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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013

11-22 November 2013 | Warsaw, Poland

Side Events (ENBOTS) Coverage on Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Panel during the side event on “UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Gap Report 2013.”

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Wednesday, 13 November 2013.

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Addressing recent climate policy developments, Tatiana Minayeva, Wetlands International, noted that they mainly focus on afforestation, reforestation and deforestation, leaving space for further advances.
Andrey Sirin, Institute of Forest Science, Russian Federation, underlined that peatland ecosystems contain disproportionally more organic carbon than other terrestrial ecosystems on mineral soils.
Gleb Kraev, Centre for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Federation, emphasized the importance of investigation and systematic observation of GHG emissions from tundra soils and permafrost.

This side event, moderated by Michael Gytarsky, Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, Russian Federation, focused on terrestrial ecosystems with high carbon content, including peatlands and tundra regions.

Victor Blinov, Roshydromet, Russian Federation, underlined that research and systematic observation of terrestrial ecosystems with high carbon content is necessary to fill the gaps and reduce uncertainties in the global carbon balance assessment, as well as to provide a sound basis for new global efforts to prevent climate change.

Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International, characterized peatland carbon stores as global treasures, noting that although they store twice as much carbon as forests, their importance is often overlooked. She provided case studies, stressing possible solutions, namely to secure un-drained peatlands, rewet and restore drained peatlands, and adapt management of peatlands that cannot be fully rewetted and restored.

Gleb Kraev, Centre for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Federation, stressed that disturbed tundra cannot compensate carbon losses induced by environmental change and proposed the development of positive incentives for restoration. He presented preliminary results drawn from a project assessing the impact of indigenous peoples on GHG emissions from permafrost in Chukotka Pennisula, Russian Federation.

Andrey Sirin, Institute of Forest Science, Russian Federation, addressing carbon balance in peatlands, underlined the importance of inter alia: assessment of carbon storage and balance in peatlands; GHG emissions and carbon loss monitoring; and development of mechanisms to create economic incentives to restore peat accumulating ecosystems.

Tatiana Minayeva, Wetlands International, provided an overview of carbon conservation projects in wetlands of the Russian Federation. She addressed recent climate policy developments and provided cases of re-wetting in the Moscow region, where in cooperation with Germany, around 72,000 hectares were re-wetted.

Michael Gytarsky provided an overview of carbon reserves in the steppe biomes of the Russian Federation. Noting that steppes are the second highest carbon reserviors among ecosystems of the Russian Federation, he highlighted human-induced and natural disturbances that result in loss of carbon in steppe lands.

During discussions, participants raised several issues, inter alia: resources needed for re-wetting and similar projects; the payment for ecosystem services (PES) approach; efficient engagement of the public; and the need for peatlands to obtain a prominent place in climate architecture.

Panel (L-R): Andrey Sirin, Institute of Forest Science, Russian Federation; Tatiana Minayeva, Wetlands International; Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International; Michael Gytarsky, Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, Russian Federation; Gleb Kraev, Centre for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Federation; and Victor Blinov, Roshydromet, Russian Federation.
More Information:


Michael Gytarsky (Moderator)
[email protected]

Dennis Mairena, Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indíginas, Nicaragua, said mapping strengthens the struggle against land grabbing, improves natural resource management, reduces deforestation, shows project impacts, educates young people and facilitates work for legal reform.
Pasang Dolma Sherpa, NEFIN, described the process of social participatory mapping, while highlighting the need to practice national-level sharing to ensure recognition of indigenous peoples role in resource management.
Kimaren Riamit, Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Partners, Kenya, noted that pastoralists do not operate in an institutional vacuum rather they often have robust traditional systems that recognize the multiple rights holder and accommodate social justice and equity in decision-making.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines, moderated the event, highlighting the work of Tebtebba’s global partnerships with indigenous peoples on REDD+ safeguards, particularly through the development of CBMIS.

Dennis Mairena, Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indíginas, Nicaragua, presented the monitoring system being established in the Miguel Bikan community. He said the map will provide a baseline for monitoring and demonstrate that indigenous people’s are the best managers. He highlighted the involvement of children in the participatory mapping project, adding that the project reaffirms indigenous communities rights to land.

Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), stressed that CBMIS is important for recognition of traditional knowledge, highlighting the objectives of CBMIS in their project area, including documentation of traditional forest governance systems.

Kimaren Riamit, Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Partners, Kenya, discussed CBMIS from a pastoralist perspective. He said the push to privatize land threatens these traditional management systems. He said CBMIS applied in Kenya seeks to demonstrate the strong traditional systems that already exist. He underscored that REDD+ implementation will stand or fall on the extent to which indigenous peoples and local communities are included in the process.

Pak Heru Prasetyo, President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Indonesia, described Indonesia’s experience in Central Kalimantan province in implementing the national forest governance policy. He called for combining indigenous monitoring systems with national and international assistance in order to monitor mega-projects that change ecosystems at a broader scale.

Tauli-Corpuz highlighted the impact of deforestation in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan, which increased destruction and loss of life. She stressed the need for monitoring and community preparedness to reduce risk during disasters that are likely to increase due to climate change.

During discussions, participants discussed: alliances between gender caucuses and indigenous peoples groups; data collection as an “extractive” industry; safeguards and monitoring from a donor perspective; and the intrinsic value of data collection for communities.

Panel (L-R): Dennis Mairena, Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indíginas, Nicaragua; Kimaren Riamit, Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Partners, Kenya; Pasang Dolma Sherpa, NEFIN; Pak Heru Prasetyo, President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Indonesia; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines.
More Information:


Raymond de Chavez (Coordinator)
[email protected]

Financing, Partnership and Networking Strategies for Action-Oriented Research and Capacity Building:
What Does/Doesn't Work?

Presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN)
Monthip Srirantana Tabucanon, Thailand, described Thailand’s efforts on low carbon growth, inclusive development and the role of the science-policy interface.
Karma Tshering, Bhutan, described Bhutan’s “Gross National Happiness,” raising concern that climate change may threaten the future happiness of young people.
Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Thailand, discusses plans for a Centre for Scientific Research on Climate Change.

Linda Stevenson, APN, moderated the event, and introduced the panelists. Satoshi Tanaka, Japan, introduced APN, an intergovernmental network between the Asian Region and the US since 1996. He remarked that this is the first time APN has organized a side event, while noting APN’s previous involvement with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Akio Takamoto, APN, stated APN consists of 22 member counties in the Asia Pacific region and focuses on climate change, biodiversity, water, air pollution and land use change research. He listed four goals: cooperating regionally in global change research; facilitating interactions between scientists and policymakers; improving scientific and technical capabilities; and cooperating with other global change networks. He announced the launch of APN’s new book, entitled “Climate in Asia and the Pacific: Security, Society and Sustainability.

Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Thailand, stated climate change is perceived as a development challenge in Thailand. He noted support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to set up a Centre for Scientific Research on Climate Change, linking six organizations to combine funding and expertise.

Monthip Srirantana Tabucanon, Thailand, introduced Thailand’s Climate Change Research Strategy, including nine areas, inter alia: modeling and assessment; agriculture and food security; ecosystem dynamics; climate and health; urban development; and knowledge management.

Sunimal Jayathunga, Sri Lanka, expressed the need to implement action oriented research and to pool resources, while noting the need for additional support for capacity building, technology development and technology transfer.

Karma Tshering, Bhutan, highlighted Bhutan is allowed to increase emission levels under the UNFCCC, but for the “human benefit” they prefer to be carbon-neutral but require support to ensure this. Tshering noted climate change, environment and gender are mainstreamed at the policy and project level.

Junichi Fujino, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, introduced an ongoing collaborative research project between Japan and Malaysia, the Iskandar Malaysia Research Project which aims to facilitate a green economy, green community and green environment.

Ali Sheikh, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), noted strong overlap between CDKN and APN, as both are strong multi-sectoral networks attempting to bridge the science-policy-gap.

Hiroki Kondo, MEXT/RESTEC, highlighted ongoing modeling activities in Japan and how this has influenced policy research in Japan and other parts of Asia, while inviting researchers from developing countries to collaborate.

Takuya Nomoto, Japan, emphasized capacities of developing countries have been enhanced by partnerships, such as APN.

The ensuing discussion addressed: APN’s ability to facilitate project implementation in project countries; gender concerns; expansion of the science-policy approach to other regions; and events such as the “Adaptation Futures” conference in Brazil in 2014.

Panel (L-R): Monthip Srirantana Tabucanon, Thailand; Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Thailand; Junichi Fujino, NIES; Karma Tshering, Bhutan; Ali Sheikh, CDKN; and Sunimal Jayathunga, Sri Lanka.

Avoiding a “Carbon Bubble,” Divesting and Investing in a Low Carbon Future

Presented by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA)
Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker Initiative, noted that investors are not taking their fiduciary duty seriously.
Jamie Henn,, reiterated, “If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”
Noting that finances are a big discussion point during COP 19, Tasneem Essop, WWF, encouraged delegates to “seize their power” and get involved in the divestment campaign.

Tasneem Essop, WWF, moderated the event, and introduced WWF’s Seize Your Power initiative, which aims to increase renewable energy investments, while reducing fossil fuel investments.

Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker Initiative, raised concern that over the next 10 years pension fund investments will add nearly US$7 trillion to fossil fuel investments, despite the fact that according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) up to 80% of fossil fuels should remain in the ground to stay within the 2°C target. He remarked that investors have not come to terms with this, noting that “no one in the banking sector is charged with looking at climate risk.”

Telma Manjate, Mozambique, highlighted ongoing efforts to achieve a low carbon economy in Mozambique including: the adoption of a renewable energy policy; a Roadmap for Green Economy; a National Climate Change Strategy; and a Gender, Environment and Climate Strategy.

Tobiasz Adamczewski, WWF Poland, introduced Poland’s renewable energy targets, part of the larger EU Climate and Energy Package. He stated that while renewable energy installations are increasing, the national government continues to prioritize coal. Referring to this as a “lost opportunity,” Adamczewski underscored the need to consider a diversity of energy alternatives with a larger focus on renewables, stressing the health and environmental benefits of switching to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Jamie Henn,, explained the Fossil Fuels Divestment Campaign, wherein universities, churches or cities can discuss with their board of trustees to divest their endowments from fossil fuel related investments. Started a year ago and having since spread throughout North America and Europe, he described the Divestment Campaign as a combination of a moral, political and financial strategy to, inter alia: intensify the debate; build a movement; and shift global patterns of investment.

The ensuing discussion addressed the role and influence of certain financial sectors present at COP 19, national efforts to encourage low carbon economies, efforts to shift investments towards renewables in developing countries, especially in the face of fossil fuel discoveries, and how to channel “youth energy.”

Panel (L-R): Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker Initiative; Tobiasz Adamczewski, WWF Poland; Jamie Henn,; Telma Manjate, Mozambique; and Tasneem Essop, WWF.
More Information:


Tasneem Essop, WWF (Moderator)
[email protected]

UNEP Gap Report 2013

Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat
“There is no flexibility, more action is required,” stressed John Christensen, UNEP Risø Centre, addressing the time dimension.
Mónica Araya, Nivela, underscored that decisions on high carbon investments do not only entail climate change, but also democratic considerations.
Joseph Alcamo, UNEP, emphasized that development can have a strong linkage with climate mitigation.

This session, facilitated by Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation, focused on the launch of UNEP’s “Emissions Gap Report 2013” as well as on options for closing the emissions gap together with the role of pledges in climate negotiations.

Joseph Alcamo, UNEP, presented key report findings, which focus on achieving the Copenhagen target of no more than a 2°C average warming for the planet over the pre-industrial average, by bridging the gap between pledges and what is required to achieve the 2°C goal. He commented that there is still a gap of 8-12 GHGe Gt/year projected in 2020. He stressed that delays will have severe consequences and discussed ways to move from least to most ambitious pledges and expand their scope.

Michel den Elzen, Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL), the Netherlands, stated that the gap is more likely to be at the higher end of range as: it is based on agreed rules; it becomes unlikely that conditions attached to the conditional pledges will be met; and some countries are not on track to meet their pledges.

Jennifer Morgan, World Resources Institute (WRI), identified energy efficiency, fossil fuel subsidy reform, methane and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), as well as renewable energy as the areas with the greatest potential.

Henry Neufeldt, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), focused on different ways to mitigate, underscoring the great challenge in the field of agriculture is that a 60-70% increase in food production will be needed to feed a growing population, while simultaneously limiting related emissions.

Niklas Höhne, Ecofys, elaborated on the ways to bridge the gap, stressing that other than strict accounting rules and more ambitious pledges, further national and international action will be needed to close the gap.

Katia Simeonova, UNFCCC Secretariat, addressed the report in the negotiation context, underscoring that options and opportunities are clear, as are defined areas of mitigation potential and best practices.

John Christensen, UNEP Risø Centre, focused on the disconnect between the urgency apparent in the report findings and the general feeling about available time.

Harald Winkler, University of Cape Town, South Africa, addressed the adaptation gap in addition to the emissions gap, stressing that escalation of costs due to loss and damage after the 2°C target is missed are not linear.

Mónica Araya, Nivela, questioned the necessity of high carbon investment in the name of development. She stressed the job creation argument is inflated, calling for more political will and noting that decisions are not only about climate change but also about democracy.

Panel (L-R): Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF; Michel den Elzen, PBL, the Netherlands; Niklas Höhne, Ecofys; Joseph Alcamo, UNEP; Jennifer Morgan, WRI; and Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation.
Panel (L-R): John Christensen, UNEP Risø Centre; Katia Simeonova, UNFCCC Secretariat; Mónica Araya, Nivela; Harald Winkler, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Joseph Alcamo, UNEP; and Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation.

Patrick Wylie, IUCN, said gender comes at mitigation and adaptation from a neutral lens, without the “baggage” of the mitigation, adaptation or REDD+ processes.
Cate Owren, IUCN, noted the first in-session workshop and contact groups on gender under the UNFCCC have taken place at COP 19, and called for an outcome on accountability at this COP.
Ali Raza Rizvi, IUCN, noted that involving communities in forest-based adaptation and mitigation projects will increase their sustainability.

Horst Freiberg, Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany, moderated a dialogue on learning from adaptation processes and how to improve them.

Ali Raza Rizvi, IUCN, stressed human well-being is premised on the health of ecosystems and that climate change is affecting all ecosystems, noting that EBA links to these two premises in that it aims to enhance resilience of ecosystems. He said EBA aims to use resources to reduce vulnerability without impacting natural systems, such as the use of mangroves or sand dunes as buffers.

Pak Heru Prasetyo, President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Indonesia, said REDD+ is about reducing emissions, while stressing the linkages between ccGAPS, EBA and REDD+. He stated Indonesia’s strategy for REDD+ requires paradigm changes in institutions, regulatory changes and involvement of stakeholders. He underscored this, in and of itself, requires adaptation.

Cate Owren, IUCN, discussed ccGAPS, saying it is a methodology and process that aims to facilitate a process to find innovative ways to make national policies and plans more effective through the inclusion of gender. She emphasized women’s empowerment is a potential driver to achieve a more sustainable world.

Patrick Wylie, IUCN, said clear sources of financing are missing in REDD+, which makes measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) rules very difficult to agree upon. He highlighted the need for countries to maximize the value of the climate investment coming in, such as through ecosystem based mitigation in El Salvador that provides disaster risk reduction (DRR) benefits.

Rizvi highlighted that many African countries are saying first we have to survive, then we will mitigate. He called for respecting the need to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience in those countries.

Owren said the key element for mainstreaming gender is accountability for commitments already made, emphasizing that ccGAPS mean nothing if not fully implemented and able to catalyze change.

Wylie discussed synergies among EBA, REDD+ and ccGAPS, noting the importance of integrating mitigation and adaptation actions. Prasetyo emphasized that communities are part of ecosystems, stressing that in implementing EBA they are key partners.

Panel (L-R): Pak Heru Prasetyo, President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Indonesia; Cate Owren, IUCN; Horst Freiberg, BMU, Germany; Ali Raza Rizvi, IUCN; and Patrick Wylie, IUCN.

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The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Tasha Goldberg, Jennifer Lenhart, Anna Schulz and Asterios Tsioumanis. The Digital Editor is Brad Vincelette. The Editor is Liz Willetts <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

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