Tag: East Africa

CAN International NEWS

December 9, 2010 

World NGO Leaders call on Ministers to deliver climate agreement 
Heads of WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and CAN call out blocking countries 

[On demand webcast available] 

[Cancún, Mexico] The leaders of four international environment and 
development organizations here at the climate talks in Cancún urged 
Ministers to produce a strong and meaningful climate agreement and called 
out individual countries for blocking progress in the climate talks under 
way here. 

An on-demand webcast of the panl is available now at: 

Leaders participating on the panel included: 

  •  Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International; 

Governments should stop blaming each other and have the courage and the 
vision to be remembered by the people of the world. This is not a winners 
and losers option, we must all win 

  •  Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International; 

³With just two days left in the Cancun talks, we are in a position to move 
forward on a number of significant issues. Now it¹s time for the negotiators 
to stop blocking and get to work negotiating.  We need some practical 
progress to build trust, confidence and momentum that will deliver concrete 
results here in Cancun for poor people around the world. If they do this, 
ministers can final lay to rest the ghosts of Copenhagen once and for all 
and move us forward in the fight against climate change.²

  •  Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; 

"Minsters here in Cancun can make history this week, they can set in motion 
a sequence of events that will build hope for the future, mark a transition 
to a fair and just world in which the environment and equity go hand in 
hand, they can build the trust needed to deliver a climate saving treaty in 

  •  David Turnbull, Executive Director, CAN International. 

When Obama came into office I was as optimistic as any that we would see a 
sea change in these talks. Unfortunately it appears the President and his 
administration are paying too much attention to the climate-denying Senators 
in Washington DC rather than living up to the goals they have set forward in 
public time and time again.  They are blocking progress on increased 
transparency in their own reporting, while demanding more from China and 
India on that same issue.²

On-demand Webcast: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/webmedia_en.html?id=247 

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna, Moon Palace, Cancún

Original webcast: 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), Thursday, December 9, 2010 

Who: World NGO Leaders on Cancún climate talks 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 550 
non-governmental organizations working to promote government and individual 
action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable 
levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org 
<http://www.climatenetwork.org/> . 

For more information contact: 

Hunter Cutting: +52(1) 998-108-1313 


Getting use to Climate Change is not to adapt: Landslides & floods in Uganda.


By Isaac Kabongo

Reality is here living with us, and local communities have accepted to live with it: the impacts of climate change. The floods or prolonged heavy rains that cause landslides are ceasing to be the breaking news in local media and many communities in Uganda; it is now both, a fashion and a way of life. Uganda is vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change due to rampant poverty, weak existence of institutional capacity, inadequate skills, limited knowledge by planners and decision makers, low level of technological development, and limited financial resources among others. Climate change’s strikes undermine the achievement of the millennium development goals as well as the overall development strategy of the country.

So the question is ‘for how long should we wait before the international community understands that enough is enough’?  The need to take action has outlived its time, but its relevance remains as important as ever. The global community in the spirit of cooperation and development should give priority to coming up with a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement to tackle climate in Cancun. Communities living with the reality of climate change have been taken as hostages and much is said and promised to help them to come out of this situation, but nothing tangible happens. Local communities have learnt how to live with the dead and the injured due to severe floods, hunger and landslides and others have been accused of cannibalism even when they are not.

The truth is that communities are doing everything possible to adapt. However, their resilience is still very low because yet the existing structures can’t support them.  

Very few adaptation options are investigated and promoted as floods and landslides continue to make havoc. Farmers interviewed by CAN Uganda while conducting climate hearings, have clearly indicated that they are not properly equipped to adapt to climatic changes and protect their livelihoods. Furthermore, there is poor preparation to disasters and limited support for local coping strategies. Communities are equipped with rudimentary technologies which makes them almost permanently incapable of responding to the growing threat of climate change in the region.

Early adaptation to climate change can moderate impacts and even secure benefits. New international finance and political attention on climate change also has the potential to strengthen weak institutions and to reduce the social vulnerability and inequity which has long been a target of development assistance. However, although pockets of excellent technical expertise and disparate activities on climate change are emerging, in part through the response to the UNFCCC, action by government to date falls well short of what is needed to climate-proof Uganda's development. Alongside explicit capacity constraints in terms of resources and personnel, there are less obvious constraints to effective action such as confused mandates, dysfunctional arrangements for inter-agency working, and weak institutional and professional incentives for pro-active action.

The international climate talks through the UNFCCC must work quickly and decisively towards a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate change agreement. The international community as it tackles climate change should put humanity first before economics.  Time will judge global citizens wrong, if we fail to bold action to reduce the impacts of climate change.


CAN International - Media Advisory/Webcast Notice - December 9th

December 9, 2010 

World NGO Leaders to call on Ministers to deliver climate agreement 
Cancún climate talks panel (webcast live) 

[Cancún, Mexico] The leaders of four international environment and 
development organizations have traveled to Cancún to call upon Ministers to 
produce a strong and meaningful climate agreement in talks underway here 
hosted by the UNFCCC. 

Climate Action Network will host a media panel for the leaders to share 
their call, Thursday, December 9, at 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), in Room 
Luna of the Azteca building of the Moon Palace in Cancún, host to the UNFCCC 

Leaders participating on the panel will include: 

€ Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International; 

€ Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International; 

€ Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; and 

€ David Turnbull, Executive Director, CAN International. 

What: World NGO leaders share their call upon Ministers in the Cancún 
climate talks 

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna, Moon Palace, Cancún

Webcast Live: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/    (www.unfccc.int

When: 11:30 AM local (17:30 GMT), Thursday, December 9, 2010 

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 550 
non-governmental organizations working to promote government and individual 
action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable 
levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org 
<http://www.climatenetwork.org/> . 

For more information contact: 

Hunter Cutting: +52(1) 998-108-1313 


[VOICE] Climate Change Strikes Ethiopia

Climate change is affecting the lives of many, especially those that are highly vulnerable, like Africa, Small Island States and Least developed countries. A recent report on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, released by global risks advisor firm, Maplecroft, has confirmed that Ethiopia is one of the countries with an extreme risk to be affected by climate change.

Impacts of climate change are being felt in different parts of the country already. There are more erratic and heavy rainfalls with short rainy seasons. Vulnerable countries such as Ethiopia have low adaptive capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change or none. In order to take any actions on climate change first we need to understand the problems by consulting with the affected people and find the best adaptive measures, as indigenous knowledge is very crucial.In Ethiopia, development interventions by different NGOs play an important role by providing resources for adaptation to climate change whose capacity needs to be enhanced. Therefore, it is very important to take lessons from this kind of practices and their impacts for developing and promoting proven and acceptable adaptation strategies.

In Ethiopia’s case, pastoral communities are among the most vulnerable groups who are affected by climate change. Borena zone in the southern part of the country is one of the chronic drought prone areas with underdeveloped infrastructure, harsh, and unpredictable environment. Due to these reasons, the zone has faced increased frequency of seasonal droughts, erratic and insufficient rainfall and flash floods. In turn it has led to feed and water scarcity, bush encroachment, food shortage, migration and human and livestock diseases.

Some of the interventions that the Federal and Regional governments have been undertaking include; range rehabilitation, asset protection, livelihood diversification and the productive safety-net and humanitarian interventions (during emergency situations). Non-governmental organizations have also been supporting the pastoral community through the implementation of projects aiming at ecological restoration, range rehabilitation, social protection and managing disaster risks. However, given the severity of the problem, much remains to be done by taking into consideration the added burden from the impacts of climate change on pastoral assets-livestock, water and pasture.

The major problem faced by this community includes rangeland degradation in the form of bush encroachment (invasion of species), poor pasture and feed scarcity. In order to enhance the management of rangelands, a local NGO operating in the area, Action for Development, has been engaged in bush clearing and water development projects and drought response measures such as destocking, supplementary livestock feeding, water rationing, and emergency livestock health services which has marked a change in the condition of the rangelands (particularly pasture), and in the health and productivity of the livestock. The water development interventions have increased the access to water and guarantee water availability and reduced the workload of women and the stress of livestock and herders from traveling long distance to access water. Since all the interventions were instrumental it ensured the feeling of community ownership and sustainability of water provision among the target communities. 

In order to make ongoing and future development interventions climate resilient these good practices need to be scaled up by empowering the local communities and institutions. Therefore, Parties who are negotiating in Cancun need to take actions now and make serious mitigation and financial commitments so that communities in vulnerable countries better adapt to climate change by scaling up good practices.

Mahlet Eyassu


Vulnerability is Not a Beauty Contest

In recent UNFCCC sessions some developing countries that are not small island states, LDCs or African countries have challenged the Bali Action Plan language specifying those three groups of countries as being particularly vulnerable. This has led to an unhelpful contest within the Group of 77 and China.  ECO believes that with increasing impacts of climate change around the world, such as the devastating floods in Pakistan earlier this year, it is undeniable that all countries are now vulnerable, even developed countries.
However, in the context of the UNFCCC process it is not helpful to compete on which country is more vulnerable than another.  Instead, the focus should be more explicit and open about the main issue which is how to allocate the currently very limited adaptation funds across different countries, with a view to the urgency of their situations.
ECO urges Parties to discuss the possible elements of an adaptation resource allocation framework that takes the impacts of increased climate vulnerability into account along with other relevant attributes such as poverty and gender.
We believe that this discussion needs to be held primarily among the developing countries and a smaller group should be mandated to work further on this issue. This group should include representatives from LDCs, SIDS and African countries, as well as others. Such a representative body already exists in the Adaptation Fund Board with its 32 members including representatives from all UN country groupings.
We suggest that parties could mandate the AFB itself to address this issue by providing options by COP17 next year. The AFB, which meets in Cancun immediately after COP 16, can in turn solicit expert advice and report back to the COP next year with its recommendations. Alternatively, the LCA could allocate more time over this coming year to develop thinking on these issues than has been possible thus far, taking into account the knowledge and experience of the AFB. Furthermore, ECO encourages BASIC countries and others to come forward and voice their support for prioritisation of funding to the most vulnerable countries, such as LDCs, SIDS and African countries – indeed, the definition in the Bali Action Plan.

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Submission: Cancun building blocks- Summary, October 2010

Cancun Building Blocks: Essential steps on the road to a fair, ambitious & binding deal outlines the balanced package of outcomes from Cancun, and the benchmark by which CAN’s 500 member organisations, and their millions of supporters, will judge the Cancun negotiations.

These building blocks were chosen not only because they provide a pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change but also because they pave a road which can be travelled, even taking into account political constraints. 

Success in Cancun will require meaningful progress in each area, agree­ment to work toward a legally binding deal in both tracks, including an indication that the Kyoto Protocol will continue, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations.

Cancun Building Blocks include:

  • Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties.
  • Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to se­cure sufficient scale and sources of finance.
  • Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and princi­ples and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.
  • Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.
  • Agree to stop deforestation and degrada­tion of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.
  • Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.
  • Acknowledge the gigatonne gap be­tween current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.
  • Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reduc­tions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).
  • Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17.
  • Commission at COP 16 a technical pa­per to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5°C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.
  • Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Estimating least-developed countries’ vulnerability to climate-related extreme events over the next 50 years - 2010


When will least developed countries be most vulnerable to climate change, given the influence of projected socio-economic development? The question is important, not least because current levels of international assistance to support adaptation lag more than an order of magnitude below what analysts estimate to be needed, and scaling up support could take many years. In this paper, we examine this question using an empirically derived model of human losses to climate-related extreme events, as an indicator of vulnerability and the need for adaptation assistance. We develop a set of 50-year scenarios for these losses in one country, Mozambique, using high-resolution climate projections, and then extend the results to a sample of 23 least-developed countries. Our approach takes into account both potential changes in countries’ exposure to
climatic extreme events, and socio-economic development trends that influence countries’ own adaptive capacities. Our results suggest that the effects of socio-economic development trends may begin to offset rising climate exposure in the second quarter of the century, and that it is in the period between now and then that vulnerability will rise most quickly. This implies an urgency to the need for international assistance to finance adaptation. 


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