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A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the

2-13 June 2008 Bonn, Germany


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Events on Monday, 09 June 2008

Effective implementation of adaptation: lessons from biodiversity and desertification

Presented by GTZ

Anneke Trux, GTZ, noted that twenty years after their inception, the Rio Conventions have struggled to enable on-the-ground implementation.

Anju Sharma, Consultant to GTZ, highlighted that national action plans on environment and development are expected to be national stocktaking processes that also attract global finances. She said national ownership and effectiveness are often sacrificed in favor of satisfying international donor expectations. Sharma stressed that financing should not drive, but is essential for, successful development and implementation of national action plans. She outlined lessons learned from National Action Plans (NAPs) under the UNCCD and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under the CBD, including: project-based approaches do not work for adaptation; and environmental action plans must engage stakeholders beyond the environment community.

Paul Isabirye, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, argued that while NAPs and NBSAPs are long-term planning tools, National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) under the UNFCCC address more immediate climate change concerns and should therefore not be seen as national adaptation strategy plans. He stressed that preparing national action plans and implementation are different activities, but that both require significant time and resources. He said no single funding source can support adaptation, but that UNFCCC funding can be used to mobilize other sources.

Bubu Pateh Jallow, Least Developed Countries Expert Group Chair, said the process of developing national action plans encourages mainstreaming and consultative engagement across scales. He noted that implementation, including monitoring and evaluation, was not adequately included in original NAPA guidelines, but is now being institutionalized. He highlighted the importance of integrating national action plans in national medium-term development strategies.

Christian Mersmann, Global Mechanism, argued that “national processes” must be redefined, given the role that international actors play in them. He emphasized the importance of programmatic, rather than sectoral, approaches, and stressed that national action plans must become strategic and forward-thinking.

One participant suggested that the global financing architecture needs to be restructured and national autonomous development funds enabled. Another stressed that while funding is complex, it is essential for implementating demonstration projects under NAPAs that: are inexpensive; will benefit local communities; can be learning tools; and can attract further funding. Participants discussed: whether demonstration projects under NAPAs can facilitate adaptation and build long-term resilience; project versus programmatic approaches and their appropriateness under different circumstances; and the need to start implementing national action plans.

L-R: Bubu Pateh Jallow, Least Developed Countries Expert Group; Anju Sharma, Consultant to GTZ; Paul Isabirye, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda; Anneke Trux, GTZ; and Christian Mersmann, Global Mechanism

Anju Sharma, Consultant to GTZ, said national action planning gives local stakeholders a voice in national and global environmental governance, and that reforms must not endanger this window of opportunity. Paul Isabirye, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, highlighted his country’s participatory approach to developing national action plans to the Rio Conventions. Anneke Trux, GTZ, explained that national action plans to the Rio Conventions are similar in format, face similar challenges, and can provide lessons to enable more effective implementation with on-the-ground benefits.

More information:

Lorenz Petersen (Coordinator)<[email protected]>
Anneke Trux <[email protected]>
Anju Sharma <[email protected]>
Paul Isabirye <[email protected]>
Bubu Pateh Jallow <[email protected]>
Christian Mersmann <[email protected]>

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Short-term Arctic climate forcers: a means to slow Arctic warming and melting?

Presented by CPC

Amb. Bo Kjellén, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, said the Arctic is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the world, and underscored indicators such as the rapid break up of sea ice.

Pam Pearson, Climate Policy Center (CPC), identified the short-term forcers of Arctic warming, namely black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane, and highlighted the health and climate co-benefits of reducing them. She recommended “no regrets” measures, including: reducing black carbon and tropospheric ozone in the northern hemisphere; minimizing emissions of black carbon and tropospheric ozone in and near the Arctic; and reducing methane globally. She stressed that it is more cost efficient to focus on emissions from Germany, Scandinavia, the US and Canada before those of other countries, as they have the greatest impact given their close proximity to the Arctic.

Terje Berntsen, Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Norway, described current trends in decreasing sea ice, showing a record retreat in 2007. He explained that because new ice melts more easily and quickly than old ice, some experts expect 2008 to set a new record decline. He described how short-lived forcers contribute to warming, and shared research on regional contributions to black carbon deposition. He showed that Europe’s most significant short-lived forcing contributions occur at surface altitudes, while other regions, such as North America and South and East Asia, contribute similar amounts but at higher altitudes.

Participants discussed: impacts of pollutants and sea ice retreat on Arctic animals; proposed regional and global actions to reduce short-lived forcers; European governments’ awareness of their larger impacts on Arctic warming; tipping points, including thawing permafrost; and difficulties in creating policies and strategies for black carbon reductions, noting the possibility of tying these to the upcoming revision of the Gothenburg Protocol.

L-R: Terje Berntsen, CICERO, Norway; Pam Pearson, CPC; and Bo Kjellén, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

Terje Berntsen, CICERO, Norway, said new shipping routes opening up in the Arctic could result in significant emissions. Pam Pearson, CPC, warned that Greenland’s ice sheets may not melt fast but may lead to an irreversible tipping point. Bo Kjellén, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, chaired the discussion.

More information:

Bo Kjellén (Chair) <[email protected]>
Pam Pearson <[email protected]>
Terje Berntsen <[email protected]>

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More effective policies & measures: engendering better results through integrating gender aspects

Presented by LIFE e.V.

Meike Spitzner, Wuppertal Institute, discussed gender biases in the transport-planning sector. She noted various problems, including the tendency to inadequately address: the mobility needs of women doing unpaid work, such as taking children to school; and issues related to verbal and physical sexual harassment. She stressed that transport planning is too heavily focused on mobility between home and work, when in fact women’s needs are more diverse.

Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, Swedish Defence Research Agency, explained that the objectives of her ongoing research are to examine the extent to which: women are represented as board members in the energy sector; men and women differ in their indirect and direct use of energy; and energy-saving measures affect men and women differently. She noted existing studies that show women to be more risk averse and concerned about climate change than men, and reported that the proportion of women on boards in the energy sector ranges between less than 1% and 18% across her German, Swedish and Spanish case studies.

Angela Franz-Balsen, University of Lüneburg, discussed gender-sensitive climate communication. She stressed that climate communication must balance risk communication, which provides people with transparent information about pending risks, with resource communication, which helps to motivate and empower people to deal with the risks facing them.

Participants discussed: differences in transport challenges faced by women across countries; transport issues in rural areas; differences in risk perception between men and women; methodologies used for comparing men and women’s energy usage; and gender-competence training for communicators.

L-R: Meike Spitzner, Wuppertal Institute; Gotelind Alber, Sustainable Energy and Climate Policy; Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, Swedish Defence Research Agency; and Angela Franz-Balsen, University of Lüneburg

Angela Franz-Balsen, University of Lüneburg, said gender-sensitive climate communication should be scientifically based and context sensitive, and include diversified concepts and strategies. Gotelind Alber, Sustainable Energy and Climate Policy, stressed the need to incorporate gender issues into the climate change policy-making process. Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, Swedish Defence Research Agency, noted that men spend more money on transportation than women because of income inequalities and because women spend energy more efficiently.

More information:

Gotelind Alber (Chair) <[email protected]>
Ulrike Röhr (Coordinator) <[email protected]>
Meike Spitzner <[email protected]>
Annika Carlsson-Kanyama <[email protected]>
Angela Franz-Balsen <franz-bals[email protected]>

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Driving forces and barriers for technology

Presented by WBCSD

George Weyerhaeuser, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said the WBCSD could play a catalytic role in making technology transfer work.

Harlan Watson, US, highlighted that developing countries’ GDPs and emissions have grown significantly since negotiations began in the early 1990s. He said private sector investment is increasing, but requires enabling environments to leverage it. He called for: strengthening legal and economic institutions; promoting protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs); and encouraging competitiveness.

Russel Mills, Dow Chemical, said technology is like any other investment, in that a positive framework will encourage investment in technologies.

Ji Zou, Renmin University, China, said environmentally sustainable technologies may only be effective when they include invention, innovation, diffusion, and deployment of different instruments. He suggested compromising high profits from technology monopolies related to IPRs for the good of the climate.

Carl Horton, General Electric Company, highlighted barriers to technology transfer, including: insufficient availability of appropriate technologies; inadequate economic incentives; insufficient or inadequate systems to support technology transfer; poor manufacturing and sourcing capabilities; and inadequate laws governing transfers.

Yoshiharu Tachibana, Tokyo Electric Power Company, highlighted the perception gap between developed countries that are transferring technology and developing countries, which say these transfers are not useful without training. He emphasized the importance of measurable, reportable, and verifiable technology transfer.

Brice Lalonde, France, said a universal mechanism is unlikely to meet the different needs, sectors, and technology types of every country. He suggested that discussions should focus on existing major technologies, which need to be scaled up and disseminated at incremental cost to developing countries.

Participants discussed: whether there are differences between technology transfer for climate change versus for other purposes; who should bear the cost of providing technologies to developing countries at low cost; and market stability concerns.

L-R: Ji Zou, University Renmin, China; George Weyerhaeuser, WBCSD; Russel Mills, Dow Chemical; Harlan Watson, US; Yoshiharu Tachibana, Tokyo Electric Power Company; Carl Horton, General Electric Company; and Brice Lalonde, France

Russel Mills, Dow Chemical, highlighted a biofuel project in Brazil that was successful due to technology cooperation rather than transfer. Ji Zou, University Renmin, China, called for further communication with the private sector, and said China will continue to develop and elaborate its proposals on the development and transfer of technology to contribute to discussions on long-term cooperative action. Carl Horton, General Electric Company, highlighted his company’s sizable investment in clean technology R&D and said the number of eco-certified products should reach 100 by the end of the year.

More information:

George Weyerhaeuser (Chair) <[email protected]>
Russel Mills <[email protected]>
Ji Zou <[email protected]>
Carl Horton <[email protected]>
Yoshiharu Tachibana <[email protected]>

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Readiness for REDD

Presented by The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC)

Kiliparti Ramakrishna, UNEP, highlighted the large number of actors involved with REDD. He noted that the UN’s immediate goals include: improving developing country capacity; working within the UNFCCC to determine what countries want; and developing preliminary concepts and ideas for REDD.

Paulo Moutinho, Amazon Institute for Environmental Research, identified three key elements for REDD, namely social engagement, robust monitoring, and equitable distribution of REDD resources. On social engagement, he underscored the need for: a formal mechanism to guarantee indigenous participation; information dissemination; and ensuring and strengthening indigenous rights.

Alessandro Baccini, WHRC, discussed the technological challenges of REDD, including monitoring how forests and carbon storage are changing over time. He said WHRC will be using new technologies to map global forests and will make this data freely available to all countries.

Juan Carlos Jintiach, Amazon Alliance, stressed that REDD is not just about finances for indigenous people, but also about rights. He called for indigenous representation at the negotiating table.

Daniel Nepstad, WHRC, emphasized that REDD readiness is about changing the development pathway, and that social engagement is a main priority. He underscored that readiness must: be on the order of decades; strengthen ancestral claims to land; and leave space for learning.

Participants discussed, inter alia: developing cultural and socioeconomic guidelines for REDD; the possibility of learning from the forest certification debate regarding participation models; government coherence; safeguards for ensuring co-benefits; reconciling the long-term time commitment envisioned by REDD readiness with the short-term time horizon of the negotiations; and priorities for REDD readiness.

L-R: Alessandro Baccini, WHRC; Juan Carlos Jintiach, Amazon Alliance; Paulo Moutinho, Amazon Institute for Environmental Research; Daniel Nepstad, WHRC; Kilaparti Ramakrishna, UNEP

Paulo Moutinho, Amazon Institute for Environmental Research, stressed that REDD payments should be distributed among stakeholders, rather than projects, to ensure that those contributing to reduced deforestation are receiving benefits. Daniel Nepstad, WHRC, underscored that early engagement of stakeholders with full knowledge and negotiating capacity is crucial. Alessandro Baccini, WHRC, noted that due to advancements in science and technology, we are now ready to monitor forests at the global scale.

More information:

Tracy Johns (Coordinator) <[email protected]>
Kilaparti Ramakrishna <[email protected]>
Paulo Moutinho <[email protected]>
Alessandro Baccini <[email protected]>
Juan Carlos Jintiach <[email protected]>
Daniel Nepstad <[email protected]>

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