Parties’ national communications was completed at the second Conference of the Parties (COP-2) held in Geneva in July 1996. At COP-2, delegates agreed on the substance that should be contained in national communications, and set out guidelines for such communications (decision 10/CP.2).

THE CONSULTATIVE GROUP OF EXPERTS: At COP-5, Parties decided to initiate a process to review the reporting guidelines agreed at COP-2 and to improve the preparation of non-Annex I national communications (decision 8/CP.5). To facilitate this process, the COP established a Consultative Group of Experts on national communications from non-Annex I Parties (CGE). The COP decided that the CGE should be composed of five experts from each of the developing country regions (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean), six experts from Annex I Parties, and three experts from organizations with relevant experience. At COP-7 in 2001, delegates agreed to continue the process of reviewing the guidelines in accordance with decision 8/CP.5.

THE REVISED GUIDELINES: At COP-8, Parties adopted revised Guidelines for the preparation of non-Annex I national communications (decision 17/CP.8). At COP-9, held in late 2003, Parties identified a need for continued financial and technical support to enhance national capacities in non-Annex I Parties to prepare their second, and where appropriate, third national communications.

To date, 112 out of 148 non-Annex I Parties have submitted their initial national communications. Mexico and the Republic of Korea have also submitted their second national communications. Other Parties are currently undertaking this task, based on the Guidelines adopted at COP-8, and supported by the CGE.

REPORT OF THE WORKSHOP

SESSION ONE: OPENING ADDRESSES

On Monday morning, 26 April, Elisea Gozun, Secretary of DENR, the Philippines, opened the meeting. She thanked the UNFCCC Secretariat, UNDP Philippines, and the APN, as well as the Governments of Spain, Switzerland, and the US, for co-sponsoring this event. She stressed the need for urgent and coordinated action on climate change.

Deborah Landey, UNDP Resident Representative for the Philippines, stressed UNDP’s commitment, along with the GEF and UNEP, to support developing countries’ implementation of multilateral agreements. She indicated that the workshop was a timely opportunity to increase developing country capacity to submit their national communications, in light of the revised reporting Guidelines. Noting that the GHG inventory is at the heart of every national communication report, she stressed the need to support this process.

Celso Diaz, Scientific Planning Group Member of the Philippines for APN, outlined the work of APN, which is an intergovernmental regional network. Explaining that APN is involved in various capacity-building initiatives, he reported progress on the Scientific Capacity Building and Enhancement for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries initiative (CAPaBLE), a capacity-building partnership project launched in 2003 that aims to build and enhance capacity among leading and aspiring scientists in developing countries, and to disseminate science to decision makers and civil society.

Luis Gómez-Echeverri, Coordinator of the Implementation Programme and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), UNFCCC Secretariat, expressed satisfaction at the large number of Parties and organizations represented at the workshop. Observing that 2004 was the tenth anniversary of the UNFCCC’s entry into force, he said the next decade would involve a strong focus on implementation. He emphasized the importance of national communications in this regard, and explained that this workshop would help launch the second round of non-Annex I national communications.

Martha Perdomo, Manager of the non-Annex I Implementation Subprogramme, UNFCCC Secretariat, said Julian Amador, Director of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Philippines, would chair the meeting, assisted by Jose Villarin of the Manila Observatory, and Joyceline Goco, Head of the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change of the Philippines. Rapporteurs of the workshop were: Philip Acquah (Ghana), for the session on GHG inventories; Gwendoline Sissiou (Papua New Guinea), for the session on adaptation; Jae-Kyu Lim (Republic of Korea), for the session on climate change mitigation; Julia Martinez Fernandez (Mexico), for the sessions on other information and on constraints and gaps; and Rawleston Moore (Barbados), for the sessions on financial and technical support.

SESSION TWO: NATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

On Monday, delegates considered the status of non-Annex I Parties in preparing their national communications. Introducing the revised UNFCCC reporting Guidelines, Martha Perdomo, UNFCCC Secretariat, highlighted the importance of effective national institutional arrangements to ensure continuity in the process of preparing communications and noted that several countries have established National Committees on Climate Change to prepare these reports. Perdomo indicated that 112 (or 71%) of non-Annex I Parties have submitted their first communications, including over 60% of the LDCs, and said submissions of national communications from India, China and Brazil are nearing completion. Regarding second national communications, she said these have been submitted by Mexico and the Republic of Korea. She noted that Uruguay has almost completed its second report, and will be the first to submit a communication based on the revised Guidelines. She said Argentina and Costa Rica have also begun preparing their second communications. She informed delegates that a synthesis report of the national communications of 99 non-Annex I countries, presented by the Secretariat at COP-9, had helped identify methodological, institutional and financial problems encountered in preparing communications. Some of these problems had been addressed in the revised UNFCCC Guidelines, which also take into consideration earlier COP decisions. She noted that the next synthesis document will be prepared in 2005.

Graham Sem, UNFCCC Secretariat, provided an overview of how to report on national circumstances in non-Annex I national communications. He drew attention to the key elements required in preparing the reports, including information on: development priorities, objectives and circumstances; formats, summaries, maps, tables and charts; institutional arrangements; and reference materials and sources of these materials. He highlighted the lack of clarity on institutional responsibilities as an inhibiting factor in finalizing national communications, particularly where a large number of stakeholders are involved.

SESSION THREE: NATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES

On Monday, participants discussed national GHG inventories, which they stressed constitute a major part of national communications. Presentations were delivered on a number of relevant topics, including: reporting of national GHG inventories; the revised 1996 Reporting Guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the IPCC inventory software; IPCC good practice guidance and uncertainty management in national GHG inventories; the emission factor database (EFDB); IPCC good practice guidance for land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF); and two case studies of national experiences in elaborating GHG inventories. Participants also engaged in a general discussion on inventories.

Dominique Revet, UNFCCC Secretariat, discussed technical developments in GHG inventory reporting. He highlighted various new developments, including the adoption of the Revised 1996 IPCC Reporting Guidelines and UNFCCC Guidelines for the preparation of national communications from non-Annex I Parties (decision 17/CP.8), and completion of a UNFCCC manual for the Guidelines on preparing non-Annex I communications. He also drew attention to the development by the UNFCCC Secretariat of a modified version of the IPCC GHG inventory software to be released in late 2004, and acceptance by the IPCC in 2003 of the good practice guidance for LULUCF, and the IPCC EFDB. Revet provided a detailed account of the revised Guidelines for preparing non-Annex I national communications from COP-8, which included information on methodologies and reporting procedures.

Kiyoto Tanabe, IPCC, briefed participants on the Revised 1996 IPCC Reporting Guidelines and accompanying inventory software. He outlined the work of the IPCC’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Programme, including the various reports and tools it has prepared since 1995 to assist in the preparation of national GHG inventories. He informed delegates that the IPCC has started work on revising the 1996 Guidelines by 2006.

Leandro Buendia, IPCC, spoke about good practice guidance and uncertainty management in national GHG inventories, which had been addressed in an IPCC report published in 2000. He outlined the report’s guidance on how to reduce uncertainties and increase accuracy, transparency, comparability, and consistency over time. He detailed various methodological issues, including how to identify key sources of emissions – known as “key source categories.” He explained that countries can take quantitative or qualitative approaches to identifying key source categories.

Tanabe then presented the EFDB, a database of “emission factors,” which are indicative emissions that take into account local conditions. He indicated that the aim of the EFDB is to save time and resources in countries that lack emission factors for certain sectors by providing easy access to such data from other countries with similar conditions. Tanabe invited contributions to the database, which will be evaluated by an EFDB editorial board prior to their use.

Leandro Buendia then briefed participants on the IPCC’s good practice guidance for LULUCF, accepted by the IPCC prior to COP-9, which he said aims to provide guidance on how to undertake inventories in the forestry, agriculture and land use sectors. Buendia explained that past IPCC guidance had not covered LULUCF activities, as they were being discussed in the context of the IPCC Special Report on LULUCF. He indicated that the good practice guidance aims to provide guidance on the choice of methods available to estimate LULUCF inventories within the context of the IPCC guidelines. It also provides data and information on sources and sinks, and estimated levels of carbon dioxide emissions for LULUCF activities.

Following the IPCC presentations, participants were briefed on two case studies relating to GHG inventories. Jose Villarin, Manila Observatory, outlined the experience of the Philippines in addressing issues of resource assessment for its first national communication. In particular, he reported on various technical, human, institutional and financial gaps and obstacles hindering this work. Identifying key technical issues, he noted challenges relating to information management, networking and communication, training, archiving and research. Regarding gaps in human capacity, he highlighted the need to secure effective management and leadership, and to develop a critical mass of sector-specific expertise. On institutional issues, he stressed the value of a legal framework to facilitate information sharing among government agencies, while on financial issues, he highlighted questions of funding allocation, including the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing.

Samuel Adejuwon, Federal Ministry of the Environment of Nigeria, briefed participants on his country’s experience in preparing the GHG inventory for its first national communication, submitted in November 2003. Focusing on the resources available for this work, he drew attention to the various sources of data, information, and financial and technical support.

Participants then discussed ways to disseminate the EFDB, as well as criteria to establish consistency between methodologies developed at the national level and those recommended by the IPCC. Speaking for the IPCC, Kiyoto Tanabe responded that, while national methodologies are encouraged, it is difficult to define general criteria to judge their consistency with IPCC methodologies. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggested that developing countries should highlight their own contributions to the preparation of national communications, so as to encourage donors. Graham Sem, UNFCCC Secretariat, informed participants that the revised Guidelines include a section on contributions made by non-Annex I countries in “cash and kind,” towards the preparation of their national communications.

SESSION FOUR: ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Throughout the day on Tuesday, 27 April, participants considered reporting on measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change. In the morning, presentations addressed adaptation measures, methodologies, policy frameworks, guidelines, tools, and programmes of action. In the afternoon, participants heard presentations and participated in a panel discussion on the UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework (APF).

Graham Sem, UNFCCC Secretariat, presented on information to be provided on vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) in national communications, as defined in the revised UNFCCC Guidelines on non-Annex I national communications. This should include information on, inter alia, the adverse affects of climate change, critically vulnerable areas, the adaptation measures required, and national and regional programmes to facilitate adaptation. Sem pointed out that, in addition to internationally-agreed guidelines such as the IPCC technical guidelines for assessing climate change impacts and adaptation, Parties are free to use methodologies developed nationally or regionally, provided they are consistent, transparent, and well documented. He observed that the UNFCCC Guidelines call for an evaluation of identified adaptation strategies and measures.

Isabelle Niang Diop, University of Dakar, Senegal, spoke about the methodologies and frameworks developed to undertake V&A assessments. She outlined the “first generation” of methodologies and frameworks, including the 1994 IPCC Technical Guidelines, as well as subsequent methodologies derived from these. She also drew attention to an alternative approach, known as the “vulnerability-resilience approach” – that was applied by some small island developing States, and reflected a greater focus on traditional knowledge. Niang Diop then elaborated on the “second generation” of methodologies developed in recent years, including the UNDP APF, the LDC national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), and the UK Climate Impacts Programme. She explained that these newer methodologies were less prescriptive, placed adaptation within a broader development context, included a greater focus on stakeholder participation, and took into account current conditions, as well as future vulnerability.

Xianfu Lu, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK, discussed the modeling of climate change impacts and response measures. She described V&A impact assessment as one component of an integrated climate change framework. She explained that state-of-the art modeling involves process-based biophysical impact methods, transient climate change and sea-level rise scenarios, refined socioeconomic baselines, and high resolution data. However, she stressed that gaps remain in modeling approaches, including a mismatch between global and local impact assessment models, inadequate data (including climate data), insufficient methods and tools to model extremes events, and abstract or overly-complex models. She noted that, while climate models have previously focused on biophysical processes, the integration of macroeconomic impacts and other human dimensions of global change are also needed. She suggested that to effect changes in the “real world,” V&A assessments should address the needs of a broader range of stakeholder groups. This would require model developers to, inter alia: address short- or medium-term variability; make models accessible to a wider range of stakeholders; and integrate climate change modeling impacts into planning across levels of decision-making. She concluded that modeling was only one approach to assess impacts and response measures to climate change.

Olga Pilifosova, UNFCCC Secretariat, described the work of the Secretariat in collecting and disseminating information on methods and tools to assess climate impacts and V&A measures in a Compendium that was first developed in 1999, and updated in 2003. She explained that, with the Compendium, the Secretariat had sought to enhance dissemination of such methods, encourage application of best available methods, and improve the quality of these methodologies. She noted that the Compendium was not prescriptive, but provided users with the information needed to make their own choices. She also presented the results of an expert meeting held in Manila on 25-26 April 2004, where users proposed further additions and improvements to the compendium.

Madeleine Diouf, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Senegal, briefed participants on NAPAs, focusing on the immediate needs and concerns of LDCs, including technical requirements, and resource mobilization. She outlined the NAPA process, which she said was designed to respond to the urgent needs of LDCs. She explained that preparing a NAPA takes 12-18 months, costs US$200,000, and requires external financial resources. Diouf identified an increase in vector- and water-borne diseases, flooding, biodiversity loss, and desertification as key consequences of climate change in LDCs. She stressed that NAPAs help identify and prioritize options and tools to address such problems.

In the ensuing discussion participants drew attention to the PRECIS regional impact assessment model developed by the UK’s Hadley Centre and asked about its status. UNDP informed participants that the model and an accompanying workbook would be made available at SB-20.

Replying to a question from Burkina Faso about funding assistance for preparing NAPAs, Madeleine Diouf stated that a number of countries working through UNEP had already received financing. UNDP acknowledged that there had been a delay in disbursing funds to countries working through UNDP due to “administrative problems.” Martha Perdomo, UNFCCC Secretariat, indicated that many of the numerous resources available on national communications would be compiled into a CD-ROM that would be distributed at the end of this workshop.

On Tuesday afternoon, the session on adaptation resumed with a presentation from William Dougherty, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)-Boston, who provided an overview of the UNDP APF and its outputs. He explained that the APF aims to build “resilience” and help communities cope with climate change. He stated that the APF places adaptation within a development context by building on existing adaptation activities, recognizing that adaptation is required at different levels – in particular at the local level, and acknowledging that adaptation is a continuous process. Operationally, he explained that the APF looks at coordination and implementation and aims to be flexible. It can be tailored to suit national priorities and the key vulnerable systems identified in each country, and takes a stakeholder-driven approach. Dougherty reported that APF outputs include a resource “package,” which contains a guidebook to facilitate the APF planning process, as well as nine technical papers, a five-module training package and an illustrative set of case studies. He indicated that the APF’s first phase, which ended in early 2004, had completed the framework and was aiming to put in place an APF Training Strategy. Phase two will follow shortly with a new series of technical papers.

Presenting an overview of the APF Training Strategy, Dougherty told participants that it utilizes a technique of Continuous Professional Development (CPD), and goes beyond conventional five-day training workshops. CPD is intended for longer durations, and customized material will be provided for different professional groups. There will also be an emphasis on local ownership of outcomes, as well as stronger feedback and evaluation mechanisms. Dougherty added that CPD will focus on three major areas – food security, water and health – along with the crosscutting issue of sustainable livelihoods.

Luis Paz Castro, Institute of Meteorology, Cuba, presented his perspective on the APF in the context of second national communications, focusing on initiatives occurring in Central America and the Caribbean. Noting that this is the pilot region for elaborating and applying the APF, he described Cuba’s involvement in an APF pilot project on Capacity Building for Stage II Adaptation to Climate Change in Central America, Mexico and Cuba (Stage II activities are measures which may be taken to prepare for adaptation, including further capacity building). The project aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the human system to reduce vulnerability to climate change. He then outlined the synergies and coordination achieved between this project and others in the region. Reflecting on Cuba’s experiences with the pilot project, he drew several conclusions, including that adaptation is a process that should begin with a reduction of vulnerability to current climate variability. He also stressed the need for cooperation, emphasizing that a single country does not possess the capacity and experience needed to develop all the necessary policies and actions to adapt to climate variability and climate change.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Following the presentations, a panel of experts from the APF pilot region engaged in discussion with participants on training needs and national experiences in implementing the APF. The panel included Luis Paz Castro, William Dougherty, and Eduardo Reyes (Panama). Reyes shared his experiences of the regional pilot project regarding vulnerability indicators in watersheds. He identified several drawbacks to the APF, including the lack of clear social vulnerability indicators, insufficient guidance on the elaboration of project outputs, and a limited conceptual framework of vulnerability. On lessons learned he emphasized that future APF projects will require adequate funds to implement stakeholder consultation.

Samoa asked panelists about the expected project outputs and how the stakeholder process was implemented. Reyes replied that outputs would include vulnerability maps, which might help to determine future vulnerability. On stakeholder involvement, he noted that costs were too high to undertake in-depth consultation. Burkina Faso asked if the APF could be implemented at any stage in the preparation of national communications. Paz Castro replied that it could be, given the APF’s flexibility. Dougherty said UNDP/GEF intended to hold workshops in the pilot project region and develop a list of common “pressing” vulnerabilities in the region. They will also design a set of group exercises directly related to needs assessment.

Nigeria raised the issue of replicating the pilot project in Africa and other regions. On the question of funding for adaptation, UNDP noted that GEF is working on operationalizing an adaptation funding window that will have US$50 million in the next budget cycle (2005-2007). Coupled with the UNFCCC Special Climate Change Fund that is expected to become operational in 2004, these represent the first steps of a process designed to make funding available for adaptation. On a question from the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) about the status of the APF, Dougherty described it as a coherent, accessible and credible framework for adaptation needs. UNDP supported the APF as one useful approach that could be applied in various circumstances, while noting that it might not be applicable to every situation.

SESSION FIVE: MEASURES TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE

On Wednesday morning, 28 April, delegates considered reporting on measures to mitigate climate change, with presentations covering issues such as: mitigation programmes; methodologies, technical resources and guidelines; and data, information, financial and technical services, and support. The session concluded with a general discussion.

Dominique Revet, UNFCCC Secretariat, opened the session with a presentation reporting on national mitigation programmes in the national communications. Noting that the original COP-2 decision on non-Annex I national communications had contained very little guidance on this issue, he explained that the COP-8 Guidelines had set out further guidance. Revet then elaborated on the four paragraphs on mitigation reporting contained in the Guidelines (paragraphs 37-40). These paragraphs contain information and guidance describing the benefits of mitigation measures, the methodological approaches and models available for mitigation assessments, the technical resources involved in such assessments, and the value of sector- and project-specific information.

Revet then outlined the methodologies, technical resources and guidelines available for reporting on mitigation programmes, pointing out that the first step involves choosing from a range of “bottom-up” and “top-down” methodologies available for mitigation analysis. He described the available options and processes for evaluating national social and economic development frameworks for climate change mitigation, baseline scenario projections, mitigation scenario projections, macroeconomic scenarios and implementation issues. In the discussion that followed, Revet highlighted the value of revisiting the mitigation analysis carried out in first national communications, in order to update their information and analysis. The Philippines noted the importance of financial and technical capacity development in conducting the analysis.

Vute Wangwacharakul, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Kasetsart University, Thailand, briefed participants on the process involved in preparing Thailand’s first national communication. Focusing on the reporting on mitigation activities, he began by identifying the strengths and weaknesses in the process of preparing the first communication, noting that on the financial and technical aspects, Thailand had benefited from numerous multilateral and bilateral programmes, including UNDP/GEF country programmes, as well as relevant national sectoral development plans and economic analyses. However, he also observed that comprehensive data on specific sectors was largely absent and that accessing information sources had been problematic. Wangwacharakul emphasized the advantages of subcontracting experts from local universities and non-governmental organizations, while engaging international experts as and when needed. He reported that the preparation of Thailand’s second national communication required additional stocktaking and the inclusion of the agriculture and livestock sectors. Wangwacharakul concluded that the preparation of non-Annex I communications was a “capacity-building process” that was largely dependent on the availability of financial resources and the effective use of existing national and regional capacities. He added that the process also hinged on adequate opportunities to combine capacity between sectoral and climate change experts, the potential to improve modeling capacity, and the availability of support from multilateral agencies and bilateral donors.

Julia Martínez Fernández, Ministry for the Environment, Mexico, briefed participants on her country’s mitigation policies and activities. Noting that Mexico’s second national communication includes various mitigation policies, she reported on mitigation activities in key sectors, including projects to develop combined cycle power plants, industrial cogeneration, renewable energy, efficient lighting in homes, efficient air conditioning equipment, reforestation projects, and energy efficiency at PEMEX, the government-owned oil company. Noting the environmental, economic and health benefits of mitigation projects, she observed that Mexico has now decoupled emissions growth from economic growth.

The morning session ended with a general discussion. Responding to a question from Iran about the drop in energy intensity in Mexico in the late 1990s, Martínez said this was because of a devaluation of the Peso in 1995. Barbados raised concerns that the revised UNFCCC Guidelines increased the information requirements, expertise and resources needed to prepare the second national communication, as compared to the first communication. Wangwacharakul agreed that the quality of technical information in the second national communication would depend on the resources available. Responding to a question on the length of the national communications, Revet and Philip Weech, UNFCCC Secretariat, said this would be decided by national governments, but added that the Secretariat would need some background information to compile the synthesis report.

SESSION SIX: OTHER INFORMATION

On Wednesday afternoon, participants heard presentations on other information considered relevant to the UNFCCC in the context of non-Annex I national communications. These covered several specific areas, including: research and systematic observation; the development and transfer of technologies; education, training and public awareness, and capacity building; and information and networking. Participants also engaged in a general discussion.

Philip Weech, UNFCCC Secretariat, presented an overview of other information relevant to the UNFCCC. He explained that “other information” relates to UNFCCC Article 12.1, which calls for the inclusion of any other information relevant to the achievement of the objectives of the UNFCCC in Parties’ national communications. Other information is also prioritized in the revised UNFCCC Guidelines (paragraph 41). He concluded by emphasizing the need for financial and technical support in the preparation of national communications, particularly in the area of capacity building.

Olga Pilifosova, UNFCCC Secretariat, spoke about research and systematic observation, focusing on the reporting requirements contained in the UNFCCC Guidelines. On systematic observation, she informed participants of various UNFCCC decisions aimed at strengthening the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). She then outlined the UNFCCC Guidelines’ requirements for reporting on GCOS activities. On the issue of research programmes, she highlighted the relevant part of the UNFCCC Guidelines, and drew attention to the user manual on research and systematic observation. Finally, she noted that the eighteenth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) had initiated two new relevant agenda items, on “scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change,” and on “scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation.” These issues would be addressed in workshops and side events planned for SBSTA-20.

Yolando Velasco, UNFCCC Secretariat, spoke about reporting on capacity building, technology transfer, and education, training and public awareness. He pointed out that these are crosscutting, closely related issues, and that there is the possibility of duplicating activities when assessing needs under each of them. He observed that while the scope of countries’ capacity-building needs could easily cover almost everything related to climate change, Parties should try to identify clear priorities. On technology transfer, Velasco identified five areas: technology needs assessment, information related to technology, enabling environments, capacity building, and mechanisms for technology transfer. He said around 80 Parties were involved in technology needs assessments. He drew attention to the New Delhi Work Programme on UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training, and public awareness) that was now being implemented, and indicated that regional workshops were being conducted to identify Parties’ specific needs. He concluded by highlighting the need for country-driven stakeholder involvement, and for developing synergies and interlinkages.

Jack Fitzgerald, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), briefed participants on the UNFCCC Guidelines’ reporting requirements on information and networking. According to the Guidelines (paragraph 48), “non-Annex I Parties are encouraged to provide information on their efforts to promote information sharing among and within counties and regions.” However, Fitzgerald explained that non-Annex I Parties had faced problems accessing information and identifying networks in the preparation of their national communications, due in part to the absence of national scientific and technical expertise, and to difficulties in accessing international networks. On information sharing, he suggested that Parties should explore creative forms of communication, and illustrated an example of the US Climate Technology Cooperation and Gateway website, which provides links to computer models, such as LEAP – a software tool for integrated energy, environment and GHG mitigation analysis. Fitzgerald concluded by highlighting that Parties faced a dilemma of global “information overload,” while they were also challenged with accessing, updating and manipulating information at the national level.

In the subsequent discussion, participants raised issues of technology needs assessments, capacity building, and public awareness. Participants discussed at length on technology needs assessments, including how these relate to second national communications. Martha Perdomo, UNFCCC Secretariat, encouraged Parties to submit their technology needs assessments officially to the Secretariat. Thailand informed participants of a proposal to include information on technology needs assessments on the TT:Clear website, which is an information clearing house on technology transfer issues. He also observed that the level of funding provided for these assessments had placed limits on how much work was possible.

Peru suggested that not enough progress had been made on public awareness, which she felt would be critical over the next few years. Kenya agreed, noting that her country’s efforts in this area had been hampered by a lack of funding.

SESSION SEVEN: CONSTRAINTS AND GAPS, AND RELATED FINANCIAL, TECHNICAL AND CAPACITY NEEDS

Late on Wednesday afternoon, participants considered constraints and gaps, and related financial, technical and capacity needs relevant to the preparation of second national communications.

Philip Weech, UNFCCC Secretariat, observed that, as part of their national communications, non-Annex I Parties are required to provide a list of projects that they are proposing for financing. He noted that, although such lists were included in the first national communications by many non-Annex I Parties, the proposals had not yet been considered for funding. He said the Secretariat is working on a paper for consideration at COP-10, to address the issue of project funding under non-Annex I national communications. Weech then informed participants on the process of submitting national communications, pointing out that they should be in one of the UN languages, and should include an executive summary. Additional supporting information can be added as technical annexes.

A general discussion ensued, during which a representative of the WMO emphasized the need for non-Annex I Parties to maintain inventories of experts and resource people trained in preparing national communications.

SESSION EIGHT: DEVELOPMENT OF PROPOSALS FOR PREPARING SECOND NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

On Thursday morning, 29 April, participants were briefed on the development of proposals for preparing second national communications. The briefings were given by officials from UNDP and UNEP, the two GEF implementing agencies involved in supporting the process of preparing national communications. Their presentations covered a variety of relevant issues, including lessons learned during the process of preparing first national communications, and the approach to be taken while preparing or submitting proposals for second national communications. There was also a general discussion on the issue.

Ravi Sharma, UNEP, opened the session, looking at lessons learned during the first national communications process. He highlighted the need for appropriate technical support and easy access to methodologies and tools in preparing GHG inventories, as well as the benefits of regional workshops. He also stressed the need to improve project management and coordination at the national level, and the importance of transparency, stakeholder involvement and awareness-raising. Effective data management and sustaining capacity in terms of the expertise developed during the first national communications process were also seen as critical for preparing second communications. Identifying lessons learned for the implementing agencies, Sharma highlighted proposals to improve monitoring and evaluation, take advantage of best practices and make use of them in a systematic way, and exploit linkages and synergies with other relevant projects.

Rebecca Carman, UNDP, outlined the approach that will be taken to support non-Annex I Parties in preparing their second national communications. She explained that it would involve a joint GEF/UNDP/UNEP programme with a budget of US$60.2 million. The programme would run from 2004-09, and was expected to involve 130 non-Annex I Parties. The new approach was intended to help streamline and expedite the process, and to improve monitoring, evaluation, and the support services available to countries. Carman explained that this approach would involve three components: a self-assessment process; preparation of the national communication itself; and a National Communications Support Programme (NCSP). Countries will be able to access US$15,000 for the self-assessment, and up to US$405,000 for the national communication. She also noted that project approval had been decentralized from the GEF Secretariat to UNDP and UNEP, which should expedite the release of funds.

Yamil Bonduki, UNDP, summarized the key features of the revised GEF Operational Procedures for funding the preparation of second national communications. He also described UNDP procedures for requesting and approving funding for preparing communications, and reported on UNDP’s experience in reviewing funding proposals. He explained that the GEF Operational Procedures had been revised to: facilitate broader stakeholder participation; build on previous work, activities and knowledge; capture best practices; and develop linkages with other relevant projects. He informed delegates that under the new expedited route for accessing GEF funds to prepare national communications, the processing time for proposals was expected to be no more than 15 days. He noted that UNDP had already received approximately 22 proposals, most of which followed the template provided by UNDP, with only minor changes needed.

In the discussion that followed, Bonduki informed participants that UNDP was in the process of finalizing a format for proposals, and would work closely with a few countries to develop model proposals. Answering a question from Nigeria on whether the US$405,000 was the minimum or maximum amount countries could apply for, Bonduki said it was the maximum using the expedited process, but countries could choose to apply for a full-sized GEF project instead, in which case the amount could be higher. However, the procedures would be more complicated, and the process would take more time.

Bonduki then briefed participants on the development of funding proposals for national communications. He said development of proposals should involve a stocktaking exercise to identify gaps and uncertainties encountered in the first national communications, such as constraints encountered in V&A assessments. He also recommended that proposals should take into account existing national priorities and ongoing activities such as NAPAs, and should contain clear and achievable targets. He advised that proposals should not overestimate the national capacity available for the preparation of second national communications.

Participants then engaged in a question-and-answer session with UNDP and UNEP officials on their presentations. Barbados reiterated the choice that countries face between using the expedited process for funding their second national communications, or using the regular GEF project cycle. He pointed out that countries that take the US$15,000 for the self-assessment must use the expedited process. Burkina Faso expressed concerns that the US$405,000 allocated for second communications using the expedited process should be a flexible rather than a fixed amount, and Nigeria questioned whether this level of funding would be adequate for every country.

Carman then briefed participants on the GEF/UNDP/UNEP NCSP, one of the components of the strategy to support second national communications, with a budget of US$5.5 million. She said UNDP is committed to raising US$1.5 million in co-financing for the programme. NCSP will provide country-driven technical assistance to all non-Annex I Parties when preparing their national communications by, inter alia, sharing knowledge and promoting capacity building through the exchange of experiences, preparing and disseminating technical materials, and facilitating communication.

Ravi Sharma added some insights into UNEP’s role, observing that NCSP would seek to be more interactive than it had been in the past. He listed UNEP activities relevant to NCSP, including the LDC Technical Support Programme, the Coastal Zone Management support for African islands, and the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development.

SESSION NINE: REGIONAL AND MULTI-COUNTRY PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES

On Thursday afternoon, participants considered projects and programmes in several different regions.

Luis Santos, Uruguay’s Ministry of Housing, Territorial Regulation and Environment, briefed participants on the preparation of Uruguay’s second national communication. He explained that the process had engaged governmental, non-governmental, academic and business stakeholders over a period of 18 months. Significant institutional challenges had been overcome and stakeholders had supported the establishment of a new national institution called PRONAVEN, a public-private entity that aims to encourage co-management activities. Santos provided details on the contents of Uruguay’s national communication, which also presents the national GHG inventory for 2000. Mitigation measures outlined in the national communication are aimed at optimizing the country’s transport sector, as well as improving the agriculture, forestry, waste and energy sectors. On adaptation measures, he drew attention to national efforts to protect biodiversity, noting the country’s new national legislation on protected areas. Santos stated that Uruguay had focused on institutional strengthening and developing a programme for climate change information dissemination, public awareness and education. He concluded by underscoring the importance of participation across multiple sectors and levels of decision-making when preparing national communications.

In the ensuing discussion, Sudan enquired about the stakeholders involved in preparing Uruguay’s national communications, and how national institutional capacity had been assessed. Santos responded that 100 stakeholders from government, civil society, academic, and private institutions has been involved in the process. He rated the institutional performance as high. Responding to a question from Iran on the extent to which Uruguay’s national communication reflected national development plans, Santos explained that its communication included some national plans, such as the introduction of bio-diesel, but would benefit from additional links. In response to a question on how Uruguay had addressed gaps in its first national communication, Santos said it had been necessary to secure further sectoral involvement in preparing the second communication.

Katarina Mareckova, UNDP, provided information on a regional project for Capacity Building for Improving the Quality of Greenhouse Gas Inventories in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, initiated in June 2003. She said the main objective of the three-year project was to improve documentation and transparency in GHG inventories. Activities undertaken so far had included: the identification of key emissions sources in the region; the development of a regional website, a database of regional experts, and a regional discussion forum; the organization of several workshops; and preparation and dissemination of training material. The main benefits of the project include the availability of comparable data from countries in the region, reduced costs for preparing GHG inventories, exchange of information, and replicability. Mareckova noted that a key aim was to encourage the development of national “manuals of procedures” on creating GHG inventories.

In the discussion that followed, Ghana commented that some countries had such manuals of procedures, based on the IPCC good practice guidelines, and find them helpful.

Ravi Sharma, UNEP, presented an overview of a project to Assess the Impacts of, and Adaptation to, Climate Change (AIACC). He explained that the project covers multiple regions and sectors, involving 24 regional studies and 46 developing countries. It is funded by the GEF, with UNEP acting as the implementing agency. He indicated that the project aims to build scientific and technical capacity and support the development of national communications. It promotes regional V&A assessments and is also a capacity-building exercise involving stakeholders and national communications teams. Responding to a question from Senegal about project follow-up and future financing, Sharma reported that these matters were still under discussion. On a question from Thailand regarding methodologies, Sharma explained that AIACC does not promote any particular methodology.

Emilio Sempris, Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC), presented on national, regional and multi-country projects related to climate change. He explained that CATHALAC is dedicated to enhancing scientific understanding of water management, and described the three-year project for Capacity Building for Stage II Adaptation to Climate Change in Central America, Mexico and Cuba. He also described the Mesoamerican Monitoring and Visualization System, as well as another CATHALAC project to strengthen the capacity of Central American countries to prevent and manage disasters and to deal with climate change.

Andrea Volentras, SPREP, outlined SPREP’s activities in assisting Pacific island countries with their national communications. Outlining lessons learned from the first national communications process, he noted the need for realistic goals that take into account the timeframe and available resources. He also stressed the need to sustain capacity and expertise over the long-term, and to mainstream climate change within the wider policy arena. Regarding SPREP’s plans to assist the preparation of second national communications, he highlighted that SPREP’s 70 staff members had significant expertise on climate issue. He explained that SPREP can assist with the information stocktaking exercise, and can also support national stakeholder consultations, the preparation of the funding proposals, and the second communications exercise itself. He also noted plans to hold workshops and UNFCCC side events, and a proposal to employ a national communications adviser, a GHG mitigation officer, and an adaptation officer.

In the general discussion that followed, several participants expressed their regrets at the GEF’s absence from the workshop. The UNFCCC Secretariat explained that the GEF’s climate team was in a transitional phase, and had therefore been unable to send a representative to this workshop. The GEF had sent its apologies that it was unable to attend. Georgia wondered what incentives had been provided to the private sector in Uruguay to encourage their involvement in the national communications process. Santos responded that private sector participation had been voluntary, and that their interests lay in the economic opportunities provided by measures such as improvements in energy efficiency or a system of carbon credits. In response to a query from Senegal on the mandate of the UNFCCC to provide guidance to Parties, Thailand reminded participants that CGE is mandated to provide Parties with technical support.

SESSION TEN: MULTILATERAL AND REGIONAL SUPPORT PROGRAMMES

On Friday morning, 30 April, delegates were briefed on four support programmes at the multilateral and regional levels. These included presentations from representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), WMO, APN, and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).

Edy Brotoisworo, ADB, opened the session with a presentation on the Climate Change Adaptation Programme for the Pacific (CLIMAP). Noting that earlier ADB activities to support the UNFCCC had dealt with climate mitigation, he highlighted the increasing focus on adaptation that had resulted in the development of CLIMAP. He explained that CLIMAP seeks to mainstream climate adaptation through risk reduction. It involves a two-stage approach, starting with a short stocktaking exercise, followed by a longer process involving pilot activities focused on Micronesia and the Cook Islands. Responding to a comment from the Philippines about mainstreaming adaptation within national government plans, Brotoisworo acknowledged that this was not an easy task, but confirmed that involving government and other stakeholders was a critical part of the programme.

Buruhani Nyenzi, WMO, described the WMO’s activities related to climate change, including the World Climate Programme (WCP), GCOS, the World Climate and Climate Research Programme, and Global Atmospheric Watch. He informed participants that WCP coordinates most of WMO’s climate change-related divisions, including the World Climate Data Monitoring Programme, the World Climate Applications and Climate Information and Prediction Services, and the Agricultural Meteorology Programme. Nyenzi listed the various activities carried out under these programmes, which he said sought to improve: the capacity of WMO members in climate monitoring; the systemic global monitoring of atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial systems; and climate data “rescue” activities to preserve data at risk of being lost due to deterioration of the medium used to store it.

During the discussion that followed, several participants emphasized the need to involve meteorological departments in climate change activities. The Philippines noted that national weather specialists tend to be conservative when it comes to attributing extreme weather events to global warming, which sometimes sends a contradictory message.

Samuel Penafiel, APN, briefed participants on APN’s mission, structure and ongoing project activities. He provided details of APN’s four thematic areas: changes in coastal zones and inland waters; changes in atmospheric composition; climate change and variability; and changes in terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. He also highlighted APN’s CAPaBLE project.

Linda Stevenson, APN, on behalf of Gerhard Breulmann, IAI, spoke about IAI’s climate change programmes and projects. Reflecting on past activities, she drew attention to work on the Collaborative Research Networks (CRNs), and explained that a second round of CRNs was now under development. The total budget for these CRNs is expected to be in the range of US$8–11 million. Looking ahead, she highlighted IAI’s intention to streamline its proposals process, including plans to develop a fully web-based project submission system. She also noted that IAI is considering earmarking funds for “young” or “aspiring” scientists.

SESSION ELEVEN: BILATERAL SUPPORT PROGRAMMES

On Friday, delegates were briefed on three bilateral support programmes funded by Canada, Finland, and the US. The presentations were followed by a general discussion on the issues raised.

Satender Singh, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada, opened the session with a description of the Canada Climate Change Development Fund, a CA$100 million, five-year initiative started in July 2000. He explained that the Canadian International Development Agency administers the fund, with the broad goal of promoting activities to combat the causes and effects of climate change while contributing to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Singh noted that the fund has four programme areas: emissions reductions, adaptation, carbon sequestration and core capacity building. He said current activities include 36 main projects, six small project funds created to provide a more flexible and responsive mechanism, and three contributions to multilateral funds.

Mervi Kultamaa, Second Secretary to Finland’s Embassy to the Philippines, reported on a bilateral support programme for small island developing States in the Caribbean. Noting that countries in this region are among those suffering the most from climate change, she highlighted problems with the region’s weather observation systems, which have been deteriorating due to lack of funding, infrastructure and expertise. Outlining her country’s efforts to help strengthen the meteorological services in the region, Kultamaa reported that Finland had provided €3.8 million to upgrade the observation network, improve telecommunications used for transmitting data, and establish a regional laboratory to provide much-needed instrument calibration and maintenance. The funding had also been used to rescue historical data and to increase the number of national meteorological experts.

Jack Fitzgerald, US EPA, on behalf of Toral Patel-Weynand, US Department of State, presented a list of US bilateral projects in non-Annex I Parties. He elaborated on an impacts and adaptation project in Mexico, which aims to evaluate adaptation to the potential impacts of climate change on water resources. The project also aims to identify, analyze and prioritize adaptation options, and to develop and apply a process for assessing adaptation needs. Fitzgerald stressed that climate impacts and adaptation activities should involve local stakeholder processes. He also drew attention to US engagement in a bilateral initiative on integrated environmental strategies, which addresses global and local benefits of climate-related activities involving eight countries worldwide.

In the general discussion that followed, several participants expressed their appreciation at the support provided by Finland and the US for projects to enhance regional capacity in tracking climate patterns. Peru noted her gratitude at the role played by bilateral aid in complementing the resources made available from multilateral sources, which are sometimes difficult to access. However, she questioned why only LDCs were provided funds to prepare NAPAs. She said several other developing countries were experiencing levels of poverty equivalent to that in LDCs, and faced a dilemma over whether limited available resources should be spent on development, or on climate change activities. Mauritius called on the UNFCCC Secretariat to devise a mechanism to channel bilateral aid in cooperation with other UN agencies, so as to make it more accessible to small developing countries. Martha Perdomo, UNFCCC Secretariat, informed participants that the Secretariat has been mandated to prepare a website listing bilateral sources, and is in the process of doing so.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WORKSHOP

On Friday afternoon, Graham Sem, UNFCCC Secretariat, introduced text outlining the proposed recommendations of the workshop. He noted that this text was based on issues raised by participants during the workshop, and on the Rapporteurs’ summaries of each session. Participants discussed the substance and accuracy of these recommendations, making a number of suggestions to improve the text. The recommendations were then endorsed by participants, on the understanding that their comments and suggestions would be taken into account when finalizing the text. The recommendations will form part of the report of the workshop, which will be transmitted to SBI-20.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations include sections on five topics relating to the preparation of non-Annex I national communications: national GHG inventories, measures to adapt to climate change; measures to mitigate the effects of climate change; other information related to national communications; and financial and technical support.

National greenhouse gas inventories: The section on inventories recommends that the UNFCCC Secretariat should collaborate with other relevant organizations to develop a central repository of information, tools and methods for GHG inventories, funding permitting. These resources would then be disseminated to non-Annex I Parties. The recommendations include a request that the Secretariat promote actions such as training and information sharing to help non-Annex I Parties prepare their GHG inventories.

The recommendations also highlight the importance of reporting on gaps relating to GHG inventories, as this would help identify capacity-building needs and relevant financial requirements. In addition, experts and institutions from non-Annex I Parties are requested to provide information on their national emission factors to the IPCC EFDB editorial board, and to use the information in the EFDB whenever appropriate.

Measures to facilitate adequate adaptation: Participants call for:

  • existing software, tools, methods and models for V&A assessments to be made readily available to non-Annex I Parties by modeling centers and institutions, and the development of a central repository by the UNFCCC Secretariat to disseminate these tools and methods;
     

  • the level of financial and technical resources for V&A assessments to be commensurate with the specific needs and concerns identified by non-Annex I Parties;
     

  • the expansion and further elaboration by the UNFCCC Secretariat of the section in the UNFCCC Guidelines on measures to facilitate adequate adaptation, in collaboration with other relevant organizations;
     

  • consideration to be given to issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights in the development and use of models and tools in V&A assessments, particularly at the local community levels and those that include the use of traditional knowledge;
     

  • action by the GEF implementing agencies to address and streamline delays in the project approval process for the preparation of LDC NAPAs and the preparation of second national communications; and
     

  • further clarification on the expected outputs/products of the APF, by the agency responsible for its development, including regarding its potential for synergy with other initiatives and practices, its utility in addressing other impacts identified in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, and its potential for integrating traditional knowledge and practices.

The recommendations also note that the APF could contribute to measuring how the adverse effects of climate change will affect sustainable development, and consequently the UN Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction strategies at national and regional levels. They call on UNDP and other collaborating organizations to explore the possibilities of replicating the APF in other regions.

Measures to mitigate climate change: Participants recommend that the UNFCCC Secretariat and bilateral and multilateral support programmes should make training available to non-Annex I Parties on the use of models and tools for mitigation analyses, and on the development of mitigation scenarios. They also recommend that background information on incorporating private sector mitigation programmes or projects should be provided in national communications.

Other information related to national communications: Participants recommend that the Secretariat develop and disseminate a template to facilitate the reporting on research and systematic observation, capacity building, technology transfer and education, training and public awareness, information and networking. This template would be included in the user manual prepared by the Secretariat on non-Annex I national communications.

Financial and technical support: On financial and technical support, participants recommend that:

  • the GEF should be asked to clarify to non-Annex I Parties that two options � expedited procedures or full-size GEF proposals � are available to fund the preparation of national communications, and that Parties have the freedom to choose the option that suits them best;
     

  • a decision on what option Parties will select for funding their national communications should be taken after the stocktaking exercise is completed; and,
     

  • the NCSP should develop and, where necessary, strengthen its partnerships with regional climate centers and centers of excellence in delivering technical support to non-Annex I Parties.

CLOSING REMARKS

Following agreement on the recommendations of the workshop late on Friday afternoon, Luis G�mez-Echeverri, UNFCCC Secretariat, made his closing remarks, thanking the Government of the Philippines, UNDP Philippines, the US, Spain and Switzerland, and APN, as well as the GEF and other multilateral and bilateral institutions. He also expressed his gratitude to the participants, support staff, and the meeting Chairs and Rapporteurs for their hard work. Noting that the workshop marked the launch of the second round of national communications, he praised the number of Parties, estimated at between 50 and 75, that will embark on their second national communications in 2004. However, he underscored that significant challenges still remain in ensuring greater capacity, training and general support to prepare national communications, and for climate change-related activities at the national level. He highlighted the importance of the work of the CGE in this regard.

The workshop closed at 6:20 pm.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE SB-20

SECOND WORLD CONFERENCE ON BIOMASS FOR ENERGY, INDUSTRY, AND CLIMATE PROTECTION: This conference will convene from 10-14 May 2004, in Rome, Italy, to discuss the use of biomass as a source of renewable energy and carbon dioxide reduction. For more information, contact: ETA Renewable Energies, Italy; tel: +39-55-500-2174; fax: +39-55-573-425; e-mail: biomass.conf@etaflorence.it; Internet: http://www.conference-biomass.com/conference_Welcome.htm.

SECOND WORLD RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM: This Forum will take place from 29-31 May 2004, in Bonn, Germany. It will consider the use of renewable energy in industry, rural areas, and cities, and renewable energy projects proposed by NGOs prior to the Renewables 2004 conference, to be held immediately after the Forum (see below). For more information, contact: World Council for Renewable Energy/EUROSOLAR; tel: +49-228-362-373; fax: +49-228-361-213; e-mail: info@wcre.org; Internet: http://www.world-council-for-renewable-energy.org.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES (RENEWABLES 2004): This conference will convene from 1-4 June 2004, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: Secretariat of the International Conference for Renewable Energies; tel: +49-6196-794404; fax: +49-6196-794405; e-mail: info@renewables2004.de; Internet: http://www.renewables2004.de.

TWENTIETH SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC: SB-20 will be held from 16-25 June 2004, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int.


This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Emily Boyd emily@iisd.org; Anju Sharma anju@iisd.org; and Chris Spence chris@iisd.org. The Editors are Lisa Schipper lisa@iisd.org and Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are 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 Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), 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), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. General Support for the Bulletin during 2004 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, 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). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.