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A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the

1-12 June 2009 Bonn, Germany

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Events on Friday, 5 June 2009

One UN Training Service Platform for Climate Change

Presented by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and UNFCCC

This panel reported on progress and sought to obtain feedback on the “One UN Training Service Platform for Climate Change.”

Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, introduced the panel, highlighting that many UN agencies are scaling up efforts to develop training materials. Kaveh Zahedi, UNEP, explained that the Platform is part of the UN “Delivering as One” process, stressing the need for feedback from participants on such issues as: the best mechanisms to get information to countries; key lessons from previous training exercises; and whether the Platform is “on the right track.” Georgios Kostakos, Chief Executives Board Secretariat, underscored the importance of investing in people and institutions because this is a small investment compared to the benefits it produces.

Achim Halpaap, UNITAR, explained that the Platform’s objectives are to: foster a “one-stop window” to share information on resources and activities; facilitate knowledge sharing across agencies; foster coherency of UN training materials; and support country-driven training of skills development. He explained that the Platform’s main service areas are knowledge management, developing a “One UN” training package, and training delivery through, for example, a two- to three-day interactive workshop.

Sudhir Sharma, UNFCCC Secretariat, stressed that the Platform could be a starting point for translating technical UNFCCC documents into formats that can be understood by users and implemented on the ground.

Shardul Agrawala, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, inter alia: stressed the importance of establishing clear benchmarks for successful capacity building; said the two- to three-day workshop is a good start, but that training should become progressively more specialized; and emphasized that training should not be supply-side, but rather try to deliver products in accordance with on-the-ground needs.

Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, Spain, suggested developing materials that are applicable to various stakeholders. He emphasized, inter alia: recognizing sub-national government action; and involving stakeholders in the workshop.

Participants discussed, inter alia: the importance of national-level training tailored to individual country needs; the possibility for regional-level training; the need to ensure the sustainability of the learning process; the need to think about how to measure success of training programmes; and the importance of language in training materials, in particular the need to not use “UN slang.”

Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, highlighted the opportunity for UN agencies to cooperate and complement each others’ training efforts on climate change, and to “Deliver as One.” Achim Halpaap, UNITAR, underscored the Platform’s guiding principles, including not duplicating efforts and being both ambitious and pragmatic. Kaveh Zahedi, UNEP, highlighted that the Platform is one example of a tool that can help the UN to provide better-coordinated services on climate change issues.

L-R: Achim Halpaap, UNITAR; Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP; Kaveh Zahedi, UNEP; Georgios Kostakos, Chief Executives Board Secretariat

More information:


Achim Halpaap (Coordinator)
Veerle Vandeweerd
Kaveh Zahedi <>
Georgios Kostakos <>
Sudhir Sharma <>

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Indigenous Peoples’ Local Adaptation and Mitigation Measures – Issues, Ways Forward and the Indigenous Peoples’ Roadmap to Copenhagen

Presented by the Tebtebba Foundation

This event highlighted the outcomes of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, and the regional summits and indigenous experiences with REDD.

Jaime Gonzalez, Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia, highlighted prerequisites for successful REDD implementation, namely: indigenous organizations must include focal areas on climate change and REDD; projects must use local management systems and be guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); indigenous forms of consultation must link local and international organizations; and REDD benefits must go directly to indigenous peoples.

Mina Setra, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago, highlighted an Asian regional summit of indigenous peoples held in Bali, Indonesia in February 2009. She summarized conclusions, including that indigenous peoples are vulnerable to climate change and its policy responses, but that opportunities exist, such as to include UNDRIP principles in REDD; and traditional knowledge strengthens resilience to climate change.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, summarized outcomes from the April 2009 Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change. She highlighted elements of the resulting Anchorage Declaration, including that: Annex I parties should take on binding emission reduction targets of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050; and the UNFCCC Secretariat should establish an Indigenous focal point.

Amb. Angelica Navarro, Bolivia, stressed the need to address the structural causes of climate change. She explained that developed countries have a two-part climate debt: a mitigation debt for producing a disproportionate share of emissions, which they should repay through emission reductions in their own countries; and an adaptation debt, which will require financial and technological transfers to developing countries.

Participants noted some progress in including indigenous concerns in UNFCCC deliberations, although several stressed that language on protecting the rights of indigenous peoples must be included in SBSTA text on REDD methodology.

Jaime Gonzalez, Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia, argued that indigenous peoples must educate the UN on indigenous understandings and practices of “consultation.” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, said the Anchorage Declaration states that “all initiatives under REDD must secure the recognition and implementation of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Mina Setra, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago, stressed that the climate change and global economic crises provide the opportunity: to question the dominant economic development paradigm that caused these crises; and for indigenous peoples to articulate and pursue a self-determined development pathway.

Mina Setra, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago; Sam Johnston, United Nations University; Amb. Angelica Navarro, Bolivia; Jaime Gonzalez, Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia; Translator; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

More information:


Sam Johnston (Chair) <>
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz <>

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Progress Towards the Fifth Replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Presented by the Global Environment Facility Secretariat

This event reported on the accomplishments of the fourth GEF replenishment (GEF-4), and progress in negotiating GEF-5.

Robert Dixon, GEF, highlighted numerous factors that influence current negotiations on the GEF-5, including UNFCCC discussions surrounding finance and the global financial crisis. Underscoring that the replenishment is an opportunity to address legal, institutional and policy reforms, he noted recent reforms, related to, inter alia: simplification of incremental costs; fiduciary standards; and communications and outreach.

Zhihong Zhang, GEF, stressed that the GEF is the leader in financing clean technology and technology transfer, having invested US$2.5 billion in more than 130 countries since 1991. He noted that the GEF’s role in financing environmentally sound technology transfer is catalytic in that it leverages co-financing, and proposed six programmes for GEF-5, including to: continue support for enabling activities and capacity building; and promote investment in renewable energy technologies.

Bonizella Biagini, GEF, summarized how GEF addresses adaptation financing under the Strategic Priority on Adaptation, Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). She highlighted that: 47 NAPAs have been financed under the LDCF; demand for SCCF funds greatly exceeds supply; and that more predictable funding is needed.

Faizal Parish, GEF-NGO Network, discussed civil society expectations for the GEF-5 replenishment. He stressed that the current resources available during the GEF-4 period are insufficient to safeguard the global environment and called for a minimum of US$10 billion for the fifth replenishment. Parish lamented that the proportion of resources given to civil society organizations has decreased due to changes during GEF-4, including those to the Resource Allocation Framework.

Participants discussed, inter alia: the GEF’s role in building capacity for regional climate change centers; the challenge of retaining co-financing while waiting for adaption financing to materialize; and how to promote synergies.

Robert Dixon, GEF, highlighted various strengths of the GEF, including that it is a “learning organization,” has a balanced governance structure and is highly transparent. 

Zhihong Zhang, GEF, highlighted three principles to guide the GEF-5 strategy: responsiveness to UNFCCC guidance; consideration of national circumstances; and cost-effectiveness in achieving global environmental benefits. Bonizella Biagini, GEF, stressed that although more data is needed the time to finance adaptation is now.

L-R: Zhihong Zhang, GEF; Bonizella Biagini, GEF; Rawleston Moore, GEF; Robert Dixon, GEF; Faizal Parish, GEF-NGO Network

More information:


Robert Dixon (Coordinator) <>
Rawleston Moore (Chair) <>
Zhihong Zhang <>
Bonizella Biagini <>
Faizal Parish <>

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Climate and Oceans: Addressing Oceans, Coasts, and Islands Issues in the Climate Negotiations

Presented by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands (GFOCI)

Biliana Cicin-Sain, GFOCI, expressed concern that current negotiating texts make no mention of oceans and pressed the need for, inter alia: deep emission cuts; development of ocean-based renewable energy; and establishment of marine protected areas.

Dessima Williams, Grenada, said climate change presents a “grave emergency” for small island States. She called for 45% emission cuts by 2020 and 95% by 2050, in order to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Miguel Jorge, WWF, reported significant decreases in Arctic ice that affect sea levels, biodiversity and ocean currents. He said the rapid increase in sea temperature affects coral reef systems that provide food for 100 million people in the tropics.

Ian Noble, World Bank, discussed the concept of ecosystem-based adaptation, defining it as the use of sustainable ecosystem management to support societal adaptation. He said ecosystem management should be integrated into overall adaptation strategies.

Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, stressed the importance of addressing oceans issues in the UNFCCC context. Noting that 37% of the world’s population live in coastal zones and are vulnerable to sea level rise, she called for raising awareness, increasing political will and mobilizing private-sector resources for action.

François Gemenne, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, France, discussed population movements induced by extreme weather events and sea level rise. He advised using mitigation as an adaptation strategy and considering compensation for migration disturbances.

Manuel Cira, World Ocean Network, noted widespread lack of awareness of oceans’ values and stressed the importance of daily citizen actions.

Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, Spain, noted that including ideas related to oceans and freshwater in a post-2012 agreement will become increasingly difficult if the ideas are not taken up by the end of the June 2009 Bonn climate change talks.

Biliana Cicin-Sain, GFOCI, said immediate and decisive action is needed to protect oceans, noting their vital role for maintaining life on Earth. Dessima Williams, Grenada, said the world is experiencing a “climate crisis” rather than “climate change,” and called for limiting atmospheric concentrations of CO2-equivalent to 350 ppm. François Gemenne, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, France, said a sea level rise of one cm puts one million people at risk of displacement.

L-R: Biliana Cicin-Sain, GFOCI; Dessima Williams, Grenada; Miguel Jorge, WWF; Ian Noble, World Bank; François Gemenne, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations; and Manuel Cira, World Ocean Network

More information:


Biliana Cicin-Sain (Coordinator) <>
François Gemenne <>
Manuel Cira <>
Felix Dodds <>

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Agriculture, Land and Climate Change

Presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

This session discussed land management practices to demonstrate the multiple ways in which agriculture can contribute to climate change mitigation.

Henning Steinfeld, FAO, presented statistics on the connection between agriculture and climate change. He said: agriculture accounts for more than 35% of total GHG emissions; agricultural land areas in developing countries will continue to expand due to rising food demand; the sector is expected to be particularly impacted by climate change; abundant low-cost mitigation options are available; and improving efficiency and productivity is key to reducing agricultural sector emissions.

Constance Neely, Heifer International, US, said livestock is an irreplaceable livelihood source for the poor, noting that one billion people depend on it for their wellbeing. Stating that improving grazing land management has the second-highest potential for mitigating carbon emissions, she discussed ecological and social values of rehabilitating degraded lands. She said challenges in land management pertain to the cost-effectiveness of methods, soil variability, land tenure security and privatization, and constraints on population mobility.

Peter Minang, World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya, said agroforestry is a type of land management with high mitigation potential. He discussed the co-benefits of agroforestry, including: sustainable fuelwood production; more efficient rainwater use; biodiversity conservation; increased agricultural productivity; and drought mitigation. Minang called for creating mechanisms to reward agroforestry practitioners for the environmental services they provide, such as carbon sequestration, water quality improvements, and biodiversity protection. He emphasized the need to ensure that mitigation activities in Africa also enhance adaptation.

Wendy Mann, FAO, said 70% of mitigation potential from agriculture is in developing countries and highlighted the co-benefits of agricultural mitigation practices for food security, productivity and ecosystem services. She noted the need to devise effective methodologies for MRV and to take a phased approach to Nationally Appropiate Mitigation Actions by moving forward on agriculture in tandem with capacity building, technology development and financing. She listed next steps, including: covering agriculture in any Copenhagen outcome; engaging in country-level pilot activities to validate methodologies, collect data and test innovative payment schemes; and taking a comprehensive approach to the management of terrestrial carbon in order to capture synergies and avoid perverse outcomes.

Peter Holmgren, FAO, emphasized that incorporating agriculture into climate change mitigation strategies would avoid leakages, reduce policy costs and improve the economic efficiency of mitigation policies. He stressed synergies between climate change and agriculture, noting that more than one-third of emissions are from agriculture and underscoring the growing demands for food worldwide.

In the ensuing discussion, participants debated, inter alia: the tensions between food security and climate change mitigation; the cost-effectiveness of investments in agriculture-related mitigation; the limited choices available to farmers in poor countries; the difference between local and global trends; and the time it takes to rehabilitate degraded lands.

Peter Holmgren, FAO, said 1.02 billion people are hungry and the world will need 70% more food by 2050 to meet food demand. Henning Steinfeld, FAO, said the livestock sector accounts for 18% of total GHG emissions and stressed the need to balance food security, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation goals. Wendy Mann, FAO, said inaction is not an option and recommended that COP-15 consolidate all agriculture-related elements in a single section of a negotiated document.

L-R: Peter Holmgren, FAO; Henning Steinfeld, FAO; Peter Minang, World Agroforetry Centre; Wendy Mann, FAO; and Constance Neely, Heifer International

More information:


Wendy Mann (Coordinator) <>
Peter Holmgren <>
Henning Steinfeld <>
Constance Neely <>
Peter Minang <>

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