October 18, 2011

AYICC at CCDA-1.....

The 1st Climate Change and Development Conference inAfrica (CCDA-1) successfuly kicked off on the 17th to 19th October 2011 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The conference is a joint initiative organized by the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev Africa) Programme, the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The theme for the conference is Development First: Addressing Climate Change in Africa. It will aim to reflect the need for integrating development and climate policies, and emphasize the importance of an African ownership of its policy formulation and decision making process. 

Below is an overview of Day one at the CCDA-1

GUYANA CASE-Minister for Finance, Guyana
The country has a success story as regards to climate change and development as communities are “benefiting” while fighting climate change and the following are the key recommendations for Africa to try and adopt:
ü  Solutions to the climate crisis problems should come from communities and individual nations; and should not be dictated by “funders”!!!!
ü  There is a need of finding a partner (polluters) who will be responsible for financial resources
ü  There is a strong need to engage people on the ground; these have ideas and innovations (as everyone has something to say)
Concentrated on the fact that adaptation and mitigation in Africa need to be combined in the fight against climate crisis, but also pointed out that priority should be on adaptation. It was also emphasized that position of Africa should be turned into opportunity such as utilizing solar and hydro as renewable sources of energy
· European Union pointed out that there is already strong partnership betweenEurope and Africa
·         Stressed the point that energy is key to development
·         Fast cash funding from Europe has started
·         CDM projects will focus on Africa starting from 2013
·         Concern on COP17: there is need for Africa to have a voice and make more noise, but EU will try as much as possible to put pressure on other major economies to have a binding deal
·         EU will commit to Kyoto Protocol come Durban
Dr Pachauri  concentrated on the impacts of climate change which include:
Ø  Food security
Ø  Increased water stress in Africa
Ø  Most species are endangered
Ø  Increase in prevalence of diseases such as Malaria
Ø  Coastlines are greatly affected due to sea level rise
He also pointed out that climate interventions can be turned into opportunities such as will help to address energy crisis and renewable sources can greatly reduce accidents
The UK representative emphasized the following:
v  Terminologies used in climate field are barriers as scientists do not communicate effectively to the people they represent (think of adaptation and mitigation in your local language!!!!!)
v  On climate negotiations: the division basically is on those who want the binding agreement and those who don’t
v  On sustainable development, there is a great need for every person involved in climate change to be accountable .... think of yourself, are you accountable? To who?
v  Ended on the fact that as a continent, Africa knows resilience more than any other....
AYICC representative then made an intervention on need for behaviour change, an area which was agree by the panel that little has been done and hence need to be exploited
It was also pointed out that science alone is not sufficient in the fight against climate change, we also need to include things like ethics. And our focus should be: what will move people to take climate change seriously!!!!
 And the way forward???
§  Meaningful participation of ALL key stakeholders – most vulnerable (women, youth) are not seriously involved
§  Top-down approach cannot work, we need to start with the communities in our efforts not conferences, conferences and more conferences
§  Rather than “lamenting” all the time, we need to grab the opportunities presented by climate change
Finally, during cocktail, AYICC representative and many other African youths did what they know best: attracted attention of everyone with the dancing skills, and you know the song:
 “its hot in here,
there is too much carbon in the atmosphere,
take action,
 take action
and get some satisfaction”

Compiled by Ezilon Kasoka (Malawi), AYICC Southern Africa & COP 17 Coordinator on behalf of the AYICC team at CCDA-1



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