Freshwater Action Network
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Update from first day of UNFCCC meeting in Bonn

Jorgelina Hardoy, FANAS member

Jorgelina Hardoy, FANAS member, reports back from the first day of the UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, at the opening session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) - 36th session.

Most of the day went smoothly, there was quick agreement on the agenda and meeting ended ahead of schedule. Of particular concern, or issues that generated some disagreement were a) agriculture and b) emissions from fuels used in civil aviation and maritime transport.

  • Algeria representing G77 + China proposed to advance the work on agriculture under SBSTA.
  • Swaziland representing the Africa Group mentioned that adaptation is a key priority for most of Africa and emphasized the need to establish a clear work program to enhance cooperation and research. They made clear the need for more action oriented outputs and recognizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
  • Gambia, on behalf of LDC, also highlighted the role of agriculture (mentioned that most of NAPA’s are based on agriculture) and the need to address loss and damage in the sector together with further assistance.

During Durban, it was agreed to place a greater focus on agriculture, and SBSTA has been requested to follow the issue.

  • Uruguay made a statement that for agriculture the focus in developing countries has to be on adaptation, the agricultural sector cannot limit emissions and guarantee food security at the same time. However it is possible to think on win – win strategies that can both foster production, and mitigation and adaptation.

A working group was set up to follow this and report by the end of the meeting on Friday 25th.  At the end of the day, time came for statements from civil society organizations.

  • First, Climate Action network (CAN) raised again, their concern over food production and differentiated roles of the parties, and the Constituencies of Farmers called for ensuring that food security is not threatened.
  • Another issue was emissions from aviation and maritime transportation. IMO (International Maritime Organization, and on behalf of ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization) presented. There was disagreement between parties on whether all parties are equally responsible and should be working on cutting emissions on this sector.
  • Australia stated that the global nature of the sector requires global approaches, as both are fully international sectors. On the other hand, Cuba, representing  (Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Algeria, Chipre, etc), stated that only parties to Annex 1 have obligations of reducing emissions, and this has to be maintained. Measures should not limit development and taken in a unilateral way. Guarantee that during next IMO meetings, decisions are reached by consensus. India supported the motion.

Water, as a special sector or issue, was not included in the agenda for the SBSTA 36th session. However, in previous sessions of SBSTA and during Durban, it was agreed to conduct a special workshop for water and climate change, and to be held in July 2012 in Mexico. Parties will discuss during that meeting issues of water and climate change (talk with Katarina Veem of SIWI – coordinating the Water and Climate Coalition).

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Jorgelina Hardoy IIED-AL/FANAS, reporter

 File 1340

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