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Earth Negotiations Bulletin
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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations
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Volume 12 Number 409 - Saturday, 2 May 2009
28-30 APRIL 2009
The UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Increasing Economic Resilience to Climate Change and Reducing Reliance on Vulnerable Economic Sectors through Economic Diversification took place from 28-30 April 2009, in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop was convened under the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP). The event was organized in response to a request by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat to hold such a technical workshop, before the 30th session of SBSTA, with a view to promoting understanding and the development and dissemination of measures, methodologies and tools for increasing economic resilience, including the understanding of social aspects.


Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with adverse impacts already observed on the environment, human health, food security, economic activity, natural resources and physical infrastructure. The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992, which sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. Along with mitigation of greenhouse gases, the UNFCCC also supports countries’ efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, through capacity building, technology transfer and funding to support adaptation assessments and projects. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, and now has 192 parties.

MITIGATION: In December 1997, delegates to the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 3) met in Kyoto, Japan, and adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which commits developed countries and countries making the transition to a market economy to achieve quantified reduction targets for their greenhouse gas emissions. These countries, known under the UNFCCC as Annex I Parties, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Protocol also establishes three flexible mechanisms to assist Annex I Parties in meeting their targets: an emissions trading system; joint implementation of emissions reduction projects between Annex I Parties; and the Clean Development Mechanism, which allows for projects to be implemented in non-Annex I Parties. To date, there are 184 parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which entered into force on 16 February 2005.

ADAPTATION: Adaptation to the impacts of climate change is a cross-cutting theme under the UNFCCC. In particular, Convention Article 4.1 states that parties shall “formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to…facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change,” and “cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.” Convention Article 4.4 states that developed country parties shall “assist the developing country parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting the costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.” One of the most significant articles for adaptation is Convention Article 4.8, which says that “parties shall give full consideration to what actions are necessary under the meet the specific needs and concerns of developing country parties arising from the adverse effects of climate change and/or the impact of the implementation of response measures.…” Furthermore, Article 4.9 states that “Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and special situations of the least developed countries in their actions with regard to funding and transfer of technology.”

Negotiations under this article laid the groundwork for discussions on adaptation under the UNFCCC. While COP 1 in 1995 addressed funding for adaptation (decision 11/CP.1), it was not until the adoption of the Marrakesh Accords in 2001 that adaptation became a prominent area for action, as set out in decision 5/CP.7 (adverse effects of climate change). Following consideration of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), parties initiated a discussion on adaptation at COP 9 in December 2003. At that time, the COP requested the SBSTA to work on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change (decision 10/CP.9).

Parties reached a milestone in 2004 at COP 10 with decision 1/CP.10, known as the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures. COP 10 set up two complementary tracks for adaptation: the development of a structured five-year programme of work on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change under SBSTA, which was adopted at COP 11 (decision 2/CP.11); and the improvement of information and methodologies, implementation of concrete adaptation activities, technology transfer and capacity building under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME: In November 2006, COP 12 held in Nairobi, Kenya, renamed the SBSTA five-year programme of work the NWP. The NWP aims to assist countries, in particular developing countries, including the least developed countries and small island developing states (SIDS), to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and in making informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound scientific, technical and socioeconomic basis, taking into account current and future climate change and variability. To achieve these objectives, the NWP has nine areas of work: methods and tools; data and observations; climate modeling, scenarios and downscaling; climate-related risks and extreme events; socioeconomic information; adaptation planning and practices; research; technologies for adaptation; and economic diversification.

The expected outcomes of the NWP are:

  • enhanced capacity at the international, regional, national, sectoral and local levels to further identify and understand impacts, vulnerability and adaptation responses, and to select and implement practical, effective and high-priority adaptation actions;
  • improved information and advice to the COP and its subsidiary bodies on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation;
  • enhanced development, dissemination and use of knowledge from practical adaptation activities;
  • enhanced cooperation among all actors, aimed at enhancing their ability to manage climate change risks; and
  • enhanced integration of adaptation to climate change with sustainable development efforts.

A number of workshops and meetings have been held under the NWP since COP 12. A workshop on climate-related risks and extreme events was held from 18-20 June 2007, in Cairo, Egypt. A workshop on adaptation planning and practices was held from 10-12 September 2007, in Rome, Italy. An expert group meeting on methods and tools, and on data and observations, was held from 4-7 March 2008, in Mexico City, Mexico. An expert group meeting on socioeconomic information was held from 10-12 March 2008, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. A technical workshop on adaptation planning and practices was held in Havana, Cuba, from 10-12 March 2009.

In addition, in the context of implementing the provisions of decision 5/CP.7, a workshop was held in Tehran, Iran, under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation on 18-19 October 2003, on the needs and options of non-Annex I Parties for economic diversification, and on support programmes by Annex II Parties to address these needs (Annex II countries are the same as in Annex I apart from the transition economies; they undertake to pay a share of the costs of the developing countries’ reductions in emissions.).


El-Sayed Sabry Mansour Nasr, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, welcomed participants and stressed the timeliness of the workshop.

Youssef Nassef, UNFCCC Secretariat, underlined that the workshop bridges all three aspects of sustainable development. He noted that NGOs, governments, intergovernmental organizations and industry were represented, covering all aspects of adaptation. He stressed that adaptation is key, as climate change threatens food security, highlighting that sea level rise threatens a large portion of agricultural land in the Nile Delta. He concluded by stating that momentum is building for a scaled-up climate regime, where adaptation will be a central element.

Helen Plume, Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), pointed to the link between the GDP growth rate and rainfall variation, stressing the negative effects of climate change, particularly in least developed countries. She noted that while work on economic resilience is relatively recent and that “one size does not fit all,” much can be learned from generic good practices and approaches. She also highlighted the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change’s role as the world’s primary knowledge hub on adaptation.

Maged George, Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, informed that Egypt is finalizing its second national communication and that important sectors of the economy will be affected by responses to climate change. He also noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change, but one of the least responsible for it and that it cannot afford the costs of adaptation. He expressed hope that the workshop would identify successful initiatives, provide a forum to discuss and share experiences in promoting economic diversification, and produce tangible results.

The Cairo workshop was structured in a way that allowed stocktaking of past and current practices, the identification of ways forward and the formulation of recommendations. The first day of the workshop consisted of a series of presentations and plenary discussions to take stock of current practices of, and available measures and tools for, increasing economic resilience to climate change. The second day focused on the development and dissemination of measures and tools through three breakout group discussions aimed at: identifying key challenges in enhancing economic resilience, opportunities for and recommendations of actions on the development and dissemination of measures and tools for increasing economic resilience to climate change; and improving the development of measures and tools for increasing economic resilience at community, national and regional levels. The third day began with reports back from the breakout sessions, followed by recommendations for next steps that can be taken by the partner organizations and parties in further enhancing economic resilience in the context of adaptation to climate change. A session was held in which NWP partner organizations were invited to share their experiences and make action pledges, followed by a closing plenary.


Xianfu Lu, UNFCCC Secretariat, discussed the NWP’s objectives and the workshop’s background, noting adaptation is being discussed under three complementary UNFCCC tracks: the SBSTA (NWP); the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) (under Decision 1/CP.10, the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures, and the process of preparation and implementation of national adaptation programmes of action); and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention. She underscored the NWP’s objective of assisting all parties in improving their understanding of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, and enhancing their ability to make informed decisions on adaptation. She discussed the understanding and decision-making goals of the NWP, and said broad and proactive participation by parties and partner organizations is central to achieving the NWP’s objectives, including through action pledges and sharing information on outputs from relevant activities. She stressed that the workshop had been mandated by SBSTA and noted submissions on the issue (see: FCCC/SBSTA/2009/MISC.6). She expressed the hope that the NWP would be a learning platform on adaptation in a more demanding future adaptation regime after Copenhagen.

Chair Plume then introduced the agenda and objectives of the workshop.

Mizan Khan, North South University, Bangladesh, presented on the linkages between adaptation and economic resilience, noting that economic resilience is broader than economic diversification, and includes risk reduction, risk diversification and capacity building. He defined economic resilience as the ability to recover from or adjust to negative economic impacts. Among the strategies to enhance economic resilience, he identified: expanding agricultural extension services; promoting small and medium enterprises (SMEs); developing labor-intensive manufacturing; introducing equity in distribution of development benefits; enhancing the quality and quantity of microfinance; and promoting skill development and institutional capacity building.

Elizabeth Fajber, Institute for Social and Environment Transition (ISET), presented on the social dimensions of economic diversification. She outlined the underlying systems that enable economic diversification, including: market infrastructure; finance and banking; technological and industrial innovations; education and training; health services and social protection; transport and communication; and efficient use of energy, water and natural resources. She focused on the differential access to these systems and provided an overview of enabling approaches, such as targeted microfinance institutions, health insurance, labor standards and property rights protection. She concluded by underscoring that certain economic resilience measures may create new vulnerabilities, especially for women.

During the ensuing debate, participants raised issues related to: the existence of indicators for social resilience and vulnerability; the promotion of SMEs; the suggestion to create a mitigation fund for economic resilience; and traditional risk management tools. Regarding the last question, Fajber stressed the need to address the effectiveness of such tools in the context of rapid economic and environmental changes. Also discussed was the merging of work under the NWP and the SBI to enhance actions after Copenhagen. One participant suggested increasing dialogue among the SBI and SBSTA Chairs and the Adaptation Fund Board. The Desert Research Center underscored empowerment tools for economic resilience taking social dimensions at the grassroots level into consideration. Regarding increased reliance on and requests for adaptation funding and how to prioritize economic diversification, Khan stressed that official development assistance (ODA) and voluntary contributions cannot be relied on, and that auto-generation of funds for adaptation was necessary, citing the proposal for a levy on international aviation as an example. Fajber underscored alternative business models for financing adaptation.


On Tuesday afternoon, El-Sayed Sabry Mansour Nasr presented Egypt’s perspectives on economic diversification and sustainable development. He highlighted energy regimes as an obvious area for win-win strategies, noting that in most of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa, solar power will provide the core of electricity in 2050, and pointing to important resources of wind energy, geothermal power, hydropower and biomass in some countries of the region. He said international investment agreements are useful only as part of a broader strategy and called for support to integrate economic diversification into sustainable development.

A. SECTORAL PERSPECTIVE – AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY: Emphasizing agriculture as a strategic sector linking adaptation and mitigation, Louis Bockel, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), presented on increasing the economic resilience of the agricultural sector. Regarding policy targets at the country level, he suggested: consolidating the resilience of cropping systems, as well as of watersheds and infrastructure, to natural disasters; and diversifying rural income and strengthening the resilience of vulnerable households. He also called for scaling up by enhancing the poverty reduction potential of payment for environmental services and for productive socio-environmental safety nets.

Aaron Oxley, MicroEnsure, discussed weather index insurance, which covers weather-related risks such as drought and excess rain, and is affordable for small farmers. He said the data is relevant to small farmers’ actual situation given that rainfall measurements are taken at nearby weather stations, within 20 km of farms. He explained that weather index insurance is usually offered through local cooperatives, input dealers, microfinance institutions or banks, and is a powerful tool for unlocking rural credit, increasing farm inputs and investment, and improving livelihoods. He highlighted some prerequisites for success, including the need for a competent local manager, adequate weather infrastructure, real time meteorological data, and supportive regulators who understand the product.

Marjorie Victor, Oxfam, presented on the Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA) pilot project for weather index microinsurance in Ethiopia. She explained that HARITA is demand-driven, adopts a holistic approach to risk management, and involves local to global partners and advisors. She described the functioning of the project, highlighting that farmers carry out risk reduction labor in exchange for a weather insurance voucher.

During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia, ways of combining risk reduction and risk transfer, transaction costs, the importance of climate data, and the need for an international and national insurance pool. They also stressed the importance of integrating sustainable land management practices and their role in bringing down the cost of insurance. Oxley recalled the difference between microinsurance and social protection, noting the inadequacy of microinsurance in cases of chronic or lasting disasters, and Victor elaborated on project sustainability as a result of linking with strong local institutions, the government and the private sector.

B. CASE STUDY - THE CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE: Garfield Barnwell, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, reviewed the history, and the governance and decision-making structure of CARICOM. He discussed activities on increasing economic resilience and reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors in the Caribbean within CARICOM, including through the establishment of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and the adoption of the Regional Strategy on Climate Change. He mentioned the possible need to reform legal instruments and policies regarding meteorological and hydrological services. He said CARICOM is also addressing disaster management and integrating it into development plans, catastrophic risk insurance, and adapting the tourism and agricultural sectors. He described the CARICOM Development Fund, which aims to mobilize resources to address vulnerability issues facing member states.

Gisela Alonso Dominguez, Environmental Agency, Cuba, listed the main impacts of climate change on Cuba, including sea level rise, increases in temperature and precipitation variability, a decrease in forest cover, reduced crop yields and an increase in coastal human settlement vulnerability. She explained that scientific research on these impacts has been carried out for over four decades as they threaten the sustainable development of the country. She outlined how the national economy is being diversified, focusing on the energy, construction, tourism, agriculture and forestry sectors.

Jasmine Gopaul, Trinidad and Tobago, presented on her country’s Vision 2020 initiative. Regarding agriculture, she highlighted measures to increase food security, such as the promotion of large agricultural estates and the creation of agricultural cooperatives. On tourism, she noted plans to develop and promote differentiated high-value tourism and marketing the islands as ecotourism destinations. Regarding lessons learned, Gopaul said buy-in is critical and suggested setting measurable targets and monitoring, and establishing linkages and collaboration.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the level of funding available to Caribbean countries for adaptation activities, the existence of cost-benefit analyses of adaptation measures, and the involvement of social stakeholders in decision making processes. They also stressed the importance of linkages between local and national policy making and community-based adaptation. An FAO representative asked whether the impacts of climate change on fisheries-dependent communities is a priority in the Caribbean region and Gopaul noted the lack of data on this issue. Barnwell outlined work carried out by CARICOM on the sustainable development of marine resources, highlighting the establishment of a common fisheries policy that takes into account climate change impacts. A representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) underlined the need to convince finance and planning ministers of the need to mainstream adaptation policies.

While drawing some parallels between the Caribbean and Indian Ocean countries, Mauritius highlighted differences regarding fisheries and noted decreases in catches, as well as political instability in some islands in the Indian Ocean. A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) representative suggested testing the application of analytical tools to decide what adaptation measures should be applied to public and private sectors, as well as to multinational corporations and foundations. Environment and Development Action in the Third World (ENDA) called for the workshop to discuss business and trade as part of an enabling environment.


On Wednesday morning, Chair Plume introduced the session on breakout group discussions. She explained that the first day of the workshop had focused on facilitating the understanding of measures, tools and practices used for economic diversification in the context of climate change, and that the breakout group discussions would aim to document, disseminate and identify opportunities for replication of these measures and tools. The groups met throughout the day, with a brief afternoon plenary session to hear progress reports.

Breakout Group 1 – Increasing economic resilience and reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors to climate change, including through economic diversification, at the community level: This breakout group discussion was facilitated by Lawrence Flint, ENDA, while Lydia Elewa, Egypt, served as rapporteur. Flint stated that enhancing economic resilience required an enabling environment, and that economic resilience is fragile, particularly for those depending on natural resources, and varied, depending on, for example, geographic location. The group began with a general discussion of indicators of economic resilience and their use, focusing on production and service sectors at various levels, and indicators for an enabling environment. The group then focused on gaps and barriers to economic resilience, methods and tools that might enhance resilience, including economic diversification, and recommendations to increase resilience.

Looking at the production and service sectors, participants discussed various indicators of economic resilience, including: human, natural and capital resources; infrastructure; access to information and disaster preparedness; social safety nets; market efficiency, including issues related to pricing, available capital and input accessibility; and degree of gender equity in education and employment, enabling better incorporation of women into the workforce, particularly if the men are unable to work. Some participants noted that the informal sector was generally less resilient. Regarding service sector resiliency, participants pointed to the need for savings, access to credit and a communication strategy related to early warning systems.

Regarding indicators that would characterize an enabling environment, the group discussed good governance indicators, such as legislative frameworks, stakeholder participation, mechanisms for conflict management, management of shared resources, transparency and anti-corruption, local platforms for dialogue, and monitoring and enforcement. They also discussed, inter alia, the need for flexible, interdisciplinary education through both formal and informal channels. On health indicators, participants addressed, inter alia, infant mortality, caloric intake, access and proximity to health clinics, and health of children and the economically active population. On indicators of economic resilience related to infrastructure, the group identified canals, dams, irrigation systems and water management.

The group next identified relevant stakeholder groups, including the community itself, NGOs, community-based organizations and civil society organizations, labor organizations, local and national governments, industry, supranational bodies and the donor community.

Gaps and barriers to resilience identified related to a lack of, inter alia: access to technology, financial resources and markets; good governance; effective disaster risk management; indigenous rights; safety nets and social protection; and information on market mechanisms. Denmark stressed the need to improve communication among stakeholders, and Senegal discussed societal changes and changes in livelihood activities and stressed raising awareness on the causes of climate change. Lesotho suggested introducing climate change awareness activities in primary level education. The International Labour Organization (ILO) noted that adaptation plans do not include social aspects, and stressed the need for a formal process to engage and consult communities, such as “social dialogue tables.” Denmark highlighted a lack of information on best practices, noting the NWP aims to fill this gap. MicroEnsure noted a lack of vision in the business community about how to exploit markets.

Regarding tools and methodologies needed to fill the gaps and enhance resilience, participants suggested global training packages, context/climate appropriate communication materials, cost-benefit assessments of adaptation measures for the community, and the identification of investment opportunities for alternative business or livelihoods. They also addressed tools and recommendations related to insurance, including increasing the availability of reinsurance, incentivizing the involvement of existing reinsurance companies, and establishing a mechanism to link social protection and insurance.

Regarding recommendations related to indigenous knowledge, participants suggested establishing coordinating mechanisms at the community level, and promoting and documenting indigenous knowledge. On disseminating new technologies, participants suggested: getting international companies to initiate solar energy projects in, for example, isolated desert areas; creating market incentives; funding research on the costs of adapting technologies to specific contexts; and bringing together companies and beneficiaries through, for example, an intermediary.

Participants also identified the need to prioritize gender into planning and include women in decision-making processes. FAO suggested a co-management and community-based management approach to improve governance and adaptive institutions. FAO also proposed sharing information on weather and preparedness via mobile telephones. ILO advocated use of knowledge-sharing platforms. Chair Plume suggested establishing a case study library under the NWP, which parties could populate showcasing lessons learned.

Breakout Group 2 – Increasing economic resilience to climate change at the national level: This breakout group discussion was facilitated by Benjamin Collier, GlobalAgRisk, with Emily Ojoo-Massawa, UNEP, serving as rapporteur.

Collier drew attention to the significant challenges of building economic resilience, including understanding risk distribution in specific contexts and populations. To identify future vulnerability, he suggested looking at current vulnerability.

FAO noted that resilience at the national level is a function of resilience at the household and ecosystem levels. India commented on differences between hazards, noting that drought-coping strategies are better developed than those aimed at coping with floods. Sierra Leone and El Salvador called for distinguishing between extreme events and other impacts such as pest outbreaks, species extinction and beach erosion.

Noting that economic diversification is not a straightforward matter, UNEP recounted the experience of Kenya, which moved from reliance on tourism to horticulture and flower exports in time to be impacted by the concept of carbon miles, and thus “jumped from the frying pan to the fire.” Mauritius shared its experience in successfully diversifying from a sole reliance on sugar exports towards other food products, tea, textiles, tourism, and information and communication technology.

Regarding challenges, Egypt pointed to a lack of training and to disconnections between planning and implementation. China emphasized lack of knowledge of impacts and cost-benefits of adaptation in different sectors. Sudan highlighted lack of coordination and awareness, and inadequate infrastructure and funding, as key problems. Antigua and Barbuda called for integration of economic diversification into planning processes.

ILO pointed to impacts on livelihoods and emphasized the need to include employment considerations, migration and income losses due to climate change. CARICOM drew attention to the informal economy and to fiscal systems. Stressing monitoring and evaluation systems, Egypt underscored the need for a common understanding of capacity building to allow for measurable, reportable and verifiable measures, and called for technology transfer on a preferential basis.

Participants also discussed impacts on different sectors, including aquaculture, for example salt production, and impacts on employment and on biodiversity. They addressed cross-cutting issues, such as gender, technology development and dissemination, institutional mechanisms and capacity building.

On measures, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) suggested early warning systems, structures of social dialogue and social protection. FAO mentioned research and development, and institutional development. Others referred to participatory approaches and enabling environments, incentives, financial services and insurance.

In the afternoon, the breakout group discussed opportunities for action and tools, focusing on five general areas: enabling environments and public policy; social safety nets and protection; risk management and financial services; technology; and knowledge and information. Participants divided into three focus groups, charged with addressing specific methods and tools, recommended interventions, key actors and their roles.

On enabling environments and public policy, the group recommended: legislative reforms and policy frameworks incorporating climate change and sustainable land management; assessment of impacts on employment; and alternative livelihood programmes.

On social protection, the group recommended assistance in skill development and training in job transitions; and addressing food security. On risk management and financial services, the group recommended risk assessment and risk management programmes. On technology, the group recommended promotion of innovative technologies in agriculture, watershed management and infrastructure. On knowledge and information, the group recommended: increased diffusion; training; institutional updating; monitoring and evaluating technologies; and climate change information centers. The group also discussed linkages at the regional and international levels, particularly related to food security, biofuels and access to carbon markets.

Regarding the NWP, the group recommended the NWP continue to document and disseminate best practices, facilitate the creation of vulnerability and resilience indexes, and assist with information on alternative employment and livelihood programmes.

Breakout Group 3 – Reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors to climate change at the national level: This breakout group was facilitated by Carlos Fuller, Belize, who was assisted by rapporteur Jasmine Gopaul, Trinidad and Tobago. On the scope of the group’s discussion, the UNFCCC Secretariat underlined the need to keep the focus on adaptation to the impacts of climate change in line with the mandate of the NWP, while Saudi Arabia indicated that measures to mitigate climate change affect various economic sectors and urged addressing the diversification of economies that rely heavily on fossil fuels. The Russian Federation noted that the energy sector, including fossil fuels, will be impacted by the adverse effects of climate change, and is therefore a legitimate topic of discussion under the NWP.

Participants identified the following vulnerable sectors to climate change: agriculture, energy, tourism, fisheries, water and transport. They also agreed on measures of reliance, including: contribution to GDP; exports and contribution to foreign exchange; traditional sources of income; impact on local consumption; and level of employment.

The group discussed various examples of past experiences with changes that had led to economic diversification but were not triggered by climate change, such as: the re-definition of the fur industry in Austria due to a change in public perception; the difficult transformation of the Cuban sugarcane industry; and the shift from agriculture to the garment industry in Bangladesh.

Participants also identified gaps, stressing the lack of: institutional capacity; technology; knowledge of climate change impacts on vulnerable sectors; knowledge of new markets and technology; meteorological, socioeconomic, statistical and agricultural data; and funding. Austria expressed the hope that the upcoming third World Climate Conference (WCC-3) would raise awareness of the need for increased support for meteorological monitoring activities.

The needs identified included: economic and social national plans; educational institutions; enabling environments for new industry; markets for new economic products and services; and innovation.

Among the challenges faced in reducing the reliance on vulnerable sectors, Saudi Arabia pointed to the impossibility of reducing reliance on the agricultural sector. All agreed on the difficulty of changing the mindsets to enable economic diversification. Saudi Arabia added that re-training populations was also rendered difficult due to psychological or cultural barriers to change. Participants noted that incentives, such as technical training opportunities or increases in demand on the international market, could trigger changes. Other challenges mentioned included: tackling rising unemployment; enabling access to economic diversification to vulnerable groups, in particular women; learning from past experiences; attracting investments; adapting in a timely manner; and involving all stakeholders in decision-making processes.

Participants also recognized a number of opportunities to increase economic diversification, such as utilizing existing infrastructure for other purposes, training the population in multiple skills, improving the efficiency of existing sectors, and sharing documentation.

In the afternoon, participants formulated recommendations for reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors. On ways to increase regional and international cooperation, participants recognized that CARICOM and the EU offered good examples of successful cooperation and recommended creating regional centers where they do not exist and reinforcing existing ones. Participants also suggested creating an enabling framework at the international level at the upcoming WCC-3. They emphasized the importance of utilizing the expertise of the UN specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations to assist in preparing countries for economic diversification. They also recommended utilizing the expertise of NGOs in reaching industry and communities, as well as the experience of bilateral cooperation to encourage economic diversification. Participants also agreed on the need to participate in international fora such as the WCC-3 or the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.


A. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM BREAKOUT GROUPS: On Thursday morning, participants heard reports by rapporteurs from the previous day’s breakout groups.

Breakout Group 1 – Increasing economic resilience and reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors to climate change including through economic diversification, at the community level: Lydia Elewa reported that the group had discussed the definition of resilience, indicators of economic resilience, gaps and barriers, methods and tools that may enhance resilience, including through economic diversification, and recommendations.

She said indicators related to markets (competitiveness, available capital), finance (access to credit and saving mechanisms), access to information (translation into local languages, relevance to communities), and gender (equitable access to resources). She also highlighted indicators related to governance (transparency, flexible and adaptive management institutions), health (healthy labor force), education (financial literacy, flexible learning systems), and infrastructure (transport and communication systems).

Elewa also reported on gaps and barriers to economic resilience, including lack of: education and knowledge; access to adaptation technologies; access to information, finance, insurance and credit; infrastructure, such as telecommunications and transport systems; communication and cooperation among stakeholders; protection of indigenous peoples’ rights; and effective social safety nets and social protection.

The group recommended:

  • enhancing microinsurance opportunities at the community level through, inter alia: increasing availability of reinsurance; developing incentives for local/national insurers to enter markets; and identifying measures to link microinsurance with existing social protection measures;
  • mainstreaming indigenous and local knowledge into planning, policy and coping strategies through, inter alia, facilitating documentation of knowledge, and developing mechanisms for interfacing indigenous and scientific knowledge;
  • developing mechanisms to assess co-benefits of economic diversification options at the community level, creating tools for assessing investment, and promoting tools that facilitate discussion of stakeholder interests;
  • enhancing women’s access to resources for economic resilience, and ensuring their participation in decision making and gender budgeting;
  • identifying incentives for the private sector to develop markets to facilitate access to technologies, such as renewable energies, and developing cost-effective distribution channels; and
  • facilitating sharing and dissemination of best practices on economic resilience options and tools, through establishing a “case study library” of successes, failures and lessons learned.

During the ensuing discussions, Bangladesh lamented a lack of reference to mobilization of an international resource pool for microinsurance for the poor. Participants diverged on the extent to which the international community should play a role in delivering finance and technology at the community level. Oxfam called attention to the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, as well as proposals under the UNFCCC from the Alliance of Small Island States on financing risk reduction, including compensation for noninsurable risks. CARICOM highlighted the role of youth at the community level, as well as waste management, particularly in coastal areas.

Breakout Group 2 – Increasing economic resilience at the national level: Emily Ojoo-Massawa presented on the breakout group’s discussion, noting needs or areas that must be addressed to increase economic resilience, including knowledge organization and sharing, integration and coordination, monitoring and measurements, modeling, early warning systems, social dialogue, livelihoods, migration, markets and the informal sector. She explained that the group had focused on five areas to identify specific recommendations: enabling environments and public policies; social safety nets and protection; risk management and financial services; technology; and information and knowledge.

She highlighted the group’s recommendations, including:

  • developing vocational training programmes for individuals in vulnerable sectors, training tools and workshops;
  • enhancing food storage and food security planning;
  • building capacity to conduct risk assessment and management;
  • creating enabling environments to increase the ability of the private sector to provide insurance;
  • promoting sustainable land management, improved harvesting, agricultural, forestry and water management techniques, and promotion of seed banks;
  • assessing technology needs and undertaking inventory of technology gaps by sector;
  • enhancing meteorological and hydrological measurements and techniques;
  • carrying out participatory reviews of existing indigenous techniques and identifying adaptation areas for communities; and
  • promoting institution building.

Key actors identified included finance, agriculture, labor and other relevant ministries, trade unions, NGOs, the private sector, donor agencies, local stakeholders and insurance agencies.

In the ensuing discussion, CARICOM emphasized macroeconomic stability, and issues related to fiscal expenditure and investment policies. FAO stressed the importance of integrating climate change in the planning of different sectoral ministries. Egypt called for giving attention to coastal zones and low lying areas.

Breakout Group 3 – Reducing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors to climate change at the national level: Jasmine Gopaul explained that the group had looked at definitional issues and focused on economic diversification in reducing vulnerability. She drew a non-exhaustive list of vulnerable sectors identified by the group, as well as measures and indicators of reliance on vulnerable economic sectors.

On gaps identified by the group, she indicated a lack of:

  • institutional capacity;
  • technology for new industries;
  • knowledge of new markets and technology;
  • meteorological, socioeconomic, geographic, agricultural and other types of data; and
  • policy development and relevant capacity.

On needs identified, she listed: promoting buy-ins for economic development strategies at all levels; creating an enabling environment for new industry; and establishing educational institutions that will assist in re-skilling workers in vulnerable sectors. She explained that challenges included:

  • overcoming the psychological barrier to change;
  • investing in re-skilling;
  • including the concerns of vulnerable groups, such as women, into economic diversification strategies;
  • reducing unemployment; and
  • identifying the best time to institute a change.

She then stated that the group had recommended that:

  • parties promote capacity building, identify vulnerable groups for targeted interventions, create financial incentives for investment, and encourage multi-stakeholder participation in long-term policy development;
  • centers of excellence within regional groups be created or utilized;
  • parties utilize the expertise of specialized intergovernmental agencies and organizations, and NGOs, to assist in preparing countries for economic diversification;
  • bilateral relationships be used to encourage economic diversification; and
  • awareness of climate change be raised.

On ways of increasing international and regional cooperation, she highlighted the recommendation to participate in international fora and take advantage of technical cooperation.

In the ensuing discussion, Egypt stressed the need to add children as a vulnerable group, while India suggested mentioning the salt-mining industry in the list of vulnerable sectors. On re-skilling of the workforce, Denmark underlined that foreign investment needs to be combined with national policy frameworks that create incentives for people to engage in training. Saudi Arabia underscored that resistance to change can be overcome if economic incentives exist. Fuller explained that the group had insisted on the need to look at the whole supply chain.

On measures of vulnerability, CARICOM highlighted limitations with using a country’s GDP as an indicator. Canada noted the absence of reference to a link between disaster risk reduction and building economic resilience. The World Food Programme (WFP) underscored that it can play a key role in implementing adaptation strategies at the local and community levels.

FAO suggested, and the ITUC supported, adopting a pro-poor focus. The ITUC also urged governments and donors to increase resilience to climate change through the Decent Work Agenda. ILO highlighted that its Green Jobs initiative includes transition measures for those affected by climate change. Mauritius cautioned against the competition between biofuel and food production, and underlined the need for cost analyses.

B. WORKING TOGETHER: CATALYZING ACTION BY NWP PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS - ACTION PLEDGES AND FUTURE PLANS FOR COLLABORATION: The AfDB discussed its climate change-related activities, highlighting: the launch of the Clean Energy Investment Framework; the impending adoption of the Climate Risk Management and Adaptation Strategy; a biofuels strategy in collaboration with FAO; work on biogas with the Netherlands; and the Climate for Development in Africa Programme (ClimDev Africa), which aims to strengthen and disseminate climate information in Africa.

At the country level, he discussed climate-proofing investments and projects, and working with national focal points. At the regional level, he explained that the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), hosted by the AfDB, and operationalized with 100 million British pounds, aims to, inter alia, conserve forests in line with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) initiatives. He also discussed a number of other activities, including the African Climate Policy Center, a think tank on climate policy, and indicated that the NWP is used by the AfDB as a guiding tool to help define the future direction of the Bank’s relevant activities in the region.

During the ensuing exchange, participants raised issues related to new and additional financing for climate change projects and activities beyond ODA. Denmark asked, inter alia, about: the dissemination of best practices and the existence of training programmes to inform project implementers on climate change vulnerability and risk; and the linkage between ClimDev and other related efforts, including the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

The AfDB explained the ClimDev Fund and the CBFF were additional to normal lending, that the Bank worked on a demand-driven basis, and that it looked for alternative avenues for funding for countries ineligible for loans. He clarified that the World Meteorological Organization and GCOS are at the heart of ClimDev.

FAO highlighted its current work on aquatic food production systems, entailing analysis of impacts and identification of available adaptation mechanisms. FAO also mentioned work with WFP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development on climate change, including on microfinance and microinsurance at the field level. On support for institutions and governments, FAO drew attention to its Policy Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation and Agriculture Policy (March 2009), and mentioned current work on training related to the UN-REDD initiative.

GlobalAgRisk elaborated on its work on weather risk management for agriculture and its focus on extreme events. He underscored the usefulness of the discussions, particularly on coordination and participatory approaches, enabling environments for markets, complementing markets with social protection programmes, and funding specifically for adaptation.

UNDP also welcomed the opportunity to learn about governments’ needs and further facilitate knowledge exchange, including through the Adaptation Learning Mechanism, a knowledge platform set up by UNDP, the UNFCCC, the World Bank and others.

Stressing its unique role as the only tripartite UN organization including governments, employers and workers, ILO explained its decision to mainstream climate change within the organization and setting up a coordination office. She referred to ILO’s work on, inter alia, mapping consequences of climate change on employment, promoting green jobs, and supporting social safety nets to allow for adaptation to climate change. She also presented an action pledge under the NWP focused on, inter alia: identification of vulnerabilities and risks for employment; support for vocational training and employment services; and promotion and expansion of productive livelihoods. In response to a question from Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago on work at the national level, she elaborated on the ILO’s Decent Work Country Programmes.

Oxfam emphasized its convening power in bringing together all relevant stakeholders at all levels and its experience in risk reduction. She underlined the importance of market-based measures and of private sector involvement.

GlobalAgRisk described a project in Mongolia on livestock insurance for households and WFP provided an overview of projects that aim to provide livelihoods to landless farmers, and increase resilience to mudslides and floods.

ITUC described its action pledge, explaining it is made in the context of the need to investigate social and economic information regarding adaptation, and increase economic resilience. She explained that ITUC’s project should be considered as a framework to integrate an employment dimension into climate change mainstreaming and outlined key activities planned, including: integrating climate change policies in union policy lobbying documents; organizing high-level bilateral union-government meetings; holding training sessions and workshops; and releasing publications. She highlighted the organization of a World of Work Pavilion, a trade union space for activities that will take place over three days during the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.

ISET underscored her organization’s work in developing and testing adaptation measures at the local level, in particular in environments where data is limited, and in supporting pilot activities that facilitate economic diversification, especially on the development of renewable energies at the local level. UNEP provided on overview of the establishment of the Global Adaptation Network, noting it aims to mobilize knowledge and technology for adaptation.

C. WRAP-UP PANEL DISCUSSION ON WAYS FORWARD, INCLUDING POSSIBLE ROLES OF THE NWP: This panel discussion, which included the facilitators and rapporteurs of the three breakout groups, was held on Thursday afternoon and chaired by Helen Plume.

Lydia Elewa highlighted the importance of capacity building for existing and new livelihoods, and stressed the need for coherent legislative frameworks across sectors, as well as adequate resources to support such efforts. Lawrence Flint stated that often the knowledge exists but the enabling environment to harness it is lacking. He stressed that adaptation is a people-driven process and that a sense of ownership by key stakeholders is essential to leverage action. Jasmine Gopaul underscored the need to: encourage multi-stakeholder participation; utilize the expertise of specialized organizations; and document and disseminate best practices and failures in economic diversification.

Benjamin Collier, GlobalAgRisk, was encouraged by, inter alia, the role the workshop had given to financial services, and the regional coordination discussions, particularly by the Caribbean community countries.

Emily Ojoo-Massawa welcomed the participation of institutions dealing with labor issues and discussions on finance and microcredit, an emerging area of work in Africa. She highlighted the need to implement technology transfer measures as identified through the technology needs assessment process. Carlos Fuller noted existing experiences in diversification, and suggested the UNFCCC, under the NWP, document them in a compendium. He also advocated the convening of local and regional workshops to disseminate information on economic resilience and economic diversification, and proposed identifying champions to take the messages forward.

In closing, Chair Plume highlighted common messages from the workshop, including: the importance of fostering enabling environments; the need for knowledge and information sharing; the significance of social and cultural aspects; and the need to integrate climate change into planning across all sectors and levels. She thanked all, particularly the workshop’s Egyptian hosts, facilitators, the UNFCCC Secretariat and resource persons, and closed the meeting at 3:05 pm.


EBRD ANNUAL MEETING AND BUSINESS FORUM: OPPORTUNITIES IN A TOUGHER CLIMATE: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will hold its annual meeting and business forum from 15-16 May 2009, in London, UK. A discussion panel will be held on “Energy Efficiency and Climate Change: A Source of Economic Growth and Competitiveness.” For more information, contact Reijo Kemppinen, EBRD Communications Director; tel: +44-20-7338-7912; fax: +44-20-7338-6102; e-mail:; internet:

30TH SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The 30th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – are scheduled to take place from 1-12 June 2009, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

ADB’S ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE 2009: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will hold clean energy and climate events in June 2009, in Manila, the Philippines: a Climate and Clean Energy Week on 15-19 June 2009; and a High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific on 16-17 June, in conjunction with the fourth Asia Clean Energy Forum 2009. The high-level dialogue, co-organized with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), will invite global and regional leaders to share the latest thinking on various aspects of climate change. For more information, contact: Toshimasa Dojima, Senior Finance Specialist, ADB; tel: +632 632 6569; fax: +632 636 2198; e-mail:; internet:

GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED ENERGY AGENDA BEYOND 2020: SECURING SUSTAINABLE POLICIES AND INVESTMENTS: This forum is scheduled to take place from 22-24 June 2009, in Vienna, Austria. Through this meeting, the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE) will celebrate its tenth anniversary in the context of the wider energy conference. The conference is co-organized by UNIDO, IIASA, the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Austrian Energy Agency. For more information, contact: Martin Lugmayr; tel: +43-1-90-399-2557; fax: +43-1-90-399-290; e-mail:; internet:

INFORMAL MEETINGS OF THE AWG-LCA and AWG-KP: Informal meetings of the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 10-14 August 2009, in Bonn, Germany. Observers will be allowed. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME: TECHNICAL WORKSHOP ADAPTATION PLANNING AND PRACTICES: This workshop will take place at a location and date to be confirmed, between August and September 2009. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

WORLD CLIMATE CONFERENCE 3: This conference will be held from 31 August - 4 September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. The first and second World Climate Conferences, held in 1979 and 1990 respectively, resulted in major movement on climate change issues. The third conference will take as its theme “Better climate information for a better future,” and will focus on how humankind can benefit from the advances in climate prediction and knowledge. It will also serve as input to COP 15. For more information, contact: Buruhani Nyenzi, WCC-3 Secretariat, WMO; tel: +41-22-730-8273; fax: +41-22-730-8042; e-mail:; internet:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GREEN INDUSTRY IN ASIA: This conference will take place from 9-11 September 2009, in Manila, the Philippines. This meeting will focus on the theme “Managing the Transition to Resource-Efficient and Low Carbon Industries.” For more information, contact: Agerico Lacanlale; tel: +43-1-26026-3690; e-mail:; internet:

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NEW CHAMPIONS 2009: This meeting will be held from 10-12 September 2009, in Dalian, China. At this meeting, the World Economic Forum will bringing together 1,500 influential stakeholders to build the public-private partnerships necessary to transform and revitalize the global economy in a manner that is sustainable over the long term. The programme will support the G20’s efforts to create growth incentives to support a new wave of innovation. For more information, visit

AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: The seventh meeting of the AWG-LCA and the ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 28 September - 9 October 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM 2009: SCALING UP RENEWABLE ENERGY: This meeting will take place from 7-9 October 2009, in León, Mexico, and is co-organized by the Ministry of Energy of Mexico and UNIDO. The Forum will seek to promote dialogue in order to strengthen interregional cooperation and encourage innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at scaling up investments in renewable energy. For more information, contact: Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy and Climate Change Branch, UNIDO; tel: +43-1-26026-3018; e-mail:; internet:

IPCC-31: The thirty-first session of the IPCC will be held from 26-28 October in Bali, Indonesia. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-730-8025/13; e-mail:; internet:

RESUMED AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: A resumed seventh session of the AWG-LCA and the ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 2-6 November 2009 at a location to be announced. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

UNFCCC COP 15 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to take place from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These meetings will coincide with the 31st meetings of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies. Under the “roadmap” agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007, COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 are expected to finalize an agreement on a framework for combating climate change post-2012 (when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends). For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

African Development Bank
Caribbean Community
Congo Basin Forest Fund
Environment and Development Action in the Third World
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Global Climate Observing System
International Labour Organization
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Institute for Social and Environment Transition
International Trade Union Confederation
Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
Subsidiary Body for Implementation
Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice
Small and medium enterprises
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
World Food Programme

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <> is written and edited by Alice Bisiaux, María Gutiérrez, Ph.D., and Leila Mead. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2009 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Specific funding for coverage of this workshop has been provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, NY 10022, USA.
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