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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

countries most vulnerable to climate change to meet ahead of cop17

As the global summit for climate talks approaches, vulnerable countries make a point to form a united voice

A group of 32 vulnerable countries, which created the Climate Change Vulnerable Forum, including Bhutan is set to meet in Dhaka, two weeks ahead of UN climate talks (the 17th Conference of Parties) in Durban, South Africa, to forge a common agenda for the negotiation.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum includes countries from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, representing some of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The secretary of the National Environment Commission of Bhutan, Dr. UgyenTshewang, said it is good to have a single voice and partnership in coming out with a common position.

“If leaders come together and come out with a strong common position it will benefit everyone,” said Dr. Ugyen Tshewang.

He also said the developing countries have been active and participatory and it is now the time that developed countries take part in it.

Speaking at a press conference in Dhaka, the Bangladesh State Minister for Environment and Forest, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, said the forum is to forge a united voice to raise the vulnerable countries’ concerns for release of green climate fund and fast-start fund for adaptation and technology transfer without condition for mitigation measures at Durban.

The Bangladeshi foreign minister, Dipu Moni, said the forum meeting aims at creating public awareness of the vulnerability issues and challenges globally and take those to the climate negotiations.

“It is expected to forge an opportunity for the vulnerable countries to take the momentum of Cancun negotiation further for global support to combat climate change,” she said.

The forum was founded at the initiative of the Maldives when eleven vulnerable countries from across the world met in Male in November 2009 to highlight their challenges and seek international assistance.

These countries include the Maldives, Kiribati, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania and Vietnam. The first summit of the forum adopted a declaration which expressed alarm at effects of human-induced global warming and sought international assistance to combat the dangers of man-made calamities.

The report published by the Climate Vulnerable Forum in 2010, titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2010 – State of the climate crises’ placed Bhutan in the severe countries category. Severe countries category include countries which are the second most vulnerable to climate change.

“Severe countries are facing challenges that would place heavy additional stress in any given impact area. The majority of Severe countries will become Acute by 2030 unless action is taken to counteract the growing impact on these countries,” says the report.

The delegates of the participating countries are expected to issue a declaration from the vulnerable countries for action by industrialized nations and urgent support while they are also expected to affirm their determination to pursue green and low carbon growth development.

The objectives of the Bangladesh Climate Vulnerability Forum is to increase the level of awareness, identify and develop areas of common interest, build an enhanced understanding among observer state parties and other international actors, clarify climate change mainstreaming, and maximize clean development mechanism potential.

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