By Senashia Ekanayake
The first day of the Eighth Instalment of the International Conference on Community Based Adaptation drew to a close with the participation of both nearly 400 State and non-State actors from 63 countries. The Chief Guest for the Opening Plenary was Government of Nepal Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Sushil Koirala.
Lessons from Nepal
While the Prime Minister called for international co-operation and commitment towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions he went on to say that no country remained immune from climate change impacts. Prime Minister Koirala added, “Global problems require global solutions.”
Commenting on the choice of venue for the Conference was International Centre for Climate Change and Development Director and organising body International Institute for Environment and Development Senior Fellow Dr Saleemul Huq who provided three reasons as to why CBA8 was held in Nepal this year:
a) The Government of Nepal transfers 80% of global adaptation funds towards local level adaptation.
b) Nepal has taken innovative steps by implementing Local Adaptation Plans of Action or LAPAs (Local Adaptation Plans of Action).
c) Nepal is also chairing the Least Developed Countries’ Group and thus the participants of CBA8 will be able to voice out both the concerns of Nepal and other LDCs at the Ban ki-Moon Summit and also speak as a global voice on finance and the (to be drafted) Kathmandu Declaration.
Dr Huq not only commended Nepal’s efforts towards climate change adaptation but also encouraged other developing countries to at least allocate 50% of global adaptation funds towards local level adaptation planning.
Also commenting on the LAPA was Climate Change Network Nepal Co-ordinator Dr Balaram Thapa who said, “LAPA is both flexible and responsive and should thus, be supported by all stakeholders.” However, he also went on to say, “Despite all efforts, the benefit of policies and plans are still far from being realised.”
Mainstreaming Adaptation to National Planning
Plenary session two was an amalgamation of success stories and the various mechanisms countries around the world have undertaken in mainstreaming adaptation to national planning.
The Government has taken complete ownership of all activities related to climate change. Mozambique has both long term and short-term adaptation plans at national, provincial and district levels.
Indonesia has long-term (for 20 years) and mid-term (05 years) plans that are co-ordinated under the National Development Planning Agency. Further, in order to mainstream climate change adaptation to the development plan the government has published a number of policy documents and a climate change sectorial roadmap that shows the cross-sectorial priorities and initiatives. Moreover, the Government has also set up a Climate Change Trust Fund that supports funding the National Development Plan and creates policy dialogue and though the fund enables access to all, the proposals are scrutinised through the Board. The representative from the Ministry of Environment also stated that many ministries have come together to integrate stronger climate change solutions.
Mousumi Pervin from UNDP Bangladesh explained the four key challenges in mainstreaming climate change adaptation to the national planning process namely:
c) Scaling up good practices at local level (capacity building for local government bodies)
d) Establishing public-private partnerships
Peru’s presentation was focused mostly on the engagement of non-state actors in the country’s process, Programme Climate Change Adaptation or PACC Peru.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Environment and Climate Change Advisor Nicole Clot noted that in 2007 when the Peruvian Ministry of Environment it was firm on the process not being at the discretion of the NGOs but also with the constant engagement of the Ministry and the Government in all capacities including decision making and finance. As a result of this, the first phase of the project took off, public finance amounted to nearly USD 40 million as opposed to NGO funding of USD 4-5 million. Clot also went on to say that both State and non-State actors had five key concerns when trying to incorporate climate change adaptation to the national planning process:
a) Including criteria for climate change in rural technology
b) Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in the instruments for planning
c) Training of technical staff and farmers
d) User of intercultural methodology
e) Technical transfer of knowledge
CBA8 that took off on April 24 with the field visits will continue till April 30. Sessions for April 28 would include: Securing Private Sector Finance for Local Adaptation; Low-cost options for CBA; Accounting for Natural Capital in CBA; and Financing Adaptation in the LDCs etc.
About The Author:
Senashia Ekanayake is a writer, an advocate of Arts, Education and climate change activist. She read for her degree in English, dabbled in the corporate world and is now involved with CANSA Communications.