Climate Change (181)

 

Lorsqu’on lui demande ou, en sont les négociations, Seyni Nafo, lâche sans détour. « C’étaient déjà complexe, le niveau de complexité ne fait que se renforcer ». A demi-mot, ça à l’air de ne pas bien se tourner à l’intérieur des salles de réunions. Il y a deux choses, le reconnait-il, qui rendent compliquées les discussions, l’adaptation et les pertes et dommages. Pays pauvres et pays riches, chaque groupe, de son côté continue de tirer sur la ficelle. Mais ce n’est pas des discussions qu’il s’agit ce jour, PAMACC a sollicité le Coordinateur pour mieux comprendre l’initiative dont il porte la responsabilité. Comme certains le connaissent, il n’est pas avare en mot.

 

Seyni Nafo, se rappelle bien, comme si c’était hier. C’était en 2015, en pleine COP21 à Paris que   fut prise la décision par les Chefs d’Etats africains de mettre en place une « Initiative africaine pour l’adaptation.

L’intéressé en convient, chacun d’eux, savaient ce que coutaient les changements climatiques pour son économie et son territoire. Il fallait trouver une stratégie pour rendre moins violent ses impacts.

Et comme impacts, Mr Nafo, évoque, principalement des secteurs comme l’agriculture, la pêche et l’élevage. Il faut donc, pour les chefs d’Etats un plan d’urgence a trois volets pour le continent. En-tête, les institutions et les politiques.

Le Coordinateur explique qu’il faut au prime abord, identifier toutes les institutions et politiques ayant en charge la gestion de l’adaptation en vue de créer une synergie autour de la thématique.

Après, il faut mettre en place un programme d’assistance technique qui a comme base la finance. Il s’agit désormais d’apprendre à pécher. Cela a besoin de développer des compétences nationales et régionales, de mettre en place des outils pour aider surtout les femmes dont la situation devient de plus en plus critique dans un contexte de changement climatique.

Il faut aussi aller vers les bailleurs en vue de mobiliser les ressources. Ce programme, insiste Mr Nafo, vise à éradiquer la pauvreté et la faim.   

 Les populations des campagnes, les grandes victimes 

Pour ce faire, indique le Coordinateur de l’initiative africaine pour l’adaptation, il faut trouver une solution pour l’agriculture, trouver une solution pour l’eau, enfin, mettre en place des solutions robustes, durables et résilientes.

Il avertit en plus, « ne faut pas croire que le changement climatique est une simple question de développement. Il est aussi une question de politique et de survie ».

Ce n’est pas une affaire d’un ministre de l’environnement, assure l’ancien négociateur. C’est pour ça que le plan d’action de l’initiative africaine pour l’adaptation est un plan décennal avec une mobilisation de 100 millions de dollars.

Le succès de ce plan passe par la définition de certaines politiques, soutient l’intéressé. L’accent sera mis au début sur le service d’information climatique. Il sera fait ensuite appel aux institutions qui ont un rôle dans la formulation de la science et puis l’action.

L’Afrique compte 56 pays, chacun avec ses impacts climatiques. De même, le phénomène est vécu différemment à l’intérieur d’un même pays. Chaque pays a besoin d’une politique propre, selon ses besoins en adaptation.

 Les avertissements de Seyni

On ne connait pas au Coordinateur de l’initiative africaine de l’adaptation un certain franc parlé. Au cours de l’interview accordée au PAMACC, l’homme toujours mesuré est sorti de sa réserve, de façon inattendue.

Il dit vouloir être provocateur, ce sont ces mots, contre les décideurs politiques. Ils donnent l’impression de ne pas prendre les changements climatiques au sérieux.

« Si vous construisez des routes sur le littoral sans prendre en compte la question de l’érosion, la question de la salinité, la route que vous avez construit pour 20 ans, risque de s’effondrer au bout de 10 ans. Si ensuite la couche n’est pas doublée vous allez voir cette se détériorer sous la pression des pluies, l’intensité des phénomènes météorologiques ».

 

Il appartient donc à chaque décideur de ne pas oublier les changements climatiques lorsqu’il pose un acte.   

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - The Presidency of the 27th round of climate negotiations to be held in Egypt has promised to create enabling environment to facilitate as many African representatives as possible.

“We are really keen to support full participation of African nongovernmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and African communities at the forthcoming Conference of Parties on climate change (COP27),” said Amb Mohamed Ibrahim Nasr, of the COP Presidency, and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Nasr said this during a brief meeting with members of the civil society under the umbrella of the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) at the ongoing climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

“This is an implementation COP. We already have had enough rounds of planning, yet, as the developing countries in Africa; we are not getting our fair share. Whatever was promised by the developed countries is not being fulfilled, yet we are being asked to pay the price of adaptation and of loss and damage, do mitigation, and write off our natural resources,” said Nasr.

According to Robert Muthami, a climate policy analyst and a Programme Coordinator at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Kenya Office, this will be a key moment for the recognition of the Africa Special Needs and Circumstances with clear provision for new, additional and predicatable support for enhancing climate action.

"Despite Africa being on the face of the climate crisis, efforts to have the Continents Special needs and circumstances have not been successful. It will be important for countries to stop shifting goal posts and agree on progressive decisions in fast tracking climate action," he said.

Nasr pointed out that there is need to bring out success stories that can be replicated and scaled up to showcase that communities and local governments are doing the best but are limited by financial resources – “These are the main messages,” he said.

“We are looking at PACJA as the main organisation to help in pushing of these ideas. We need to calibrate our message as the presidency. We need strong voices and messages coming from PACJA and communities. In that regard, we will do our best to ensure full participation of the civil society,” he told the PACJA delegation in Bonn.

He noted that since Africa is the hardest hit by climate change after the Mediterranean and the North Pole, the civil society constituency should be pushing, not just the same message, but the right message. “Each thematic day, there will be one session that is Africa specific.”

“As IPCC has put it, we, and the international community need to do more and we are lagging behind when it comes to adaptation. We have all the ingredients to put forth a strong case.”

He said that the civil society should try and bring out all the important messaging without provoking those opposed, who can block them. That they should build on the outcomes that are already available.

“We have a strategy, and we will be working with the AGN to ensure that Africa is back into focus,” said Nasr.

He urged the CSOs to leverage on the Africa Climate Week in Gabon and the Pre-COP in DRC and the AMCEN in October to give COP27 an African flavor.

“This is a global presidency, but we do not shy from being Africans. We want to see more Africans there because COPs come to Africa only once every five years,” he said noting that the country will make it easier for participants to get visas.

 

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BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - After the release of the latest climate related scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February, a team of experts and environmental technocrats from different countries are sitting in Bonn, Germany from June 6 to 16, to analyse the findings so as to advise policy-oriented needs during the forthcoming 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that binds together 197 member countries also known as parties, which usually meet every year to discuss matters related to climate change, review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments, adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of scientific findings. 

During last year’s COP in Glasgow, Scotland, leaders from developing countries urged all nations to embrace such scientific evidence and urgently implement bold mitigation and adaptation measures to avert the looming climate catastrophes.

“Climate change poses an existential threat to most countries in the African continent,” said Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta noting that the country’s extreme weather events including floods and droughts, lead to losses of 3 – 5% annual Gross Domestic Product in his country.

Why hold expensive conferences to discuss climate change?

Nearly all scientists believe that the changes in climatic conditions being experienced all over the world such as storms, floods which lead to landslides, droughts, warming of oceans which lead to destruction of aquatic biodiversity, and even change of seasons have been caused by human activities.

According to a scientific journal – Nature Conservancy, humanity’s accelerated burning of fossil fuels and deforestation (forests are key parts of the planet’s natural carbon management systems) have led to rapid increases of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global warming.

Since time immemorial, scientists have shown that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane prevent a certain amount of heat radiation from escaping the earth’s atmosphere back to space, making the earth a warm place for life to thrive. To balance this, human beings and bacteria breathe in oxygen and carbon dioxide out, then plants do the opposite to consume the carbon produced by humans.

However, the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the warmer the earth gets. Burning more fossils therefore means more carbon in the atmosphere, and cutting down trees, means that there will be no plant to absorb the excess carbon dioxide, which makes the earth warmer than usual – a concept known as global warming.

The main threats of climate change, stemming from the rising temperature of Earth’s atmosphere include rising sea levels, ecosystem collapse and more frequent and severe weather.

It is therefore through such climate negotiations that parties (countries) meet under the UNFCCC to negotiate the best way possible to reduce further emission of greenhouse gases, how to contain the existing excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and how to help communities cope with disasters that have been caused and are still being caused by extreme weather conditions.

 

Gains of the COPs and bottlenecks so far

Experts and developing country representatives believe that the most important fact is that the discussions have started, and are ongoing. Though, despite the discussions having been held for more than two and a half decades now, some people argue that there has been no notable gain.

However, Africa’s civil society representatives think otherwise. “The gains may not be very visible, but with the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), it is a step forward for the developing and poor countries,” said Charles Mwangi, the Acting Executive Secretary at the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), an umbrella of more than 1000 civil society organisations in Africa.

The GCF was established within the framework of the UNFCCC as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

The other financial facility is the Adaptation Fund, which is a financial instrument under the Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC agreement in 1992 in Kyoto, Japan) and has been established to concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, in an effort to reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing communities, countries and sectors.

However, the biggest bottleneck, according to representatives from the developing world, is the means of accessing money from these climate finance facilities.

“Challenges remain in accessing GCF support due to a myriad of complexities surrounding the GCF NAP readiness Support Programme. Procedural complexities, unstandardised formats and long review processes of submitted proposals are but a few examples,” said said Munir Akram, the Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN and the current Chair of the 134 developing coutries who are members of the G-77 and China.

The hallmark of the entire climate negotiation process was the ratification of the Paris Agreement, which emanated from the 21st round of negotiations held in Paris, France in 2015.

The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to strengthen countries' ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.

To facilitate this, developed countries agreed to mobilese at least $100 billion every year in support of the developing countries to adopt to climate change.

Moving towards COP 27 in November 2022

As we move towards COP 27, we call upon the developed countries to honor their pledges, we call on the available climate finance mechanisms to ease their proposal stringent rules to make more affected communities access the funds, and above all, we are joining the G – 77 and China in calling for a special dedicated finance facility for ‘Loss and Damage’,” said Mwangi.

African parties including the civil society are also looking forward to the negotiators according the continent special circumstances, given that it emits less than four percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is the most impacted continent.

 

They are also calling for implementation of the Global Goal on Adaptation, an often overlooked aspect of the Paris Agreement that was established to increase the status of – and financial flows to – countries' adaptation activities.

 

The 27th round of negotiations will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from November 7 to 18th this year.

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (PAMACC News) - African Forest stakeholders have been urged to buckle down to work in readiness for the upcoming 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Egypt.

 As part of its policy to empower forest stakeholders and vulnerable communities in Africa to better confront the challenges of climate change, the African Forest Forum, AFF used the opportunity of the regional workshop organised from June 6 to 10, 2022 at Pacific Hotel, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to inform more participants from various government representatives, civil society organizations, private sector and development partners institutions on the key outcomes of the climate negotiations held in Glasgow last November and the high expectations of the COP 27 this year at their doorstep in Egypt.

Dr Marie-Louis Avana of AFF affirmed the determination of the African Forest Forum to work fully for the success of the different negotiations and the intentions of the different forest stakeholders that will be taking part.
According to Dr Avana, non-state actors including investors and businesses and civil society should have the ability to take far-reaching and ambitious climate action, supplementing and reinforcing the crucial climate plans of governments.

Experts say these actors should get set with action plans including identifying how to address existing and future climate challenges, shifting the narrative on climate losses, and mainstreaming climate resilience through deepening engagement with bankable projects.

“We are orienting stakeholders and delegates from Africa on how to better engage their negotiations during COP27. AFF is playing this role working with all forest stakeholders,” Marie Louis Afana said.

Talking about expectations at COP27, African Forest Forum officials said they expect to see the different countries mobilize efforts to meet up and respect their commitments and pledges especially those related to financing forest conservation in Africa.

“ We expect to see countries respect their financial commitments to boost forest conservation. Many pledges were made during COP 26 in Glasgow, we expect to see them realized,” Marie-Louis said.

As one of the regions most adversely affected by the impacts of climate change, Africa has been advocating for urgent and practical global, regional and national actions and enhanced ambition to combat climate change. African countries have stepped up to the challenge of contributing to addressing the global climate challenge that respects no borders, despite contributing the least to causing this existential crisis.

For Professor Martin Tchamba, “it is but fair justice that Africa that contributes least to the existing climate crisis gets compensated”.

He recalled that the Glasgow Climate Conference agreed to keep 1.5C in reach, including by a global transition to Clean Energy, provision of resources, declaration for the accelerating to low emitting transport systems, and the declaration on the use of forests and reversing deforestation by 2030.

“ We need to see this momentum maintained or even have more ambitious undertakings by the polluting countries in the upcoming COP27” Dr Martin Tchamba said.

Cecile Njdebet for her part called for a people-centred climate change solution. She saluted the gradual shift from a centralized and elitist forest management style that existed before in Africa to a more decentralized community forest policy.

“ Local communities are taking decision-making on forest management into their hands and this is already part of the solution,” Cecile Ndjebet said.

“ If you don’t take part in decision making, others will do it for you and it may not be of your interest”, she appealed to the local community forest stakeholders.

She emphasized the need to build a partnership which inevitably requires that all stakeholders take time to build trust and work in synergy for the interest of all, especially in protecting the most vulnerable groups.

“ Forest stakeholders need to build strong partnerships and work together for the interest of all,” Ndjebet said.

The African Forest Forum (AFF), also known as African Forestry Forum, is an association of individuals who are committed to advancing the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio-economic wellbeing of its peoples and for the stability and improvement of its environment.

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