Dec 102012
 

Below are some links about COP 18 outcomes (or failures…):

Dec 102012
 

A CSO representative from Tanzania shared some thoughts on the final days in Doha:

Time with Mr. President – or: The Doha Disaster

Each COP is different, and our time in Doha would not have been the same without this year’s president. Here some illustrations. Last week the observer organizations had the honour to spend one and a half hour with the COP18 president, H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, for a Q & A session in order to share views about the ongoing negotiations. While acknowledging the generous time slot that the president had dedicated for the NGOs, few other remarkable observations of this event are worth sharing. With his charming welcoming words H.E. expressed how happy he was to be there, since there continues to exists a large gap between the government and NGOs that needs to be bridged:

“18 years of negotiations is the longest in history. There are so many different interests at stake here, which make things very complicated. I will do my best do bring this conference to a success. I am here not to represent my country Qatar, but to bring the interests of all parties together – as the president of the COP18. I want to speak from my heart here today and answer the questions honestly.”

With these comforting and somewhat promising words the session kicked off. However, the challenging position he found himself in – being both COP president, as well as representative of Qatar—appeared to be difficult to separate. In answering the questions posed by the audience the president enthusiastically and proudly showcased the richness of his country (paraphrased): Qatar is blessed by God because its abundance of oil and natural gas; we have one of the best research centers in the world; 100% of our water is desalinated; we are embarking on renewable energy projects and so on… (at the same time we read in the Qatar Tribune newspaper that His Highness the Emir of Qatar will inaugurate a 2.2 billion dollar power plant, which will be the fourth largest producer and largest exporter of urea in the world; and 470 billion dollar will be spend the coming 20 years to expand the aviation industry in the Middle East. Meanwhile, in the same newspaper edition we read that H.H. the Emir is taking part in a special prayer to seek for rain in Doha.).

Thank you Mr. President for we now know how wonderful your country is. But when the crucial question came about Qatar’s intended pledges to reduce GHG emissions, Mr. president gave the floor to his colleague, the representative of Qatar, as “it is very complicated to mix between presidency and representing my country”:

Q: Mr. president we are very happy with the courage that you showed by hosting COP18 in Qatar, and we recognize that. But what we also would hope is that you would be setting an even stronger and bigger example by offering a pledge. Are you prepared to do that?

A: (Representative of Qatar): “Thank you and I will be very honest about it, at this COP, not likely. We are working to draft a climate change strategy, which will be announced by the end of 2013”.

Ehmm… honourable Mr. President, I am a little bit confused now. Was the primary reason for hosting the COP18 in Qatar to take the lead in the Arab world by giving a good example, or to show how beautiful, high-tech and ‘climate proof’ your country is? In the course of the negotiations the time pressure at the convention centre raised to unprecedented levels. At the final stocktaking plenary Mr. president joked: “All of you are asking me if we can please finish with the negotiations on time. But I am not under time pressure, you know I am at home. I do not need to catch a plane. The solution is in your hands. ” Yes, but while Qatar might not be under time pressure, billions of other people around the world – particularly in developing countries like Tanzania – certainly are.

As the negotiations have come to end, and the Ministers from all over the world have traditionally givien their endless formal statements about how they all wish for a better future for our children, and how they all empathize with the people in the Philippines, their words continue to speak louder than their actions. The Doha decision has not delivered on climate finance to assist the developing world; nor is there a clear pathway stipulated to cut in emissions. The Kyoto Protocol has been extended until 2020, but the biggest polluters (U.S. Russia, Japan, Canada) are not committed. The hopes for Doha were low, but the outcome is a disaster.

Dec 072012
 

In an earlier post we’ve shared Minister Huvisa’s official statements in Doha.  As REDD+ is an important topic in Tanzania, it was no surprise that she dedicated some time to it in her speech:

“A REDD+ window should be established so as to enable the local communities to benefit from REDD activities, and for countries to be able to address the drivers of deforestation. Tanzania likemany other developing countries is managing the forest for global commons and therefore this service must be paid for by the international community.

And, it is no surprise that she brought up the issue of financing and REDD+ as this has been an ongoing challenge Tanzania is not shy about addressing with the international community (see here and here.

“Decisions on modalities and procedures for financing REDD+ need to be reached at this COP. Tanzania believes that suchfinancing modalities and procedures will ensure that communities and host countries who engage in REDD+ activities do benefit.”

One of the Government of Tanzania’s publications that they are showcasing at the COP also addresses the issue of REDD+ financing.  The November 2012 policy brief entitled, “REDD Related Carbon Trade and Marketing Opportunities in Tanzania,” summarizes findings from a study commissioned on carbon trading in Tanzania and the marketing and trade opportunities. The study found that REDD+ has the potential to earn Tanzania roughly USD $630 million every year, which would be significant revenue for forest-dependent communities (if they have access to it…) and why Tanzania is so keen to move forward on REDD+.  One of the key policy summaries of the brief states:

A combination of market-based and fund-based financing for REDD+ carbon credits could be ideal given market uncertainties.  A system of nested (national and project based) carbon accounting system with interlocked baselines to incorporate the variability of deforestation rates in different ecosystems within the country are recommended.”

But this blog post from CIFOR (and accompanying picture!)- “The honeymoon for REDD+ is over”: consensus not yet reached in Doha on MRV, finance” – does not provide much hope that these issues – particularly financing –  will be agreed upon anytime soon.  What will happen in the final days…? Will there be an agreed upon mechanism for financing REDD+?

Dec 072012
 

Yesterday the Rockefeller Foundation and the UN Climate Change Secretariat launched a new initiative to bring awareness to women’s important role in combating climate change.  The initiative, “Momentum for Change: Women for Results,” is intended to bring attention to activities where women play a critical role in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

ReliefWeb reported:

Heather Grady, Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation pointed out that in Africa women are responsible for 80% of food production on the continent, and therefore need to be more involved in decisions relating to food security: “While climate change affects us all, it does not affect us all equally. Women, though disproportionately affected, are crucial agents of change.”

In light of the above, as well as the powerful remarks made at the high level segment, it is not surprising that Tanzania’s Minister of Environment, Terezya Huvisa, attended the launch of the initiative.

 

Dec 072012
 

Submitted by Geofrey Mwanjela, Head of Programs at TNRF

There are many lessons that Tanzania can draw on to make REDD+ implementation effective and pro-poor.  However, one of the most important aspects of getting it right will be learning from experience.  A number of these lessons are emerging, including about mechanisms for REDD+ benefit sharing as well as possible areas of engagement with the private sector. In the side event organized by TNRF, IIED, “What’s needed to make REDD+ pro-poor? A local and global perspective,” Tanzania had an opportunity to share lessons from REDD+ pilot projects and explore some of the experiences from other parts of the world through IIED’s global programs.

Some of the early lessons coming from Tanzania REDD+ pilot projects indicate the need for REDD+ implementation to consider multifaceted options for benefit sharing mechanisms. The lessons from the ground in Tanzania so far that can be scaled up into national processes include: the need for benefit sharing mechanisms to consider many actors and multiple levels at both national and local level; the role of opportunity costs in estimating benefits; consideration of performance of actors, tenure, and equity in REDD benefits distribution; and the use of a nested approach for communities to be able to access funds outside the national mechanism. The latter remain contested under the global negotiations, and current discussions in Doha (or what is looking will be after Doha…) will play a key role on the actual structure put into place.

But for the communities and the country to benefit from REDD+, it is essential to address the drivers of deforestation including agriculture. The private sector has a stake in this as well, especially when considering the recent increase in investments on land in the global south, including Tanzania, that may pose both threats and opportunities to REDD+ process if goes unchecked. Currently, there are studies looking at trying to understand, document and disseminate various mechanisms on the role of private sector in REDD+. For example, IIED is conducting a study to map out private sector in the global south, including some countries in Africa. Although the study is in its early stages, some of the preliminary findings indicate the degree of involvement of the private sector but with challenges in finding information especially on – who is the private sector, costs and benefits inflow to the private sector, and motivation behind private sector investment.

Tanzania has a lot to learn and efforts are needed to better understand the relationship between REDD+ and private sector in the context of Tanzania. Commissioning of studies at the national and local level to screen the private sector and REDD+ will form the basis for policies on pro-poor REDD+. And this should involve all stakeholders to ensure learning and adoption across and along various sectors.

 

Dec 062012
 

Yesterday, Tanzania’s Minister of Environment who is also the AMCEN Chairperson, Terezya Huvisa, gave an official statement during the high-level segment of COP18.  TNRF has found an online version of the speech online, which is available here: Statement by Tanzania (COP) (and below).

STATEMENT MADE BY HON. TEREZYA LUOGA HUVISA (MP),

MINISTER OF STATE -VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

RESPONSIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENT IN THE UNITED

REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AT THE COP 18 MINISTERIAL

MEETING, 05 DECEMBER, 2012, DOHA, QATAR.

 His Excellency Mr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the COP 18/CMP8 President

Honourable Ministers,

Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC,

Distinguished Participants,

At the outset I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the State of Qatar, and you, Your Excellency, for assuming the Presidency of COP 18/CMP8. Equally, we are grateful and we do appreciate the hospitality accorded to us by the state of Qatar and for putting at our disposal excellent facilities for the conduct of Conference. I also wish to recognize the outgoing COP President Hon. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of the Republic of South Africa for her excellent leadership of COP 17 held in Durban, South Africa where groundbreaking decisions were made. We fully endorse the statement made by Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 & China and Gambia for LDCs. As the President of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), let me on behalf of my fellow ministers of Environment in Africa, endorse and fully support the statement made by the Kingdom of Swaziland on behalf of the African Group.

Mr. President,

Following the successful outcome of COP 17, and other similar COP conferences which have built up the process this far, my delegation is participating at this Conference with expectation that we now have the needed political momentum and knowledge that provide sufficient opportunity for a breakthrough on matters outstanding from COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. On this basis, my delegation expects positive outcome from this conference on various key areas of concern:

Firstly, as the Kyoto protocol is the only instrument, which provides a legal framework for all parties to address the mitigation challenge of climate change, we must come up with credible decisions that will ensure that the five year second commitment period starts on time and in a manner that will ensure the continued credibility of this legal instrument. We therefore call upon developed country parties to show leadership by increasing the level of ambition for their mitigation commitments for the second period and beyond. Let me reiterate the position of my government that Kyoto market mechanisms should remain eligible for parties with Kyoto Commitments.

Secondly, Financial support cannot be over emphasized. This might seem rhetoric but financial support and other means of implementation are critical to us. The adverse effects of climate change have intensified causing devastating impacts to the economy and to our wellbeing. The impacts of sea level rise are being experienced than ever before, threatening the livelihood of island and coastal communities. This year alone Tanzania faced serious floods which destroyed key economic infrastructure and facilities hence compelling the government to divert meager budget resources to restore the damaged infrastructure and facilities. At this COP 18, decisions should be made to ensure adequate, predictable and scaled up financial resources for developing countries. Hence, agreement on how to address the Loss and Damage caused by climate change to such vulnerable countries is of particular importance to my delegation.

Mr. President,

During the fast-start finance, we have witnessed a mismatch of information and figures between developed and developing countries. We need to continuously ensure transparent modalities and procedures on how we and disburse the promised 100 billion USD by 2020 as per Cancun agreement. The established Green Climate Fund, which has a balanced governance structure, should be major conduit for long term, predictable funding for adaptation as well as mitigation for developing countries particularly for LDCs and Africa.

Financing REDD plus actions is important. A REDD+ plus window should be established so as to enable the local communities to benefit from REDD activities and for countries to be able to address the drivers of deforestation. Tanzania like many other developing countries is managing the forests for global commons and therefore this service must be paid for by the international community. Commitment for long term finance for REDD+ is the only way to ensure that developing countries and communities can increase their efforts in conservation and better forest management. A decision on modalities and procedures for financing REDD plus need to be reached at this COP. Tanzania believes that such financing modalities and procedure will ensure that local communities and host countries engaged in REDD+ activities do benefit. Activities related to REDD+ must not undermine the livelihood of the local communities who mainly depend on forest services and should help countries to address the drivers of deforestation. Addressing key drivers of deforestation in particular, energy needs, better agriculture production, and strengthening the governance of the forest sector will in turn assist poor countries in addressing poverty while ensuring sustainable development.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, my delegation looks forward to a successful Doha conference agreement that will forge a long term vision for the implementation of Durban outcome in all fronts. I wish to reiterate my delegation’s expectation of a positive outcome in particular in the areas of increased emissions reduction ambitions and fulfillment of commitments in the areas of access to finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. A clear roadmap for addressing issues related to agriculture, and unresolved issues on technology transfer and development, adaptation, long term financing including REDD plus financing, capacity building, education and timely information communication is of particular importance to my delegation.

Lastly, it will be a miss if I do not congratulate the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ms. Christiana Figueres and her entire team in the UNFCCC Secretariat for their tireless efforts in collaboration with the Government of Qatar which has made this conference a success. My delegation has indeed enjoyed your entire team’s dedication and commitment for the success of this conference.

I thank you all Excellencies for your attention.


Dec 052012
 

The high level segment of COP 18 has begun, which means that Ministers have now taken over the negotiations.  Below are some photos and descriptions of yesterday’s events:

Christina Figueres welcomes Ministers to COP 18

Executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres opens the high-level segment of the COP18- CMP8 that started today. Among the distinguished guests were Heads of States, ministers, H.H. the Emir of Kuwait, H.H. the Emir of Qatar, the president of the UN General Assembly, The President of the COP18-CMP8, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. On behalf of the African Group of negotiators spoke H.E. the Prime Minister from Swaziland:

“The African Group continues to advocate for an ambitious legal second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocal. We call for a second commitment period to come into effect on 1st of January 2013. (..) Africa calls for provision of concrete financial support for adaptation actions and technology, with no midterm gap during the implementation of the Bali Road map”.

The distinguished delegates from all over the world will give their official statements to the COP during two days, while the last negotiations and decisions are being made in order to advance the remaining items that are still pending.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, gives his opening remarks during the “Momentum For Change” event on the 4th of December. In this side event 9 projects that address both mitigation and adaptation in the developing world with multiple benefits for the poor have been lauded in order to inspire and motivate further change towards a resilient and low-carbon future. The projects ranged from providing solar power to rural communities in Uganda, to water filters that purify water in Kenya, and transforming green waste into ‘black gold’ in Nepal.

The president of the COP18 drinking a glass of purified water during the afternoon Q & A session with the observer organizations on Saturday 2nd of December (100% of the water in Qatar is desalinized, which means that all water from the sea is turned into potable drinking water).

*Photos and text courtesy of Sara de Wit

Dec 052012
 

Notes from the IIED, TNRF and GBM Official Side Event

 Speakers

  • Maryanne Grieg-Gran, IIED
  • Isilda Nhantumbo, IIED
  • Marisa Camargo, IIED but also a PhD student with University of Helsinki
  • Geofrey Mwanjela, TNRF
  • Isilda and Marisa shared the same presentation

On Monday, TNRF co-hosted a side event with IIED and GBM entitled, “What’s needed to make REDD+ pro-poor? A local and Global perspective.” The event, attended by over 60 participants at COP 18, was aimed at sharing lessons and exploring a variety of options on how to make REDD+ pro-poor.

Building upon an event hosted earlier at the COP by IIED, Maryanne shared some key findings from IIED’s global research to set a roadmap for the discussions. The presentation by Maryanne Grieg-Gran presented three fundamental questions that are critical for REDD processes: what type of compensation do people want?; what mechanism is appropriate for ensuring equitable benefit sharing?; and, how much local experiences are needed for effective scaling up? There is no clear answer to these questions – as many options are still in the pilot phase and some of the emerging lessons are still at an early stage. The event was structured in a way that all these options and lessons could be explored and debated to ensure mainstreaming into on-going REDD processes.

Input from Tanzania

Geofrey Mwanjela from TNRF brought some lessons from the Tanzanian REDD+ pilot projects to feed into the discussion.  Of particular note, was the fact that each of the REDD+ pilot projects are using different models depending on where the project operates and who is involved. Lessons that have been found so far include:

  • Lessons from different models indicate the need for benefit sharing to operate between many actors and multiple levels
  • The use of nested approach is it ensure sustainability by allowing communities to access funds outside national finance mechanism
  • Benefit distribution should go beyond performance –and consider tenure, costs incurred, and equity
  • Current lessons on approaches to distribution – community, households, individuals, non-monetary benefits etc. should feed into national processes
  • The use of some current models e.g. JFM and PFM but current challenges with these models will need to be addressed

The role of private sector and REDD

This presentation was based on the study done by IIED to map out of private sector in the global south – Africa, Latin America and Asia. The idea is to develop databank of information on private sector engagement in REDD+ related activities. But there are challenges in achieving this and they include:

  • finding information on – and discussing issues of  -land tenure
  • finding and defining private sector
  • finding and defining costs inflow to private sector
  • hard to assess motivation behind private sector investment

The role of multi –stakeholder engagement, especially with the private sector, was stressed to be an important aspect of moving towards achieving pro-poor REDD+.


Dec 042012
 

What’s needed to make REDD pro-poor? A Local and Global Perspective -

This was discussed yesterday at the TNRF and IIED side event in Doha.  We’ll bring you more details about the event soon, but we’ve been told that you can watch some of it yourself tonight on TBC at 20:00.

Geofrey Mwanjela, Head of Programs at TNRF, presents findings from the new Equitable Benefit Sharing report

 

TFCG and MJUMITA’s benefit sharing model is presented as one example being tested out by Tanzania’s REDD+ pilot project communities

* Photos courtesy of Sara de Wit

Dec 032012
 

MP Bernadetha Mushashu talks about natural resource issues at the TNRF booth in Doha.

Today MP Bernadetha Mushashu visited TNRF’s booth and commended TNRF for our “good” work on natural resources management issues, mentioning TNRF’s visit to the parliament in Dodoma in August. Hon. Mushashu is also a member of Land, Natural Resources and Environmental Committee as well as a member of the Pan African Parliament.