Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alliances for Adaptation - Do we need them

This is a report from the Reunion (France Newspaper- Temoignages). Translation in English (courtesy of GoogleTranslator) is available at the end of the article. Also visit www.reunion2008.eu for more info.

 


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"L’UNION EUROPÉENNE ET L’OUTRE-MER : STRATÉGIES FACE AU CHANGEMENT CLIMATIQUE ET LA PERTE DE BIODIVERSITÉ"
L’alliance des îles pour le développement durable

Publié dans l'édition du 16 juillet 2008
(page 6)

Quelles alliances sont possibles entre l’UE, l’Outre-mer, les pays Afrique-Caraïbes-Pacifique (ACP) et les Petits Etats Insulaires en Développement (PEID) pour contrer le changement climatique et la perte de biodiversité ? Telle était la question posée aux participants de la discussion "au salon" présidée par le Seychellois Rolph Payet vendredi dernier. Voici le compte-rendu des débats publié sur le site Réunion2008.eu

La dernière matinée du congrès s’est terminée par une discussion "au salon" sur l’alliance des îles, animée par le Seychellois Rolph Payet.(photo MM)

En introduction, le président de séance, Rolph Payet - conseiller pour l’Environnement du président des Seychelles et auteur du chapitre sur les îles dans le dernier rapport du GIEC - relève l’importance, pour le travail en réseau, des coalitions qui existent déjà, qu’elles soient globales, régionales ou locales. Il estime qu’en rentrant chez eux, les participants à la conférence doivent convaincre les autorités de leur pays que l’adaptation au changement climatique doit commencer immédiatement.

Pourquoi les alliances, souvent, ne fonctionnent pas ?

Yves Renard préfère citer les caractéristiques de celles qui marchent bien : la légitimité, qui vient d’un statut, de la participation, le degré d’appropriation et l’équité, à savoir qu’une alliance doit toujours s’efforcer de donner la parole au plus marginalisés.

Stuart Stevenson met en avant quant à lui l’importance de l’échange d’informations entre les milieux (gouvernements, chercheurs, secteur privé, société civile, Parlements). Il cite pour exemple le fonctionnement des politiciens. Ceux-ci se sont dépêchés d’établir des quotas de production pour les biocarburants à l’horizon 2020. Maintenant qu’ils réalisent que les biocarburants peuvent affamer des populations entières, on revient en arrière. C’est l’exemple type de décisions prises sans information suffisante.

José Gaillou, de Guyane, estime que le contact humain possible dans une conférence comme celle de La Réunion est important pour faire durer une alliance. Il ajoute que des organisations de communautés autochtones, des Indiens d’Amazonie, des Kanaks, Papoues, Pygmées, etc... peuvent aussi être associées à la conservation de la biodiversité car elles sont directement touchées.

Pour fonctionner, les partenariats doivent être ouverts, estime Gerald Miles. Sans une vision fédératrice, il est difficile de mener une action commune. Une position que partage John Crump. Dans son cas, le message des populations de l’Arctique est de dire que 2 degrés de réchauffement moyen sur la planète, à savoir 4 à 6 degrés pour l’Arctique, ce n’est pas vivable.

Calixte d’Ofray prend le cas précis de l’Alliance des petits Etats insulaires qui a vu le jour à l’occasion de la deuxième Conférence mondiale sur le changement climatique. Selon lui, elle n’a pas encore fonctionné comme elle le devrait.

Alors, comment tirer profit le maximum de cette alliance, comme de toute coopération possible ?

Les propositions sont les suivantes : améliorer l’accès aux institutions européennes ; encourager une approche participative de tous les secteurs ; allez voir les parlementaires de son pays pour les informer et les sensibiliser ; entretenir le réseau mis en place à La Réunion ; utiliser ce réseau, cette alliance pour mettre le sujet de la biodiversité sur le tapis de la prochaine conférence sur le changement climatique à Genève en 2009 ; les réseaux fonctionnent si leurs membres y participent activement.

Où est le secteur privé dans ces alliances ?

Rolph Payet estime qu’on invite souvent le secteur privé, mais qu’il ne vient pas.
Stuart Stevenson part plutôt d’un constat : deux représentants de l’industrie dans la salle, sur plusieurs centaines de personnes. Pourtant, selon son expérience au sein de la Commission européenne de la pêche, il estime que les échanges sont positifs avec les grandes sociétés actives dans ce domaine.
Le secteur privé ne s’engage pas dans un processus qui représente une menace, estime Yves Renard. Ou encore si les contours du projet sont trop vagues. De ce point de vue, il estime utile de toujours revenir au niveau local.
Le secteur privé aime travailler dans un cadre solide, explique Gerald Miles. Il apprécie donc les engagements politiques de haut niveau en faveur d’une alliance internationale.
Quant à John Crump, il remarque enfin que les secteurs économiques des assurances est maintenant engagé à fond dans la réflexion économique sur le changement climatique.

(Source : www.reunion2008.eu)


Participants à la table-ronde :

* Yves Renard, coordinateur de l’initiative Caraïbes à l’UICN
* Stuart Stevenson, membre du Parlement européen, président de l’Intergroupe Environnement
* José Gaillou, vice-président du Conseil régional de la Guyane
* Kenneth Ebanks, du gouvernement des îles Caymans
* Gerald Miles, The Nature Conservancy, Global Island Partnership
* John Crump, Strong Voices
* Lawrence Warnink, gouvernement des Antilles néerlandaises
* Calixte d’Ofray, prochain secrétaire général de la Commission de l’Océan Indien

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L’alliance des îles pour le développement durable
Article paru dans Témoignages le mercredi 16 juillet 2008 (page 6)
URL : http://www.temoignages.re/article.php3?id_article=31078

 

Translated Version (Google Translator)

 

The islands alliance for sustainable development

What alliances are possible between the EU Overseas Countries Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to counter climate change and biodiversity loss? That was the question asked participants to discuss "the Club" chaired by the Seychellois Rolph Payet last Friday. Here is the account of discussions published on the site Réunion2008.eu

In the introduction, the presiding officer, Rolph Payet - adviser for the Environment President of Seychelles and author of the chapter on islands in the last IPCC report - is the importance for the networking, coalitions that already exist, whether global, regional or local. It is estimated that returning to their homes, conference participants must convince the authorities of their countries that adaptation to climate change must begin immediately.

Why alliances often do not work?
Yves Renard prefers to cite the characteristics of those who work well: the legitimacy that comes from a statute, participation, the degree of ownership and equity, namely that an alliance must always strive to give floor to the most marginalized.

Stuart Stevenson put forward about him the importance of exchanging information between the circles (governments, researchers, private sector, civil society, parliaments). He cites the example of the functioning of politicians. They were dispatched to establish production quotas for biofuels by 2020. Now they realize that biofuels could starve entire populations, it goes back. This is a typical example of decisions made without sufficient information.

José Gaillou, Guyana, said that human contact as possible in a conference like that of Reunion is important to take an alliance. He added that organizations of indigenous communities, Amazonian Indians, Kanaks, Papoues, Pygmies, etc. ... may also be associated with biodiversity conservation because they are directly affected.

To work, partnerships must be open, said Gerald Miles. Without a unifying vision, it is difficult to undertake joint action. A position shared by John Crump. In his case, the message of the peoples of the Arctic is to say that 2 degrees average warming on the planet, namely 4 to 6 degrees in the Arctic, this is not livable.

Calixte DOffay to take the specific case of the Alliance of Small Island States which has emerged at the second World Conference on climate change. According to him, she has not yet functioned as it should.

So how to benefit the most from this alliance, like all cooperation possible?
The proposals are the following: improving access to European institutions, encourage a participatory approach in all sectors; going to see parliamentarians from his country to inform and educate; maintain the network set up in Reunion, using this network This alliance to bring the topic of biodiversity on the carpet of the forthcoming conference on climate change in Geneva in 2009; networks operate if their members are actively involved.

Où est le secteur privé dans ces alliances ? Where is the private sector in these alliances?
Rolph Payet believes that we often invite the private sector, but they do not come. Stuart Stevenson rather part of a fact: two representatives of industry in the hall, several hundred people. Yet, in his experience within the European Commission on Fisheries, he believes that exchanges are positive with the major companies active in this field. The private sector does not engage in a process that poses a threat, said Yves Renard. From this point of view, it considers it useful to always return to the local level.

The private sector enjoys working in a solid framework, "says Gerald Miles. He therefore appreciates the political commitments of high level for an international alliance. As for John Crump, he noticed that finally the economic sectors of insurance is now engaged in economic thinking on climate change.

(Source : www.reunion2008.eu) (Source: www.reunion2008.eu)


Participants à la table-ronde : Participants at the roundtable:
Yves Renard, coordinator of the Caribbean initiative to IUCN
Stuart Stevenson, MEP, President of the Intergroup Environment
Gaillou, vice-chairman of the Regional Council of Guyana
Kenneth Ebanks, the government of Cayman Islands
Gerald Miles, The Nature Conservancy, Global Island Partnership
John Crump, Strong Voices
Lawrence Warnink, Government of the Netherlands Antilles
Calixte of D’Offay, next secretary general of the Indian Ocean Commission

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Only Way Is Up

We are most familiar with the terms political refugees or war refugees but how common a term will ‘environmental refugees’ be in the years to come? As an islander and living meters from the great blue, how will I fight Mother Nature when the ocean wants to claim back my beach, my childhood playground?

The elderly inhabitants on the Duke of York Islands in East New Britain in Papua New Guinea are experiencing this anguish as of now and it’s apparent that solutions won’t be found in their lifetime. Elders have had to be forced to relocate upland to get away from the damages of the rising sea level, even claiming their gardening patches. Authorities are not providing solutions, so with no initiative to build seawalls; tree planting at the beach side provides at least some support to what remains of the coast.

To others, upland is not an option. The Carteret Island inhabitants in PNG are fast becoming the first climate change refugees with sea levels rising 10 centimetres in the past 20 years, enough to flood plantations, one of the islanders’ main food sources. The problem is far more complex than this, with the only option being to move to the Bougainville Island, an area already plagued by a civil war. An Australian tide measuring station on the nearby Manus Island has measured an annual 8.2mm rise in sea-levels over the past seven years.

The problem is not so sudden for Carteret as they have been battling the problem for more than ten years with the option finally being out rather than up. Since 2005, ten families at a time have been evacuated through PNG Government funding. By now the island of Carteret should be uninhabited. We are surrounded by other island states with similar problems... when our turn comes, where will we run to?

 

By Veronique Carola

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SLRF establishes partnership with Many Strong Voices

The Sea Level Rise Foundation (SLRF) has established a formal partnership with the Many Strong Voices (MSV) initiative(http://www.manystrongvoices.org/), following discussions between the Chairman of SLRF,Dr Rolph Payet and Mr John Crump of Many Strong Voices. They agreed on a number of actions in which they can mutually re-inforce the work of both initiatives.

The Many Strong Voices Programme brings together local, national and regional stakeholders in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to exchange knowledge about the climate change challenges facing them. Its aims in doing so are to support and build capacity among vulnerable regions and peoples to collaboratively devise strategic solutions to the challenges of climate change, and to raise the voices of peoples in the two regions such that they may be heard in international fora on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Many Strong Voices was launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 11) in Montréal in December 2005. The MSV programme is coordinated by UNEP/GRID-Arendal and the Center for International Climate and Environment Research – Oslo (CICERO). It supports a consortium of Indigenous Peoples Organizations, researchers, policy-makers, and community organizations in the Arctic and SIDS to collaboratively design solutions to the climate change challenges facing them. The MSV programme is by design an exercise in building creative partnerships. The programme is guided by an informal steering committee that meets electronically, via conference calls, and ad hoc at relevant international meetings and fora to develop MSV strategies and materials.

Key partners include the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) based in Belmopan, Belize which hosted an initial MSV Stakeholders Workshop in May 2007; the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPEP); the Inuit Circumpolar Council; the Arctic Athabaskan Council; Aleut International Association; Organization of American States (Department of Sustainable Development); the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); Climate Change & Energy Programme, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD); Conservation Society of Ponipeh, Federated States of Micronesia; the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI); and the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (UNEP-GPA).

Listen to one Strong Voice on Youtube