Saturday, September 20, 2014

UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS NEWSLETTER #1

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UN CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS  NEWSLETTER #1, AUGUST 26, 2014 (revised Sept. 20, 2014).
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

What’s at stake:  Global problems call for global solutions by global organizations, particularly those that transcend national interests.  Many central UN organizations (e.g., WHO, UNHCR) relate closely to the following organizations.  Support these UN organizations.  We need the United Nations to deal with world problems.  Get active to support a stronger UN.


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the united nations environment programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the united nations system. it is an advocate, educator, catalyst and ...
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UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCCF)
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Website featuring climate change and stories about the groundswell of climate ... Produced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an intergovernmental treaty developed to address the problem of climate change.
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25 July 2014
Essential role of biodiversity and ecosystems for sustainable development recognised in Sustainable Development Goals

Biological diversity and ecosystems featured prominently in the proposal of a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed by acclamation to forward to the General Assembly, setting the stage for better links between the implementation of the biodiversity agenda of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

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Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity
25 August 2014, San Jose, Costa Rica
Capacity-Building Workshop for Mesoamerica on Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration to Support Achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
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Pacific Regional Joint Preparatory Meeting for the CBD COP12, CMS COP11 and Ramsar COP12
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International Day of The World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2014
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A transformative global agenda for development
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Incognito caterpillar threatens US borders
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Atop Food Chain, Ospreys Ingest Many Poisons, Revealing Environmental Dangers
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Venezuela needs low-carbon action - not greenwash
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Inter-regional capacity-building workshop on REDD+ and Aichi Biodiversity Targets
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CBD Expert Workshop to Provide Consolidated Practical Guidance and a Toolkit for Marine Spatial Planning
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UN INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT    http://www.ifad.org/
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2014 International Year of Family Farming: IFAD's commitment and call for action
The International Year of Family Farming recognizes the importance of family farming in reducing poverty, improving food security and achieving more sustainable approaches to agricultural and rural development.
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Investing in sustainable development in small island states
As the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States prepares to convene, IFAD projects aim to go the last mile in addressing the unique needs and vulnerabilities of island nations.
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Viewpoint: The human face of development
As the gap between rich and poor continues to grow in developing countries, increasing investment in rural people is crucial if we are to eradicate hunger and poverty, explains IFAD's President.
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Spotlight on climate and environment: Near East and North Africa
Get a glimpse into the approaches supported by IFAD that address climate change in the Near East and North Africa region with up to date research, interactive maps, blogs and videos.
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São Tomé was once the world's biggest exporter of cocoa, but a decade ago the global cocoa price crash destroyed the industry here and desperate farmers have been clearing the forests to find alternative ways to make a living. But then the rising global demand for organic chocolate changed everything. IFAD joined forces with French organic chocolate company, Kaoka, to revive the island's cocoa industry. And it looks like chocolate might just save this island.    http://www.ifad.org/


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New partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil management
​24/06/2014- During her visit to Israel on 10-11 June 2014, Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary has agreed  on a new partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil management, through...
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Carbon in dryland soils : Multiple essential functions
Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a key role in the overall behaviour of soils and agroecosystems. Increasing its content enhances soil quality and fertility, thus improving agricultural resilience...
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The IWG meets for the second time (IWG-2)
16-18 July 2014 in Beijing, China. Pan Yingzhen, China’s new UNCCD National Focal Point opened the meeting, welcomed all participants and introduced Zhang Yongli, Vice Minister of the State...
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UNCCD 5th reporting and review process closed
​187 UNCCD reports have been submitted by Country Parties for the 2014 leg of the UNCCD 5th reporting and review process. Submitted reports are available on the home page of the PRAIS portal.
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Biomass Productivity-Based Mapping of Global Land Degradation Hotspots
01/08/2014 - Using global-level remotely sensed vegetation index data,  the hotspots of land degradation across major land cover types can be spotted.
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Lessons Learned from Marginal Drylands
16/07/2014 - “Successful interventions for degraded drylands require holistic approaches that focus on improved income generation from agriculture and alternative livelihood sources” says the...
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First e-newsletter of the UNCCD CSO panel
​The members of the panel prepared the first issue of this electronic newsletter to inform the CSOs on about the latest news of their work, the activities related to the convention and other...
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Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2014 Focuses on “Mitigating Risk; Responding to Threat”
09/07/14 - Held at Caux, Switzerland in the first week of July, the 2014 Caux Dialogue on Land and Security focused on the linkage between land and security. Participants discussed how climate...
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New partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil management
​24/06/2014- During her visit to Israel on 10-11 June 2014, Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary has agreed  on a new partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil management, through...
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Carbon in dryland soils : Multiple essential functions
Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a key role in the overall behaviour of soils and agroecosystems. Increasing its content enhances soil quality and fertility, thus improving agricultural resilience...
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New partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil managementCarbon in dryland soils : Multiple essential functionsThe IWG meets for the second time (IWG-2)UNCCD 5th reporting and review process closedBiomass Productivity-Based Mapping of Global Land Degradation HotspotsLessons Learned from Marginal DrylandsFirst e-newsletter of the UNCCD CSO panelCaux Dialogue on Land and Security 2014 Focuses on “Mitigating Risk; Responding to Threat”New partnership approach to build capacity on land and soil managementCarbon in dryland soils : Multiple essential functions

20 Years of Progress
Watch videos showing some of the achievements in soil management, agriculture, forestry, water management and others made possible by the existence of the convention.
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3rd UNCCD scientific conference: call for abstracts
Deadline closing soon. Submit your extended abstract by 15 September 2014.
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UNCCD 5th reporting and review cycle
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187 UNCCD reports have been submitted by Country Parties for the 2014 leg of the UNCCD 5th reporting and review process. Submitted reports are available on the home page of the PRAIS portal.
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Regreening Ethiopia's Highlands
Ethiopians use Sustainable Land Management practices to reclaim their land from degradation. From concrete and practical framework planning to implementation by communities, Regreening Ethiopia's Highlands: A Message of Hope from Africa showcases Ethiopia's journey to rehabilitate its land.





The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an intergovernmental treaty developed to address the problem of climate change. The Convention, which sets out an agreed framework for dealing with the issue, was negotiated from February 1991 to May 1992 and opened for signature at the June 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) — also known as the Rio Earth Summit. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, ninety days after the 50th country’s ratification had been received. By December 2007, it had been ratified by 192 countries.

Parties to the Convention continue to meet regularly to take stock of progress in implementing their obligations under the treaty, and to consider further actions to address the climate change threat. They have also negotiated a protocol to the Convention. The Kyoto Protocol was first agreed in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, although ongoing discussions were needed between 1998 and 2004 to finalize the “fine print” of the agreement. The Protocol obliges industrialized countries and countries of the former Soviet bloc (known collectively as “Annex I Parties”) to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of about 5% for the period 2008-2012 compared with 1990 levels. However, under the terms agreed in Kyoto, the Protocol only enters into force following ratification by 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, and if these 55 countries included a sufficient number of Annex I Parties that at least 55% of that group’s total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 were represented. Although the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States, rejected the Kyoto Treaty in 2001 after the election of President George W. Bush, a majority of other Annex I Parties, including Canada, Japan, and the countries of the European Union ratified the treaty. In November 2004, the Russian Federation also ratified the Protocol, thus reaching the 55% threshold. The Protocol finally entered into force as a legally-binding document on 16 February 2005. By December 2007, the Protocol had been ratified by 177 countries, including Annex I parties representing 63.7% of Annex I greenhouse gas emissions in 1990.

With the immediate future of the Kyoto Protocol secured by Russia’s ratification, an increasing focus of discussions since 2005 has been on the multilateral response to climate change post-2012, when the Protocol’s first commitment period expires. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007, delegates agreed on a “roadmap” for 2008 and 2009 designed to bring about an agreement by December 2009.

                       
                       
           
The UNFCCC
Conference of the Parties: Parties to the UNFCCC continue to adopt decisions, review progress and consider further action through regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP). The Conference of Parties is the highest-decision making body of the Convention, and usually meets annually.

Secretariat: The Conference of Parties and the Convention goals are supported by various bodies and organizations. This includes a Permanent Secretariat with various duties set out under Article 8 of the UNFCCC. Since 1996, the Secretariat has been based in Bonn, Germany, after an offer to host it was accepted by Parties to the first meeting of the COP in 1995.

Subsidiary Bodies: A number of subsidiary bodies also advise the COP. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) links scientific, technical and technological assessments, the information provided by competent international bodies, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) was created to develop recommendations to assist the COP in reviewing and assessing implementation of the Convention and in preparing and implementing its decisions. The SBSTA and SBI usually meet twice each year, at the same time and venue. One of these two yearly meetings generally takes place in parallel with the COP.

More recently, two additional bodies have been established. In late 2005, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. In late 2007, the COP decided to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, under the COP. For more information on these bodies, see the sections on “COP 11” and “Post-2012 Issues” (below).

Financing and the Global Environment Facility: The UNFCCC includes provision under Article 10 for a financial mechanism to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition to a market economy in implementing the Convention. Parties to the UNFCCC decided that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) should act as the financial mechanism, given its expertise in this area.

Other financial resources for implementing the Convention are also available through the Special Climate Change Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Adaptation Fund, as well as through donor countries and agencies.

Expert Groups and Other Constituted Bodies: The Convention is also supported by a number of expert groups and other constituted bodies. These include the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on national communications from “non-Annex I” Parties (a group composed mostly of developing countries). Other bodies include the Least Developed Country Expert Group (LEG), the Expert Group on Technology Transfer, and the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee.

The Conference of the Parties also cooperates with, and is supported by, numerous other international organizations and other groups, including scientific bodies, UN agencies, and other conventions. These include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which publishes comprehensive reviews on climate change science every five to six years, as well as other technical reports and papers.

Another group, the open-ended Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM), which was created following COP-1 and was instrumental in securing the agreement on the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, no longer convenes.

                       
                       
           
A History of Climate Change Negotiations

The UNFCCC has now been in existence for many years. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) has reported from every COP and meeting of the subsidiary bodies, as well as one interim meeting prior to the first Conference of the Parties (for more detailed information, see ENB UNFCCC Archives). The following section charts the history and development of climate change negotiations from the early 1990s to the end of 2007, with links to more detailed information contained in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Negotiation of the UNFCCC: The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The UNFCCC sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. Controlled gases include methane, nitrous oxide and, in particular, carbon dioxide. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, and now has 192 parties.

Kyoto Protocol: However, in light of increasing scientific evidence about the risks of climate change, it soon became evident to policy makers that a further negotiated agreement might be necessary. In December 1997, delegates at COP 3 in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a Protocol to the UNFCCC that commits developed countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve quantified emission reduction targets. These countries, known under the UNFCCC as Annex I parties, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Protocol also established three flexible mechanisms to assist Annex I parties in meeting their national targets cost-effectively: an emissions trading system; joint implementation (JI) of emission reduction projects between Annex I parties; and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows for emission reduction projects to be implemented in non-Annex I parties (developing countries). Following COP 3, parties began negotiating many of the rules and operational details governing how countries will implement and measure their emission reductions. To date, the Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 177 countries, including Annex I parties representing 63.7% of Annex I greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.

Buenos Aires Plan of Action: In November 1998, COP 4 agreed on the process for finalizing the rules and operational details of the Protocol in a document known as the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The BAPA set COP 6 as the deadline for finalizing these details and strengthening implementation of the UNFCCC. In November 2000, parties met at COP 6 in The Hague, the Netherlands, to complete these negotiations. They were not successful, and COP 6 was suspended until July 2001, when it reconvened in Bonn, Germany. After further talks, parties adopted the Bonn Agreements, a decision that provided high-level political direction on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. But delegates were still unable to finalize text on some issues, and agreed to forward all the draft decisions to COP 7 for final resolution.

Marrakesh Accords: In November 2001 at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, delegates reached agreement on the outstanding matters in the Marrakesh Accords. These Accords consisted of a package of draft decisions on many of the details of the Kyoto Protocol, including the flexible mechanisms, reporting and methodologies, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and compliance. The Marrakesh Accords also addressed issues such as capacity building, technology transfer, responding to the adverse effects of climate change, and the establishment of three funds: the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund, Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), and Adaptation Fund.

Delegates built on the Marrakesh Accords at COP 8 and COP 9, elaborating on various technical rules and procedures. At COP 10 parties also agreed on two new agenda items focused on adaptation and mitigation, and began informal negotiations on the complex and sensitive issue of how parties might engage on commitments to combat climate change in the post-2012 period.

Montreal Conference – COP 11 and COP/MOP 1: COP 11 and COP/MOP 1 took place in Montreal, Canada, from 28 November to 10 December 2005. COP/MOP 1 took decisions on the outstanding operational details of the Kyoto Protocol, and formally adopted the Marrakesh Accords. The meetings also engaged in negotiations on longer-term international cooperation on climate change. COP/MOP 1 addressed possible processes to discuss post-2012 commitments and decided to establish a new subsidiary body, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG).

After lengthy negotiations, COP 11 also agreed to consider long-term cooperation under the UNFCCC “without prejudice to any future negotiations, commitments, process, framework or mandate under the Convention.” This would take place through a series of four workshops constituting a “Dialogue” on the matter through to COP 13.

Protocol AWG and Convention Dialogue: The AWG and Convention Dialogue convened four times: at SB 24 (Bonn, Germany, May 2006); COP 12 and COP/MOP 2 (Nairobi, Kenya, November 2006); SB 26 (Bonn, May 2007); and the “Vienna Climate Change Talks” (Vienna, Austria, August 2007).

The AWG began by considering the focus of its future work. At its second session in November 2006, the AWG agreed on a work programme focusing on: mitigation potentials and ranges of emission reductions; possible means to achieve mitigation objectives; and consideration of further commitments by Annex I parties. At its third session in May 2007, the AWG adopted conclusions on the analysis of mitigation potentials and agreed to develop a timetable to complete its work so as to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment periods. The fourth session of the AWG started in Vienna in August 2007 and concluded in Bali during COP/MOP 3. In Vienna, delegates focused on mitigation potentials and possible ranges of emission reductions for Annex I parties. The AWG adopted conclusions referring to some key findings by Working Group III of the IPCC, including that global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next ten to fifteen years and then be reduced to well below half of 2000 levels by the middle of the 21st century in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at the lowest levels assessed by the IPCC. The AWG’s conclusions also recognize that to achieve the lowest stabilization level, Annex I parties as a group would be required to reduce emissions by a range of 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The Convention Dialogue workshops began with an initial exchange of views on the four thematic areas identified at COP 11: advancing development goals in a sustainable way; addressing action on adaptation; realizing the full potential of technology; and realizing the full potential of market-based opportunities. The second and third workshops involved an exchange of views on the four areas, while the fourth focused on bringing together ideas from the previous workshops and addressing overarching and cross-cutting issues, including financing. The final two workshops also considered the next steps after the Dialogue’s four scheduled meetings had come to an end. As well as the AWG and Convention Dialogue, recent UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol meetings have also addressed long-term issues in other settings, including a first review of the Protocol required under Article 9, and a proposal by the Russian Federation on “voluntary commitments.”

UN Climate Change Conference in Bali – COP 13 and COP/MOP 3: The “United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali” was held from 3-15 December 2007. These meetings resulted in the adoption of 15 COP decisions and 13 COP/MOP decisions and the approval of a number of conclusions by the subsidiary bodies. These outcomes covered a wide range of topics, including finalizing the Adaptation Fund under the Protocol, a decision on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, and outcomes on technology transfer, capacity building, the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, the adverse effects of combating climate change, national communications, financial and administrative matters, and various methodological issues.

The main focus in Bali, however, was on long-term cooperation and the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires. Negotiators spent much of their time seeking to agree on a two-year process – or “Bali roadmap” – to finalize a post-2012 regime by December 2009. Negotiations were conducted in a number of groups under the aegis of both the Convention and the Protocol. Under the Convention, the discussions focused on how to follow up on the “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention.” Under the Protocol, the AWG considered a timetable for determining Annex I commitments for the post-2012 period. Delegates also outlined a preparatory process for the second review of the Protocol under Article 9, and held discussions on the “Russian proposal” on voluntary commitments.

Negotiations on these issues were only completed on Saturday afternoon, 15 December, 24 hours after the conference’s scheduled conclusion, when ministers and other high-level officials agreed to a series of outcomes that together comprise the “Bali roadmap.” These decisions provide guidance and direction for a series of meetings over the next two years under both the Convention and Protocol, with the aim of concluding a comprehensive framework for the post-2012 period at COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

Post-Bali Talks: Following Bali, three negotiations were held during 2008 in the lead-up to the next COP. The first session of the AWG-LCA and fifth session of the AWG-KP took place from 31 March to 4 April 2008, in Bangkok, Thailand. Further sessions were held in June 2008 in Bonn, Germany and in August 2008 in Accra, Ghana.

The main focus of AWG-LCA 1 in Bangkok was on developing its work programme for 2008. The work programme, adopted at the end of the meeting, aims to further discussions on all elements of the Bali Action Plan at every session of the AWG-LCA in a “coherent, integrated and transparent manner.” It establishes a detailed work programme, including a timetable for eight in-session workshops to be held during 2008. The AWG-KP convened an in-session workshop on analyzing the means for Annex I parties to reach their emission reduction targets. In its conclusions, AWG-KP 5 indicated that the flexible mechanisms under the Protocol should continue in the post-2012 period, and be supplemental to domestic actions in Annex I countries.

During the first two weeks of June 2008, delegates convened in Bonn, Germany, to participate in four meetings as part of ongoing negotiations under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol – AWG-LCA 2, AWG-KP 5 (Part II), SBI 28 and SBSTA 28. At this meeting, the AWG-LCA shifted its focus towards more substantive topics, with three workshops to help delegates consider adaptation, finance, and technology. Parties also started discussions on a “shared vision for long-term cooperative action,” climate change mitigation, and the AWG-LCA’s work programme for 2009. The fifth session of the AWG-KP focused on the means for Annex I countries to reach emission reduction targets, with delegates addressing four specific issues: the flexible mechanisms; land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); greenhouse gases, sectors and source categories; and possible approaches targeting sectoral emissions. Parties also considered relevant methodological issues. The SBI and SBSTA took up a range of issues, some related to their regular, ongoing work under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and some more closely connected to the post-2012 discussions. The SBI examined subjects such as capacity building, technology transfer and preparations for the second review of the Protocol under Article 9. SBSTA’s agenda included items on technology transfer and reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries.

Delegates next convened in Accra, Ghana, from 21-27 August 2008 for AWG-LCA 3 and AWG-KP 6. The main focus of AWG-LCA 3 was to continue to exchange ideas and clarify key elements of the Bali Action Plan (decision 1/CP.13), including a “shared vision for long-term cooperative action,” mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance. Two in-session workshops were held on: cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions, and policy approaches; and on policy incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. The AWG-KP focused on the means for Annex I countries to reach emission reduction targets, with delegates addressing the flexible mechanisms and land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).

                       
                       
           
Further Reading on the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol

Uniting on Climate (A Guide to the Climate Convention and Kyoto Protocol), UNFCCC Secretariat, 2007
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Handbook, UNFCCC Secretariat, 2006
Other UNFCCC publications

                       
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The Brookings Institution
Africa in Focus
Temesgen Deressa, Bryce Campbell and Mwangi S. Kimenyi | November 27, 2013 11:16am

The Warsaw Framework for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+): What It Means for Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Environment
Environmental Regulation
Climate Change
forestry
energy and environment
climate change
climate politics
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 A giraffe stands under a tree at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Amboseli national park, southern Kenya.
On November 23, 2013 the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19), concluded in Warsaw. One of the significant outcomes of the conference was an agreement on a framework to support developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). This framework, called the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, is backed by combined pledges of $280 million in financing from the United States, Norway and United Kingdom. Support of the framework is particularly important to African countries that are experiencing rapid and serious deforestation.

REDD+ is one of the instruments defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by targeted reductions of deforestation and forest degradation, conversion and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, and improved forest management. Forest lands in Africa are widely cleared and burned to make new settlements, expand agricultural lands, exploit timber and timber products, support rapid urbanization, and spread commercial farming and ranching. Although Africa’s fossil-fuel CO2 emissions are insignificant compared to the rest of the world (only 3.6 percent), the continent’s emissions from deforestation account for about 17 percent of the global total. Given the contribution of deforestation to global warming, Africa can play a vital role in mitigating climate change through the reduction of deforestation.

Scientific evidence shows that forestry and forest-related agricultural practices in Africa can play the triple roles of 1) adaptation to climate change; 2) mitigation of climate change; and 3) poverty reduction. For instance, one study in western Kenya showed that agroforestry practices facilitate carbon sequestration, improve farm productivity, increase household wealth, increase income diversity and provide coping strategies during extreme climate events.

These results imply that the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ has a high potential for Africa if its constituent nations can tackle the challenges associated with its implementation. So far, Africa’s experience with REDD+ has been mixed. Some of the challenges it faces include the absence of national regulations on local property rights on land, governance mechanisms on equitable sharing of carbon payments, and low institutional capacity for REDD+ implementation. Lack of technical skills in emissions accounting, lack of institutional and technical skills to implement national forest inventory (NFI) programs, and an inability to involve community on the designing and implementation of REDD+ projects at the grass root level will also need to be overcome.

Policies that increase the participation of communities in decision-making and local-level technical capacities for effective monitoring, reporting and verifying can reduce the challenges associated with implementation of REDD+ in Africa. Additionally, delineation of property rights, especially on land, can promote the role REDD+ can play in Africa. Moreover, the provision of incentives such as tax reductions or soft loans could encourage the participation of the private sector and enhance mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change in Africa. The first step should be the designing of appropriate national polices that promote the implantation of REDD+. Moreover, multilateral institutions like the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and international aid agencies should prioritize climate funding on the implementations of REDD+ in Africa. Finally, developed nations like Canada and the European Union should follow the initiatives taken by the United States, Norway and Great Britain in financing REDD+ in Africa.

With the support of international partners, African countries can make important gains in the fight against climate change while making simultaneous strides towards their own development. The Warsaw Framework presents a win-win and will hopefully lead to further gains moving towards COP20 in Lima and beyond.

Temesgen Deressa
Guest Scholar, Africa Growth Initiative
Bryce Campbell
Acting Assistant Director, Africa Growth Initiative
 Portrait: Mwangi Kimenyi
Mwangi S. Kimenyi
Director, Africa Growth Initiative
Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development
@MwangiKimenyi
Mwangi S. Kimenyi is senior fellow and director of the Africa Growth Initiative and currently serves as advisory board member of the School of Economics, University of Nairobi. The founding executive director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (1999-2005), he focuses on Africa's development including institutions for economic growth, political economy, and private sector development.
More Posts from Mwangi > | View Expert Page >





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Humanitarian aid workers in greater need, at greater risk
Today is World Humanitarian Day, which recognizes the importance of aid workers and also the dangers that face them. A study reports that the number of attacks on aid workers set a record in 2013. Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.)/Up Front blog (8/19), Al Jazeera (8/19), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/19), The Guardian (London) (8/19)
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Ban, Malala urge young people to support universal education MDG
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Malala Yousafzai on Monday encouraged youths to support the Millennium Development Goal for universal primary education. "One may think, 'I'm just a young girl or a young boy, I don’t have any power,' but each and every one of you can make a difference," Ban said. Voice of America (8/18)
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UNRWA official: Improve Gazans' lives by lifting blockade
The lives of Gazans would be improved by lifting the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory, said Pierre Krahenbuhl, who leads the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Reuters (8/18)
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UN to vaccinate millions of Iraqi children against polio
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MHealth project in Ghana tailors services to mothers, nurses
Mobile Midwife, a mobile health project in Ghana, provides separate information applications for pregnant women and for nurses. The program serves 37,000 patients. Women's eNews (8/15)
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WHO seeks to prevent food shortages in Ebola-quarantine zones
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Study: Mutated polio virus caused 2010 outbreak
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Women & Girls
Why women's progress can't be stymied
Several countries have done an outstanding job in meeting the Millennium Development Goals pertinent to women and girls, writes Leith Greenslade of the United Nations and the MDG Health Alliance. However, these gains are threatened by "rapid population growth, urbanization and continued conflict," she writes. Devex.com (free registration) (8/19)
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Interim government by force threatened in Afghanistan
Some Afghanistan government officials and military are talking about imposing an interim government, hoping to spur a resolution to the election process. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/18)
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Cease-fire ends in Gaza
Al Jazeera (8/19)
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Iraqi military meets opposition in attempt to retake Tikrit
Voice of America/Reuters (8/19)
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Colombia-FARC talks stall over compensation
The Christian Science Monitor (8/15)
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Lack of education provides breeding ground for terrorism: Ban UN Radio (8/18)
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