Events

The city of Katowice, in Poland, was chosen by the UNFCCC as a venue for the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference, the “COP 24”.

Katowice, Poland
Katowice, Poland

It will be the third time the country hosts a UN Climate Change conference – the two previous ones were held in 2008 (COP 14 in Poznań) and in 2013 (COP 19 in Warsaw).

Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “I would to like to thank the Government of Poland for agreeing to host COP 24 as part of the Eastern European Group and look forward to working with Minister Jan Szysko and his team to make the conference a success on all fronts.”

“2018 will be another important year for international climate diplomacy as nations move forward to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement – indeed 2018 is when governments are expected to reach some key milestones,” she said.

“These range from finalizing the guidelines for fully operationalizing the agreement to taking stock of how countries are doing collectively in terms of being on track to realize Paris’s aims and ambitions over the coming years and decades,” added Ms. Espinosa.

Ms. Espinosa was shown a research centre in Toruń where the Government of Poland is scientifically monitoring how forests absorb carbon. Forest protection is a key part of efforts to address climate change. Ms. Espinosa said she looked forward to joining with the people of Poland to realize a successful conference that pushes forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

As the next Conference of the Parties COP23, to be held on 6-17 November, in Bonn, Germany, is being prepared, a group of 79 states and the EU made a call to action and announced more funds to the Pacific Region, heavily affected by climate change and the rising level of oceans.

The UN Climate Conference is part of the preparation events for the COP23
The UN Climate Conference is part of the preparation events for the COP23

The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States made the call at a UN climate change conference, ahead of the upcoming G7 and G20 leaders’ summits and the next annual UN climate negotiations COP23.

Together, the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) developing countries make up more than half of the signatories of the Paris Agreement on climate change. They urged all partners to keep up the momentum created in 2015.

As an example of commitment and increased cooperation, the EU has announced an allocation of 800 million euros, up to 2020, to support the Pacific Region. Around half of this amount would be directed exclusively to climate action. The EU will also provide another 3 million euros to support Fiji’s COP23 Presidency.

In the last few months, the EU has taken the lead on Climate Action among the G7 states, given the change of presidency in the US and the uncertainty about the commitment of one of the biggest greenhouse gases emitters globally.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Today more than ever, Europe stands by its long-term partners most vulnerable to climate change. We, developed and developing countries together, will defend the Paris Agreement. We are all in, and our joint commitment to this agreement today is as in Paris: irreversible and non-negotiable.”

The UN climate conference took place from 8-18 May to prepare the ground for the next Conference of the Parties COP23, to be held on 6-17 November 2017, in Bonn.

Engagée sur les thèmes de la préservation des forets et de l’accès à l’eau potable aux populations des pays africains, la ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l’Environnement de la République du Congo, Rosalie Matondo, était une invitée très spéciale du SIGEF à Marrakesh, lors de la COP22. Paneliste au premier jour du Forum, elle nous a parlé sur les projets du gouvernement congolais pour l’environnement et sur l’importance de la COP22 pour mettre les accords sur le changement climatique en action.

La ministre Rosalie Matondo a parlé au publique du SIGEF
La ministre Rosalie Matondo a parlé au publique du SIGEF

Pouvez-vous nous expliquer sur vos projets de préservation des forêts au Congo et son impact social?

Les forêts, comme nous le savons, régulent les équilibres climatiques mondiaux. Étant conscients de cela, nous avons lancé un grand programme national de reforestation et de reboisement d’un million de plantations. Nous avons une grande superficie de forêts naturelles au Congo et nous sommes conscients que nous devons les préserver. D’un autre coté, le bois est encore utilisé comme source d’énergie extraite des forêts naturelles dans beaucoup de nos pays. C’est pourquoi le gouvernement de la République du Congo a lancé ce programme de reforestation et reboisement, afin que les populations non seulement continuent à utiliser le bois comme source d’énergie, le bois issu des plantations, mais également à pouvoir faire un grand projet de séquestration du carbone.

Le deuxième projet c’est “L’eau pour tous”. Le gouvernement congolais a lancé un programme d’installation de 4 mille forages dans les villages où l’eau de source pose encore un problème. Cela permet l’approvisionnement de l’eau potable mais également d’alléger la pénibilité des femmes qui dans les villages sont obligées de faire des kilomètres pour aller puiser le l’eau.

Durant la COP22, le gouvernement Congolais a lancé un fond de préservation des forêts. De quoi s’agit-il?

C’est le fond bleu pour le Bassin du Congo, toujours pour cet accès à l’eau mais également pour les systèmes de production modernes de l’agriculture, donc des systèmes d’irrigation. La COP22 pour nous c’est une opportunité de financement et de transfert de technologie. Nous savons que les gouvernements peuvent participer au financement de nos projets. Notre attente ici c’est que, déjà, tous ensemble, nous travaillions sur le transfert de technologies et tous ensemble, nous réfléchissions sur la mobilisation et le financement.

La ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l'Environnement de la République du Congo
La ministre de l’Économie forestière, du Développement durable et de l’Environnement de la République du Congo

Quelles sont les axes de développement de la République du Congo pour la COP22?

Nous avons les acquis de la COP de Paris, parce que nous partons de là. Dans la COP de Paris, les pays du Bassin du Congo avaient donné leur position, et nous, la République du Congo, avons appuyé cette position des pays d’Afrique, des pays du Bassin du Congo et également des 77 pays plus la Chine. Pour nous, toutes les décisions prise lors de la COP21 de Paris sont incontestables, maintenant nous devons aller vers l’opérationnalisation ; c’est pourquoi je remercie son altesse royale qui a mis l’accent sur l’action ici sur la COP22. Nous devons aller vers l’action. Je crois que toutes nos populations sont fatiguées des promesses qui n’apportent pas de solutions. La COP21 à Paris a démontré que nous avons tous pris conscience de la gravité de la situation et même les pays qui n’ont pas signé le Protocol de Kyoto ont signé l’Accord de Paris. Nous avons vu avec quelle rapidité l’Accord est entré en vigueur et c’est un espoir pour la planète toute entière. Nous voulons nous accrocher à cette espoir et trouver des solutions et mettre en action.

De quelle manière le changement climatique a affecté le Bassin du Congo et quelles sont les mesures pour réduire cet impact?

Le Bassin du Congo est la zone où la déforestation est la moins importante. Nous n’avons que 0,05% de déforestation. Mais nous n’en sommes pas contents. Nous savons que ce poumon là, comme le poumon de l’Amazonie, peut aider la planète. C’est pourquoi la République du Congo, après les années 2000, a opté dans sa législation pour une gestion durable des forêts, avec un aménagement forestier, avec la certification forestière, avec le programme national de reforestation et reboisement ; au total, 13% de son territoire est ainsi protégé. Tous ces efforts convergent vers la contribution à la préservation de cet écosystème. Et nous allons vers un fond bleu pour le bassin du Congo qui va aider à la gestion des plans d’eau mais aussi à l’approvisionnement des populations.

Écrit par Vivian Soares

Em pronunciamento na COP 22, em Marrakesh, Ministro do Meio Ambiente Sarney Filho anuncia que o País sediará o Fórum Mundial da Água em 2018

Ministro do Meio Ambiente, Sarney Filho, durante as negociações da COP22
Ministro do Meio Ambiente, Sarney Filho, durante as negociações da COP22

Brasília será a sede do Fórum Mundial da Água em 2018. Com o tema “Compartilhando Água”, o evento discutirá a relações entre crises hídricas e mudanças climáticas, conforme anunciou o ministro Sarney Filho durante a COP22 em Marrakesh. Com uma série de crises hídricas recentes em seu histórico, o país tem uma posição-chave na conservação dos mananciais, tanto por sua importância geográfica quanto por seu papel de líder regional.

“Nossos cursos d’água e rios estão altamente comprometidos, não só na região Nordeste, mas no Sudeste também”, alertou o ministro. Apesar de as crises estarem evidentemente relacionadas às mudanças climáticas, ele ressaltou que as bacias menos protegidas de vegetação foram mais afetadas. O desmatamento de matas ciliares em bacias como a do Rio São Francisco, por exemplo, é um exemplo da necessidade de agir com rapidez – hoje, 10km de água salgada estão entrando pelo leito do rio em sua foz e há apenas 2% de reservas.

O Fórum Mundial da Água, segundo Sarney Filho, será uma oportunidade de discutir temas como integração de recursos hídricos à gestão pública, participação das comunidades locais e políticas de disponibilidade de água. “Precisamos priorizar iniciativas sustentáveis e resilientes em projetos de infraestrutura. A água engloba, direta ou indiretamente, todos os objetivos de desenvolvimento sustentável”, afirmou.

O diretor presidente da Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA), Vicente Abreu, afirma que o processo de escassez hídrica de diversas regiões do país trouxe grandes aprendizados. “Muita coisa evoluiu nos últimos 20 anos em gestão de recursos hídricos. Mas há uma grande fragilidade do Brasil diante de eventos externos, tanto em águas superficiais quando nos aquíferos”, alerta. A crise hídrica, segundo ele, é uma ameaça constante, mesmo em um país em que se convencionou dizer ter uma grande disponibilidade do recurso.

“Em 2014, o Sistema Cantareira, em São Paulo, chegou a inacreditáveis 25% negativos”, relembra. O curioso neste caso, diz Abreu, é que muitos interpretaram o evento como uma seca isolada. Outro exemplo mais recente é o da cidade de Rio Branco, no Acre, que enfrentou em 2016 a maior cheia e a maior seca dos últimos 30 anos. “Precisamos preparar um modelo de gestão, construir reservatórios e mudar os padrões de consumo”, diz.

Estiagens vêm afetando diversas bacias brasileiras
Estiagens vêm afetando diversas bacias brasileiras

Alguns setores, como o de agricultura, já estão se adaptando às novas demandas, reduzindo o uso de água e trabalhando com mais eficiência. É nas cidades, porém, onde se encontram os desafios mais preocupantes – as perdas ultrapassam os 50% e o consumo é elevado, chegando a 320 litros por habitante por dia. O número considerado adequado é de 80 a 120 litros. “Precisamos repensar o consumo e considerar alternativas que foram rejeitadas no passado como redução de perdas, reuso urbano de água e dessalinização”, afirma.

A boa notícia é que o quadro pode ser revertido com políticas públicas e mudanças culturais, que já estão em curso. “Crimes ambientais como o de Mariana trouxe a atenção para a bacia do Rio Doce. A qualidade da água tornou-se uma das preocupações principais das pessoas”. A expectativa é que o Fórum Mundial da Água se torne uma das conferências mais importantes, em que os temas da água e das mudanças climáticas sejam definitivamente conectados. “A água deve fazer parte de nossa agenda política relevante para garantirmos segurança hídrica sustentável para todos os usos no nosso País”, disse o diretor presidente da ANA.

Escrito por Vívian Soares

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary

The Conference of the Parties – COP – is getting more exposure by the year as the effects of man-induced climate change is becoming ever more evident. The Paris agreement last year, endorsed by all parties, was a clear call to all governments involved to quick action; COP 22, held this November in Marrakech, on the African continent, highlighted the parties’ commitment to the urgency of appropriate solutions and implementation of effective policies. In an international press conference, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised the High-Level plenaries’ work and expectations, as well as the resulting resolutions to act now to reduce the effects of global warming.

“Climate change is a reality; emissions continue to increase and time is running against us”, he urged. Recalling that 2015 was the hottest year ever registered in history, he warned that 2016 will probably be even hotter, based on the signs that can be seen in the Antarctic and Artic continents. “No country, no matter how powerful, is immune to climate change”, he added.

The UN Secretary General however expressed his strong belief that the international community can move forward in time, and that the discussions in Marrakesh, after the Paris agreement that came into force in a record time are a good indication of that hopeful outcome: “A global meeting around the climate that was once unthinkable is now unstoppable”.

Asked about the US President elect declarations questioning the Paris Agreements and his intention to repeal them, Mr Ban Ki-Moon said that the international community, including American corporations, states and cities, have understood the severity of the effects of climate change and are moving forward putting emissions reductions policies into place, no matter what. He believes that low carbon economy is the policy of the future, and relies on the US President elect reputation for being a talented businessman to understand the urge to invest in smart climate projects as profitable ventures. “There are market forces that are already acting. And there is no plan B”, he declared adamantly.

The UN Secretary General was confident and optimistic about the outcomes of COP22 – and mentioned the Kingdom of Morocco as a committed country to put policies into force, as well as a key player and one of the main investors in Africa in renewable energies. As for the message that he addressed to the global community, he vowed that leaders have moral and political responsibility and show that they are all united.

Written by Vivian Soares

The Sustainable Development Goals are admirable and necessary –still, they are more an agenda than a set of concrete policies. In a new report, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRIDS) shares examples of strategies and real policies to achieve the global objectives by 2030.

Policy Innovations for Transformative Change was launched on October 17th
Policy Innovations for Transformative Change was launched on October 17th

Launched on the International Day for Eradication of Poverty, October 17, Walking the Talk, the UNRIDS report on Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, brought a clear message to the governments and stakeholders involved in the implementation of the SDGs, engaging them to act on turning the agenda into fact. Displaying a full range of case studies along with a research-based social policy innovation approach, the report offers sustainable development, social care and economic solidarity solutions through the lens of transformative change.

Katja Rujo, the report coordinator for UNRIDS, asserted that transformative change digs to the roots of poverty, inequality and environmental destruction and is thus more effective than simply treating their symptoms. Palliative and one-size-fits-all interventions, for instance, are not enough; innovative and eco-social policies are more effective, as long as they promote sustainable production and consumption, power re-configurations and changes in economic and social structures.

Such programs are currently implemented in Brazil and India where an integrated approach that aims to achieve both social and environmental goals has been adopted. In Brazil, for instance, a program established in 2011 provides financial incentives to families that make a living out of collected forest products in return for a commitment to adopt a sustainable use of natural resources. In India, again, the law guarantees at least 100 days of paid employment each year for every rural household that focuses on water security, soil conservation and higher land productivity.

Cu-c-17XEAAc3Hi.jpg-large

On the care system side, the Uruguayan program Sistema Nacional de Cuidado enrolls young children and adults with specific needs or disabilities in the solidarity system, providing them with a minimum life quality standards. The program is a result of a broad political mobilization which includes social movements, women legislators and academics.

Isabel Ortiz, Director of the Social Protection Department with the International Labour Organization (ILO), pointed out that transformative change is a policy that reflects a new paradigm formed in the early 2000s in line with the SDGs. “It is the concept that social, economic and environmental issues are integrated, and that we should create policies and safety networks for everybody, not only the poor”, she explained.

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRIDS) shares examples of real policies to achieve the SDGs
The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRIDS) shares examples of real policies to achieve the SDGs

The six keys areas mapped by the report are social policy, care, climate change, domestic resource mobilization, governance and social and solidarity economy. This multidisciplinary approach opens the gates to solutions in all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It requires, however, a commitment from all actors on local, national, regional and global levels. “In 2016, 132 countries are cutting their budgets – not only in rich Europe but in many developing countries. How to implement SDGs in this scenario?”, asks Isabel. The answer might lie in innovation and efficiency – and research plays a vital role in this equation.

Written by Vivian Soares

More Stories

English version below Una red global para la innovación a través del aprendizaje y la colaboración, los Fab Labs son espacios de pura creatividad y...