Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Like a 'toad from another hole' - civil society at the UN climate change talks

When civil society has the opportunity to access events such as the UN climate change talks, we might tend to see ourselves 'as a toad from another hole', or 'Sapo de otro pozo' as we say in Spanish. Discussions appear to be in terms of national governments and according to policy implementation of developing countries without the voice from NGOs. 

 
The difficulty of cutting emissions in the agricultural sector is very clear but progress could be made in production, mitigation and adaptation. Now it appears that, on the agenda of the climate change talks, food security has been proclaimed as not threatened, even though it is directly related to the agricultural sector.
 
After attending the World Water Forum in Marseille, I am amazed that issues such as water are relegated to the background in this type of conference, especially one on climate change. Water is necessary for life! So, as we talk about reducing emissions, we should also talk about increasing water conservation.
 
I'll take this reflection of Jorge Argüello, Argentina's ambassador to the UN:
 
"It is unthinkable that developed countries continue to insist that the poorest of the poor must bear the burden of climate change so that they can maintain unsustainable privileges and consumption levels."
 
On the other hand there was also an interesting comment from a representative of Australia who said:
 
"We should not focus only on developing countries. There must be confidence that we are acting together, with policies appropriate to the specific conditions of each party."
 
At the end of the second week of the conference in Bonn, I would hope to be a little more optimistic and say that some commitments of shared responsibility by all have been made.
 
Leo Tambussi is the Regional Communications Officer for FAN South America and works for in Latin America 

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