CAN South Asia Quarterly Newsletter Oct-Dec 2021

Hello Friends, 

This has been a very busy, in fact feverish, quarter for all of us with planning for and participating in the ‘last chance’ COP26.

CAN South Asia and its members and partners actively and enthusiastically participated in the events, despite the challenging COVID-19 situation restricting travel for quite a few, together with some climate events, and freshly issued embargoes. The enthusiasm was only dampened by the chill of the Glasgow autumn, and later made worse by the failure of the negotiations, that meant a raw deal for the South Asian region, and the Global South as a whole. “Loss and damage” and “just transition” were just empty phrases thrown in for effect, and meant nothing in the larger scheme of things at the climate negotiations.

Yet, we have had some great news right at the beginning of the quarter, with Dhulikhel, a Nepalese tourist town on the outskirts of Kathmandu, becoming the first city in the Global South to sign the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, on 7 October 2021, and this came just a few weeks before COP26.

With the Omicron variant having surfaced, we have had to take the necessary precautions to stay safe as possible and continue our work at a slower pace than we would have liked.
Some of our partners have won awards for the good work they do. We have some stories about these here, and also about the activities conducted by some of our partners during this period.

We have in this issue some details of the side events we organised at COP26 in Glasgow. 

Our Biannual Report 2019-2021 is up on the website and has details of the work done during this period.

We have some new members, some new reports, and some news items of CANSA in the media.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue. Do continue to keep us informed of your activities from time to time. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Till then stay safe, stay healthy, and wish you all a very Happy and Productive New Year!

Happy Reading!

Sanjay Vashist
Director, CAN South Asia

We hope you enjoy this edition. As always, thanks to all those who submitted their stories. If you weren’t able to submit your story so far, we look forward to hearing from you for our forthcoming issues. 
Submit your story

CAN South Asia at COP26

CAN South Asia and its partner organizations in the South Asian region, CAN International and CAN regional groups, have worked to ensure the best possible outcomes at the UN Climate Change negotiations when governments meet as the Conference of Parties (COP) under the UNFCCC.
CAN South Asia has sustained pressure on governments in the region to come prepared to Glasgow with the strongest levels of political will to address the climate crisis. By focusing on the needs of communities worst impacted by the climate crisis, CAN South Asia has engaged through the working groups to plan and implement its strategy on a variety of issues pertaining to the COP negotiations such as on: climate finance, adaptation, mitigation, loss & damage, migration, energy transition, and many others.
There were four side events organised by CAN South Asia, on 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th November, and one press briefing on 3rd November on CSO exclusion at COP26, vaccine inequity, loss and damage finance, fossil fuel phase out

Check out the page on our website

CAN South Asia Side Events at COP26

CAN South Asia organised a series of side events at COP26 that focussed on the issues of urban poor resilience, equity and justice in energy transition, and impact of loss and damage due to climate induced migration. 

Details of the side events and the recordings can be accessed on the website here

3rd Nov. 2021 | Urban Ecosystems
Transformation of South Asian Cities to Climate Friendliness
and Social Justice

Click here for details
3rd Nov. 2021 | Urban Poor Resilience
Protecting Urban Poor through Resilience Practices

Click here for details
5th Nov. 2021 | Local Climate Solutions
Local Climate Solutions and Eco-Village Development, 100% RE in NDCs, East Africa, South Asia, Europe

Click here for details
8th Nov. 2021 | Energy Transition
Energy Transition – Defining Equity and Justice for Communities

Click here for details
10th Nov. 2021 | Climate-Induced Migration
Climate-Induced Migration in South Asia Impact of Loss and Damage

Click here for details

Meet our new members

In the past three months we have added a few new members to the CAN South Asia family.  We wish them a very warm welcome on behalf of the entire CAN South Asia family. We list the new members below:

SAIBAAN Development Organisation


CHD Group

Welcome on board! We’re very happy to have you as part of the CAN South Asia family!

Click here to check out the Member Directory

CAN South Asia in the News

What 2021 looked like for global climate change 
The Indian Express | 31 December 2021

2021 was supposed to be a year of hope for climate activists but instead, it turned out being a wasted opportunity for governments. The year was marked with climate disasters ranging from extreme wildfires in the American Southwest to record levels of flooding in Europe.
Read more…

Climate migration in South Asia set to treble by 2050 due to political inaction on global warming | 18 December 2020

More than 62 million South Asian people will be forced to migrate from their homes due to climate disasters by 2050, according to new research from ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia. Political failure to limit global warming to below 2°C, as per the Paris agreement goal, is already driving 18 million climate migrants from their homes in 2020. New analysis, released today, estimates climate migration will treble in South Asia alone, a region badly affected by climate disasters including floods, droughts, typhoons and cyclones. 
Read more…

Registering fossil fuels a key ingredient for a fair energy transition | 6 December 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has caused more disruption to the global energy system than any other event in recent history according to the International Energy Agency, leaving countries and communities most dependent on fossil fuels further vulnerable to demand and price shocks. This adds to the threat of stranded assets beyond the fossil fuels era, as the adoption of climate policies and access to cost competitive renewable energy continues to grow. 
Read more…

Phase Out or Phase Down, Just Transition Away from Fossil Fuels remain critically lacking in Global Climate Discourse
The Weather Channel  |  23 November 2021
Once the final gavel struck at COP26, many quickly pointed fingers at India for watered-down language to “phasing down” coal rather than “phasing out”, one being the reduction versus total elimination. The accusation is an attempt to make India a convenient scapegoat. It misdirects attention away from those who did the most to delay and deny the need for action on fossil fuels.
Read more…

Coal power stand at COP26 climate talks lend India time to transition
Economic Times | 18 November 2021
Far from Glasgow, in the coal hub of Ranchi in eastern India, labour union leader D. D. Ramanandan followed the COP26 climate summit closely, scanning tweets by experts and news reports to check for any imminent “threat to coal” in his count.
Read more…

COP26: Experts welcome Modi’s 2070 ‘net-zero’ date but brand move political 
Down To Earth | 2 November 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced October 1, 2021 that India aims to become a ‘net-zero’ carbon emitter by 2070, jumping on the bandwagon of setting a carbon neutrality deadline. He was speaking at the leaders’ meeting during the 26th Conference of Parties (CoP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
Read more…

COP26: ‘Last-Chance’ Climate Summit Commences in Glasgow, UK
The Weather Channel India | 1 November 2021
Since 2015, the year Paris Agreement was conceived to tackle the threat of human-induced climate change, the world has watched in horror extreme weather events ravaged Asia, China, Africa, Europe and North America. Floods, fires, heatwaves, drought, and cyclones have left a trail of disaster, killing hundreds, displacing millions and causing damage worth billions.
Read more…

‘Emissions climbing to pre-pandemic levels in G20 countries’
Times of India | 14 October 2021
With lockdowns and restrictions gradually being eased, greenhouse gas emissions are rebounding to pre-pandemic levels across G20 countries, with India, Argentina, China and Indonesia projected to exceed their 2019 emissions this year.
Read more…

Dhulikhel in Nepal is first city in Global South to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty | 7 October 2021
The small town of Dhulikhel, located on the Eastern rim of Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty today, becoming the first city in Global South and South Asia to vote in favor of a groundbreaking initiative to phase out fossil fuels and fast track a fair global energy transition. The endorsement comes just weeks before the climate summit in Glasgow where 196 countries will revisit their progress toward meeting Paris Agreement commitments
Read more …

Politicians are waiting for more loss and damage:
Sanjay Vashist, Director – Climate Action Network, South Asia

Climate Channel | 25 December 2021

Watch the interview here

CAN South Asia Biannual Report 2019-2021

The combined Annual Report for the years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 reporting on activities undertaken by CANSA during this period, has been published and is available on the website here

In the Biannual Report, CANSA’s work has been categorized under three broad pillars:
(1) Just and equitable energy transition;
(2) Understanding and addressing climate impacts;
(3) Multilateral processes advocacy and Implementation.

Under these is a range of projects such as adaptation fund NGO network, renewable energy, fossil fuel treaty, research on climate-induced displacement and migration, transformative climate action plans, and climate change and its impact on health, and research over the two years.

While the pandemic had a significant impact on the work of CANSA partners and member organizations, most of the projects were completed to the satisfaction of stakeholders and funders. ICMPD, funding agency for the South Asia Migration and Climate (SAMAC) project, even acknowledged CANSA’s role as “a strong unifying body” with “clearly defined roles and responsibilities, clear coordination due to CANSA”. View the report here

You will find them on our website here 

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Climate Action in Kerala: Examples of Good Practices
The state of Kerala is at the forefront of climate action, with a great number of innovative, replicable, inclusive and sustainable climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction projects. Kerala is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of human-induced climate change such as rising sea levels, floods, droughts, landslides, storm surges and cyclones. Numerous initiatives by the state government as well as civic society organizations and individuals address the global crisis of climate change, especially after the devastating tropical cyclones, floods and landslides occurring since 2017. These examples of good practices which lie scattered in different domains and different agencies have been brought together by Thanal in this excellent compendium “Climate Action in Kerala”.
This report comprises eighteen good climate practices in Kerala which spans across various sectors such as Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems, Water Resources, Waste, Afforestation, Health and Cross-cutting. Access report here

Roadmap to a framework for the protection of Climate Migrants
Climate-related displacement and forced migration across borders are likely to be among the biggest issues the world will face in the coming years and decades. And yet there exists no specific international legal framework for the protection of such communities, nor any concrete multilateral strategy to account for climate change as a driver of migration.
This paper presents a roadmap to develop a framework for the protection of climate vulnerable communities who are forced to cross borders. The roadmap is specific to the countries in South Asia, with the potential to be replicated in other countries and regions.
The paper draws on primary and secondary research of climate impacts on communities from across six South Asian countries, specifically: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as South Asia regional studies. Access report here

Addressing Climate Change Induced Displacement and Migration in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is ranked 7th on the Long-Term Climate Risk Index published by German Watch. With global warming continuing to worsen, Bangladesh will face climate change induced hazards such as floods, cyclones, tidal surges with greater intensity and frequency. Women and children are the most vulnerable to several social challenges during the migration process. As men are commonly the ones who choose to migrate for a livelihood, women are triply burdened with household chores and taking care of their families. This study identified some of the key policy and programme actions that can lead the country to address the challenge taking a human rights perspective. Access report here

Climate Migrants pushed to the brink
The world is facing an unprecedented climate emergency. Climate change is impacting the world’s poor adversely, destroying livelihoods and rendering them homeless. People are being displaced and are being forced to move out of their homes. This is the situation when average temperatures have already increased by 1.1°C in 2019, compared to preindustrial levels. Under a business-as-usual scenario, temperatures are expected to continue to increase, crossing the 2°C threshold. The study finds that people’s livelihoods in South Asia are being devastated by intense flooding, chronic drought, sea-level rise and changing weather patterns. As local coping mechanisms fail, people are forced to migrate to survive and make an alternative living to feed their families. Governments are unprepared to deal with the issue as they have not yet recognised how climate impacts are affecting internal migration trends. As a result, they have not developed appropriate policies to avert, minimise and address the issue. Access report here

Update from our Members

At the Award Ceremony – LSO Representative (left) receiving the award certificate from Ambassador of Austria at the Austria Advantage office in Tehran on 30 November
LSO Bags Award for environment protection in Afghanistan

LSO SGP project “Band-e-Amir Northern Plateau Proposed Protected Area Landscape Management in the Bamyan province was recognized as a national award winner by Energy Globe Award at the Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, UK, on 8th November 2021.

This year, more than 2500 projects aimed at protecting the environment were submitted by more than 187 countries. LSO Afghanistan’s entry was selected as a national award winner by a jury of experts at the Energy Globe Award.
For details of the project, click here.

At the Award Ceremony – LSO Representative (left) receiving the award certificate from Ambassador of Austria at the Austria Advantage office in Tehran on 30 November 2021

Udyama bags Sabera Award 2021 for Most Innovative Development Project

UDYAMA was recognised as one of the best innovators in the development sector, by Sabera Awards. 
The Sabera Awards recognise India’s largest companies, impactful NGOs and passionate individuals who focus on purpose before profit; those that highlight ESG and SDG best practices and inspire social impact.
Udyama facilitates Local Action & Global networking towards risk informed resilient development, livelihoods and climate adaptation added with inclusion and innovations towards contributing to achieve SDGs. All their initiatives are linked to pro-poor, pro-people and planet. They work with communities in rural, tribal and urban areas. For more details about Udyama click here

WOTR’s participation in COP26 and the launch of ECOBARI

WOTR at COP26: Scaling & financing ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA)
Thematic Lead for EbA at WOTR, Arjuna Srinidhi, made a presentation on the challenges and opportunities in scaling up EbA in India at the recently concluded UNFCCC COP-26. The presentation was a part of the side-event titled ‘Scaling and financing ecosystem-based adaptation’, jointly hosted by Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) – World Agroforestry-ICRAF, Watershed Organisation Trust, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), TMG Think Tank For Sustainability and auctusESG.
Watch the session here.

We hope you enjoy this edition. As always, thanks to all those who submitted their stories. If you weren’t able to submit your story so far, we look forward to hearing from you for our forthcoming issues. 
Submit your story

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