Tag: South East Asia

Community Empowerment Institute

In 1981 David Gershon and Gail Straub founded Empowerment Institute to explore the question: how do you empower people to grow and realize their full potential? They wanted to shift the focus from fixing problems and healing the past, to focusing on what we want for our lives, our organizations, our communities, and our world – and how to achieve it. Enabling people to envision and realize their dreams was the approach they called “empowerment.” The term “empowerment” was new in the vernacular of transformation, as was their approach. This transformative social innovation soon began attracting attention.

People came to learn about empowerment for themselves, their organizations, their communities, and their causes. They came from all over North America, Europe and Latin America, but also from Afghanistan, Darfur, Rwanda, South Africa, China, Russia, and India.

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Japan Climate Finance Funding False Start Wins Fossil

Japan climate finance funding false start sins Fossil of the Day at COP20

Japan wins the Fossil of the Day Award for getting busted funding coal and gas power stations in developing countries, in particular Indonesia, with money meant for scaling up climate action.  Using climate finance to fund the root causes of climate change smells very whiffy. 

Japan's argument is that it is better to fund clean coal than dirty coal. A very short sighted vision of what development means: A slightly cleaner coal or gas-fired power plant will not get energy to everybody that needs it. And the bill will only get higher in the coming year as fuel prices rise, and pollution from the plants hits home, and of course as climate change impacts worsen. Already locals are complaining that coal sludge is clogging up their rivers and killing fish stocks.  Not something known to happen with renewable energy. 

The fact is, Japan has in pretending to be a knight in shining armour with its Fast Start Finance Funds, but has actually been the dragon that ate the damsel all along.

This pot of Japanese money should have gone to renewable energy which could have solved some of Indonesia's problems, not worsened them. That's what climate finance should be about.  

file/japan-climate-finance-funding-false-start-sins-fossil-day-cop20

40-Day Climate Walk to Tacloban kicks of in the Philippines

Climate change advocates from various sectors urged world governments to “walk their climate talk” as they launched the Climate Walk, dubbed as “A People’s Walk for Climate Justice.”

From the starting point at “Kilometer Zero” in Rizal Park, Manila, the groups will walk 1,000 kilometers in 40 days to arrive in Tacloban, ground zero of Yolanda (Haiyan), on November 8, exactly a year since the super typhoon first made landfall.

The festive send-off program for the Climate Walk included Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, National Youth Commissioner Jose Sixto 'Dingdong' Dantes III, Climate Change Commissioners Heherson Alvarez and Yeb Saño, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes, representatives of a broad group of civil society organizations [1], and the Catholic Church [2

“The Climate Walk is dedicated to all people in the Philippines and around the world who confront the reality of climate change. It aims to empower communities and help them become resilient to the impacts of disasters and climate change,” Saño said before they departed from Luneta.

The advocates called on governments to do their fair share in keeping global warming below the tipping point to save the Filipino people, and all others who are most vulnerable to climate change.

The Walk was launched a week after two landmark events in New York: The People’s Climate March, in which 400,000 people marched to call for urgent climate action, followed by the United Nations Climate Summit, wherein over 160 world leaders announced their commitments to solve the climate crisis.

"This walk is about fighting back! We need to unite as a people and demand a climate treaty that will give justice and compensation to countless families, communities and municipalities that are already being severely affected and devastated by climate change impacts. We must reclaim our people's rights to a safe, secure and sustainable future." Von Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia stated.

You can find out more about the walkers taking part and you can keep up to date with their progress by visiting the Climate Walk website or facebook page.

 

ECO Stands in Solidarity with the Philippines and All Vulnerable Countries

Yesterday, we heard from the Philippines lead negotiator, Yeb Sano, who addressed the opening session of the UN climate negotiations, calling for an end to the madness and taking urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit much of his country this past weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan was nothing the world has ever experienced, taking thousands of lives in just two days. Yeb Sano even declared that he will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in sight.

Very importantly, he put a lot of faith in civil society. The message is unmistakable: “These last two days, there are moments when I feel that I should rally behind the climate advocates who peacefully confront those historically responsible for the current state of our climate. These selfless people who fight coal, expose themselves to freezing temperatures, or block oil pipelines. In fact, we are seeing increasing frustration and, thus, more increased civil disobedience. The next two weeks, these people, and many around the world who serve as our conscience will again remind us of our enormous responsibility. To the youth here who will constantly remind us that their future is in peril, to the climate heroes who risk their lives, reputation, and personal liberties to stop drilling in the polar regions and to those communities standing up to unsustainable and climate-disrupting conventional sources of energy, we stand with them.“

We respond, your faith in us will not be misplaced. The many voices contributing to ECO will never lose their passion, motivation, and determination to achieve a change in light of these and many other events. They firmly stand in solidarity with the Philippines and all other nations vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  They urge the international community to act more strongly than ever before to reduce their emissions, and push towards a new, globally-binding agreement at COP19 and beyond.

As Yeb Sano stood with climate activists, we will stand with him. And in keeping with that pledge, a number of CAN members, youth and other civil society are also undertaking a solidarity fast alongside him.

 

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Ray of Solidarity

Special recognition, the Ray of the Solidarity, goes to the Philippines. The lead negotiator called for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country this past weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan was nothing the world has ever experienced.  

His speech thanked civil society, especially those who are risking their lives climbing oil rigs in the arctic, trying to stop the building of new oil pipelines, or any direct action against the dirty fossil fuel industry.

To this we say, civil society has never felt the urgency of action as much as now. We stand in solidarity with the Philippines and all other nations that were hit by this devastation, and urge the international community to act more strongly than ever before to reduce the threat of climate change and push towards a new, globally-binding agreement at COP19.

 

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Typhoon tragedy shines light on need for action at Warsaw climate negotiations

[Warsaw – Poland] – November 11, 2013: The major UN climate negotiations of the year opened today against a backdrop of tragedy with more than 10,000 people expected to have been killed in the most extreme Typhoon to have ever hit the Philippines.

According to the IPCC, such typhoons are expected to become more frequent and more extreme if the climate continues to change.

Speaking at the Climate Action Network opening press conference, Dr Alicia Ilaga from the Filipino delegation, said the devastation caused by the Typhoon highlighted how important it was that these talks agree to establish an mechanism in the UN to deal with the loss and damage caused by climate change.

“I bleed for my country, I bleed for my people who have been buried and washed away,” Dr Ilaga said. “We are investing in renewable energy, we are trying to adapt, but we cannot bear this burden on our own.”

Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. That industry is having unprecedented access to these negotiations at the behest of the coal-dependent Polish Government, through corporate sponsorship and the  Coal and Climate Summit being held next week.

Julia Michalak EU policy officer from CAN Europe said that if the Polish Government wanted to be taken seriously on the international stage, it needed to prove it deserved to host this year’s climate negotiations.

“The Polish Government can show it cares about future generations by abandoning plans to build new coal mines, ceasing to block EU climate action including discussions around an ambitious 2030 carbon pollution reduction target,” Michalak said.

While the tragedy of the Philippines disaster cast a pall over the opening of the climate negotiations in Warsaw, it should give parties a wakeup call to come up with concrete steps to urgently reduce carbon pollution and provide funds for poorer countries to take their own climate actions.

“The Polish government’s flagrant fossil fuel agenda should not deter parties from pushing hard for positive outcomes in Warsaw. This is no time for low expectations. We expect vision and leadership on the path to Paris in 2015,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF Head of Delegation to COP19.

ON DEMAND WEBCAST of PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongres...

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Contact:
For more information or for one-on-one interviews with NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries.
Climate Action Network-International

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SBI 38: Shouldn’t Give Up Even Though the Negotiations Get Rough!

Henriette Imelda
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Attending SBI 38 session in Bonn Germany for about 2 weeks is not something that can be enjoyable when you have to sacrifice so many things back home. Travel one-way take around 18 hours consisting of flights, trains and ‘enjoying’ the traffic towards the airport back home. It would be nice to have something in return, a good and worthwhile return, such as progress in the climate change negotiations.

After the closing of Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Actions (AWG-LCA) and Ad-hoc Working Group on Kyoto Protocol in Doha at the end of 2012, now SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Science and Technological Advice) do play the important roles to enhance all actions within the climate change negotiations. All things now should be followed up by the two sessions. SBI, for instance, should take forward the issues of the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), Loss and Damage, as well as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and other important agenda items. The above issues are crucially important for developing countries to move forward. We need the assurance that we can move forward to implement the above agendas at the national level. Having SBI stuck with the procedurals agenda, due to Russia leading the blocking of adopting the meeting’s agenda, leaves us to wonder, what will take place in Warsaw?

I guess the experience of having heat waves in 2010, in Russia, doesn’t really bother them. Even the flood in Magdeburg, last Saturday, a city in eastern part of Germany that has relocated over 3000 people, didn’t really touch their hearts. But does it? Or maybe the desire to have more power back home exceeds the suffering of the innocent people who do not understand what these “politics” really mean.

I don’t really know what will happen in Warsaw, but I still believe that we can move forward. Like a song that says about keeping a relationship alive, I hope that we could all  sing the same tune and keep that in our minds what needs to happen each day for a 2015 global climate deal. We shouldn’t give up on the negotiations, even the negotiations get rough because God knows that it’s worth it, so we shouldn’t be the people who walk away so easily. 

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Developed Countries: Show Your Capability to Lead!

 

Henriette Imelda, Indonesia
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Attending COP in Doha probably one of the greatest things I have dreamed of. It’s 2012’s COP 18, where all eyes look to Doha as the negotiations roll on, and I’m there, waiting for the miracles could happen for the world as we combat climate change. The second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol would continue with more Annex 1 Parties on board. The Bali Action Plan will actually live up to its real means of implementation. The world will cheer, people would stand clapping their hands and poking each other’s shoulders. Some would hug colleagues from different countries. We’d share the same vision; to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention that all Parties agreed upon in 1992. Pledges would flow in, both in emission reduction and climate finance- even more than what we, the CSOs, have been demanding. I was imagining that I’d able to speak before other CSOs and people in Indonesia, upon my return home, to tell them how miracles do happen in the international negotiation on climate change. I would describe a phenomenal negotiation process, despite the many people would had already lost their confidence in its effectiveness and its contributions to the world.

Yet, as I sat in the plenary 1 QNCC in Doha early Saturday morning, only a couple of hours before my departure back home, I was staring at the draft text of LCA, KP, and COP. All of those images I described of a balanced package had suddenly evaporated.

The number that has been agreed upon in Copenhagen for USD 100 billion per year up to 2020 is alright, but there isn’t any clarity from where that chunk of money will come from. We can’t predict whether it would be there annually, and we just don’t know how to track the money. Even for a mid-term period, from 2013 to 2015, we have no clue. Isn’t the Fast Start Finance period enough for us to learn? Developed countries should claim the climate financing from developing countries, yet we received nothing. It came in a development package that already exists. Nothing new, nothing additional, it’s just the same. Climate finance should be new and additional.

To me, the idea of developed countries having to ask developing countries for their NAMAs or Low Carbon Development Strategies is a betrayal. Some developing countries have already put their NAMAs on board; some have even done so voluntarily. Now, instead of providing the finance that supposed to go along with it in accordance to the Bali Action Plan, developing countries were demanded to do more, to be MRVed. Not only that, but we have to do a biannual update report. Can you imagine how much money we’ll need to come up with a two year report to state not only our emissions, but also the support we’ve got?
We need more for capacity building, as well as technology, to fulfill such kind of obligations. According to the Convention, developed countries should show us this leadership by pledging domestic emission reduction without offsetting, as well as financing. All of these should be done transparently through an MRV mechanism.

We’re not little kids that need to be told over and over again. We are grownups who should understand that every action has a consequence. It’s not fair to run away from your responsibilities while developing countries have to deal with all the damage.

What I saw from the Doha package that was offered was an imbalance. Not for me, not my country, not for my community. With 27% of populations not having seen a light in the evening and around 40 million households without proper access to modern energy for cooking, my country still put forth pledges to reduce emissions. We still need to develop, yet we have committed to develop in a lower carbon manner. We need to see something from the developed countries. Our population of more than 240 million people deserve more than what we have on the table now. Funding for adaptation for a country with more than 13, 000 islands, with the possibility for 115 islands to disappear by 2100, is highly needed as a grant, not a loan.

Dear developed countries, we’ve done our part, far beyond our limitations. Yours are truly hanging fruits. Why don’t you show us that you’re still capable to lead? At least, show that responsibilities in the coming legally binding agreements that should be applied from 2020 onwards. 

Doha and rising above it all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vositha Wijenayake, Srilanka
SLYCAN

Back home after another session of “climate talks”, I am left to wonder what I have achieved during this adventure. Some things were accomplished, but there is much more left to be done in the coming year. Am I happy or sad? Well, I’m looking ahead, wondering what’s next.

What was achieved in Doha? A plethora of information from different parts of the world: a new-found respect for women and many new realistic goals focussed on education and legal activism. This COP has finally put me in the area of work that I have been expecting to work in, but have not yet had the chance. COP 18 showed us we need more work on legal issues, and to learn that being able to interpret the pros and cons of words can help our cause.

Memories to be taken away: stories of Sixbert in Tanzania, with the implementation of the “Akashiv foundation for Education and Research” in the coming year, Ben and the Kiribati airport, and Mona on survival in Palestine.  Also, that huge spider and the eerie feeling it gave me every time I passed it. Imagine my surprise upon discovering that the spider was named “maman”, a tribute to motherhood (quite ironic, methinks!)

However, nothing tops the taxi drivers sans any sense of direction, or the two and a half hour bus ride from the convention centre to the Horizon Manor Hotel, less due to traffic and more due to a lost driver and the policemen who had apparently misdirected him. In short, Doha didn’t seem quite prepared to handle the whole event; it was a bit pricey for those without the means to finance ourselves.

Summing up on a personal note, Doha was a learning experience on many levels, especially on diversity and climatic impacts which affects us all in different ways. It has also been an appreciation of others’ experience in facing hardships of the world- be it climate related, poverty related or opinion and judgement infused. Doha was also an experience of discovering a new-found respect for those who have risen above these difficulties and been able to make a difference and crate positive changes in others’ lives. But, it’s a pity that these stories were only heard by a few, many of whom overlooked them due to their own fixed mentalities.

So before I declare “the end” to COP18 and the year 2012, here’s to better climate talks and more appreciation of humanity in the coming year!

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