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79 ACP Countries Get Ready for UN Climate Change Conference

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By Robert Johnson

BRUSSELS (ACP-IDN) – The Intra-ACP GCCA Plus Programme, which has several success stories to tell, is supporting 79 members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in preparing for the UN Climate Change conference in December in Katowice, Poland.

The ACP Secretariat and the Programme hosted a Joint Policy Dialogue (JPD) at the ACP House in Brussels on November 5, 2018. The JPD showcased the findings of a draft ACP report analysing the implementation status of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of ACP countries.

NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These are therefore at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of long-term goals of that 2015 landmark accord.

Together, these climate actions determine whether the world achieves the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs in the second half of this century.

There is broad agreement that the peaking of emissions will take longer for developing countries, and that emission reductions are undertaken on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, which are critical development priorities for many developing countries.

The Brussels meeting saw the participation of ACP regional partners, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiators, representatives from the European Commission, UN organisations and civil society, among others.

The findings of the report, which was welcomed and well received by the participants,  were consistent with the experience in the regions, as expressed by the ACP Regional partners, who presented their own findings and similar work. 

The outcome of the meeting served as a basis for further discussions during the two-day Special meeting of the Subcommittee on Sustainable Development – organised by the ACP Secretariat – in preparation for COP24, the 24th session of the conference of parties to the UNFCCC.

The meeting identified issues of common interest to ACP Member States and deepened dialogue and exchange of views on key issues on the table at COP24, and drafted a paper for the UN climate change conference that will be approved by the Committee of Ambassadors.

Earlier, the ACP Secretariat and the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme organised an Info-point Lunch time conference at the External Cooperation Info point of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) on October 17, 2018.

The Programme supports ACP members to tackle climate change as a challenge to their development. Several actors collaborate to implement it. This includes technical assistance to the ACP Secretariat team, who facilitate dialogue, knowledge sharing, and access to technical support.

The Climate Support Facility (CSF) makes funding available for technical assistance, and regional partners, partly supported by the programme, carry out projects and programmes related to climate change. The Technical Assistance team is located at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels, and the Regional Partners are located in their respective ACP Regions

The GCCA+ is a European Union flagship initiative which is helping the world’s most vulnerable countries to address climate change. Having started with just four pilot projects in 2008, it has become a major climate initiative that has funded over 70 projects of national, regional and worldwide scope in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The October event presented the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme and the Climate Support Facility (CSF) services set up to provide demand-driven, short-term technical assistance and training on climate change to ACP regional organisations and countries, as a complement to other components of the Programme.

The highlight of the event was a presentation of the work carried out by the Programme in Pemba Island, Tanzania, by Mbarouk Mussa Omar, Executive Director at Community Forests Pemba and Zach Melanson, Communications Director at Community Forests International.

Salume Ali Khamis, a representative of the local community, who spoke about how the agricultural training and capacity building she had acquired through the Programme had helped her increase the production of food crops. This has in turn improved the livelihood and health of her family, and through her coaching of other women, the livelihoods of others in her community as well. 

The event also showcased success stories of the technical assistance provided by the first phase of the Intra-ACP GCCA Programme (2011-2016). During the first phase of the Programme, the CSF supported the Pemba project in the development of a knowledge sharing platform, instructional videos and a 30-minute documentary titled Kokota: The Islet of Hope, highlighting the project’s achievements.

Currently, the Programme is providing further support among others for the production of gender-responsive business development training materials aligned with CFP’s adaptive livelihoods programme, targeting community leaders and Pemban farmers, and the development of a marketing strategy and plan for the promotion of climate-smart horticultural products produced on Pemba Island.

The Programme is also assisting in the production of additional language versions and a shorter version of the documentary; and the development of a distribution and dissemination strategy and plan for the documentary, in order to share the experience of Pemba with other communities at large. [IDN-InDepthNews – 13 November 2018]

Photo: Nukufetau coastal damages by cyclone in Tuvalu. © EU GCCA+ LoCAL-UNCDF. Photo Hendrik Visser 2016.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.

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