Events convened on Thursday, 26 July 2001
National communications from non-Annex I Parties
Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat
At this event, representatives from Cuba, Ghana, Nicaragua and Panama made presentations on their national communications.
Wangwacharakul, Chair of the Consultative Group of Experts
on National Communications from non-Annex I Parties (CGE),
noted that non-Annex I national communications provided valuable
information, but significant challenges were encountered with
their preparation. He outlined these challenges and the CGE's
recommendations to address them. On greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories,
problems included a lack of activity data and local emissions
factors, and difficulties with the use of the UNFCCC reporting
guidelines and certain methods in the revised 1996 IPCC guidelines.
The CGE recommended revising some source categories in energy,
agriculture, waste, and land use, land-use change and forestry,
and using the IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty
Management in National GHG Inventories.
On vulnerability and adaptation (V&A), problems included the use of methods contained in the IPCC technical guidelines; a lack of data and national expertise to apply methods and tools and inadequate institutional frameworks and financial resources required to undertake the assessments. The CGE recommended securing adequate financial and technical support to collect and manage data, enhancing national capabilities, strengthening institutional frameworks, and implementing adaptation plans on a sustainable basis. On GHG abatement analysis, Wangwacharakul said difficulties included a lack of data, methods and institutional capacity. The CGE recommended securing adequate funding for data acquisition and use of methods and tools, and improving national expertise.
Paz outlined Cuba's national communication. He highlighted
the impacts of climate variability as particularly problematic,
and outlined strategic actions to address these impacts, including
building institutional capacity to develop climate prediction
and early warning systems, develop climate applications, and
anticipate the potential impacts of extreme events. Cuba's
adaptation strategies include: protecting and better managing
water resources; reducing the vulnerability of beaches and
mangroves; conserving and protecting forestry resources and
increasing forest cover; and improving its agricultural system.
Paz highlighted lessons learned, including the need for: institutional
capacity and additional funds to improve observation systems;
more research, technical capacity and funding to enable a
better understanding of actual climate variability; and capacity
building for assessment of adaptation and mitigation costs.
Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu presented on Ghana's initial national
communication. He reported
that Ghana's GHG inventory, which assessed emissions from
1990 to 1996, revealed that Ghana is a net uptake country
as of 1996.
He noted that Ghana's water resources vulnerability assessment
revealed that temperatures could rise 1°C over 30 years,
rainfall and runoff could decrease by 20 and 30 percent, respectively,
and groundwater recharge could fall by 5-22 percent by 2020.
The coastal zone vulnerability assessment showed potential
losses of land from erosion and flooding, and salinization
of lagoons due to sea-level rise. He emphasized the need for
more accurate data to better evaluate the likely impacts of
Torres presented Nicaragua's first national communication.
He explained that their national inventory of sources and
sinks, with a 1994 base year, revealed that Nicaragua is a
net negative emitter. Torres highlighted several activities
undertaken to address climate change, including: undertaking
technical studies on impacts in hydroelectric energy, forestry
systems and human health, on vulnerability in water resources,
and on abatement in protected areas and the energy sector;
developing a portfolio of projects and participating in various
mitigation options, rehabilitating the national hydro-meteorological
network; and incorporating climate change into university
forestry and environmental engineering curricula. He highlighted
problems encountered in preparing the communication, including
difficulties with: qualified data archives related to the
climate system and to forestry and forest fires; institutional
capacity; and adequate financial resources for developing
technical studies and activities.
Gonzalo Menendez, Panama's Deputy Minister of Environment, presented Panama's initial national communication to the Secretariat. Emilio Sempris explained that the process of preparing the communication revealed a high potential for GHG abatement options through improvements in energy efficiency, rural electrification with clean energies, and afforestation and reforestation. He emphasized the need for a second generation of V&A assessment of water resources, including an adaptation policy framework.
Reporting and review of GHG inventories from Annex I Parties
Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat
Audun Rosland, Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, presented impressions on a recent desk review. He highlighted the usefulness of the Preliminary Guidance report and the synthesis and assessment (S&A) reviews, but suggested they could have been more focused, clear and detailed.
Jose D. Gonzales Miguez, Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, presented his experience with centralized reviews. He suggested that the process should be streamlined, and noted the need for better pre-review team preparation on the S&A reports.
William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, EPA Ghana, presented lessons learned from the UK in-country review process. He said the S&A reports were useful as a basis for in-country review, and stressed the need for access to additional information. He called for the timely availability of review materials and the presence of national sectoral expert teams during sectoral presentations.
Martin Meadows, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, highlighted key elements from New Zealand's in-country review process, including the review team's expertise, Secretariat support and timely availability of documentation. He underscored the need for access to the GHG inventory database and sufficient time for the review team to edit and review host country documents.
Heather Plume, New Zealand Ministry of Environment, presented New Zealand's perspective on the inventory review. She said the review was useful in prioritizing work on the inventory and highlighting issues regarding key sources, appropriate methodological approaches, data archiving and information.
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