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ENB on the side
published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the Climate Change Secretariat

Special Report on Selected Side Events at UNFCCC COP-10



Events convened on Friday, 17 December 2004

National Adaptation Programmes of Action: Preparation and implementation strategies
Presented by the Government of Bhutan

Violet Wulf Saena, Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said project-based criteria to prioritize adaptation projects include awareness and institutional arrangements, while community-based criteria include livelihood, well-being and equity

La’avasa Malua, Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said the side event aims to, inter alia, provide information on issues faced by five least developed countries in preparing their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).

El Hadrami Bahneine, Mauritania’s Director of the Environment, stressed that Mauritania was the first country to submit its NAPA, based on guidelines developed by the Conference of the Parties as adapted to national specificities. He stressed that civil society was involved in all stages of the preparation process, noted that the choice of experts and timeframes are crucial, stressed difficulties in selecting criteria for prioritizing adaptation needs, and said the process allowed Mauritania to complete information regarding vulnerability on a sectoral basis.

Jigme, Bhutan’s National Environment Commission, highlighted the multisectoral and participatory NAPA preparation process in his country, based on thematic assessments of vulnerabilities. He said climate change is integrated into other national policies and plans, and outlined adaptation measures, including early warning systems and disaster management. 


Jigme, Bhutan’s National Envrionment Commission, said assessment of vulnerability for the elaboration of teh NAPA is being undertaken on a sectoral basis

He said challenges include addressing limited awareness, a lack of technical capacity, and paucity of information and data. He stressed that delaying NAPAs’ adoption would have serious consequences due to the current weak capacity for adaptation.

R.P Kabwaza, Malawi’s Ministry of Mines, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs, said the objectives of Malawi’s NAPA are to identify priority activities and projects, formulate adaptation strategies, build capacity, and raise awareness. He stressed limited input from foreign experts, monitoring and evaluation by a steering committee, a multistakeholder participatory process, links with the First National Communication and other sectoral policies, and the need to address poverty alleviation. He noted that difficulties include a lack of information and problems in recruiting skilled experts for a short period of time.
Describing Mozambique’s NAPAs' preparation, Marilia Telam Manjate, Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs of Mozambique, highlighted the participatory and region-based assessment process, and said possible adaptation measures include improvement of early warning systems. She said NAPA’s benefits include increased access to drinking water and the creation of new income sources.

Violet Wulf Saena, Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said her Ministry was responsible for developing the NAPA, noting multistakeholder preparatory teams. She said a country-wide consultation was carried out to identify gaps and prioritize action, noting country- and community-based criteria for prioritization. She noted that developing NAPAs is a time-consuming and learning process, and stressed funding issues and the need to integrate NAPAs with development plans, community commitments and monitoring.

Discussion: Participants stressed the need for, inter alia, a country-driven process and integration with other policies. They also noted complications in defining criteria to prioritize urgent needs.

Moussa Diakhité <>  

The PIN program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis: Facilitation of the climate talks
Presented by the Government of Austria

Norichika Kanie, Tokyo Institute of Technology, said only Canada, Denmark, Switzerland and Indonesia have NGO representatives on their delegations who are not former government officials

Gunnar Sjöstedt, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, stressed the value of social scientific expertise in facilitating political negotiations by offering ideas for restructuring the international policy process. He stressed the need to develop long-term strategies for structuring the negotiation process, and recommended using professional facilitators in future meetings, launching capacity-building programmes for delegates and NGOs in negotiation techniques, and using regional fora to promote political coordination and exchange of views.

Norichika Kanie, Tokyo Institute of Technology, advocated further strengthening vertical linkages between multilateral environmental agreements and domestic constituencies. Noting that while the number of NGO participants in climate meetings rivals that of government delegates, he said the decision-making process has not become more democratic or transparent. He proposed institutionalizing NGO participation in the climate process by creating multistakeholder dialogues and incorporating NGO representatives in government delegations. Kanie said some NGO representatives on delegations are former government officials and some delegations use confidentiality agreements to constrain the role of NGOs.

Dirk Hanschel, University of Mannheim, discussed social scientific research on the effectiveness of international institutions and suggested ways to restructure the climate negotating process

Dirk Hanschel, University of Mannheim, reported on efforts to develop a tool-kit for international law making that would provide practical guidance to negotiators and enhance the effectiveness of meetings. To make the process more effective, Hanschel recommended improving relations between the UNFCCC Secretariat and subsidiary bodies, facilitating issue linkages, hiring independent experts to identify win-win situations, and considering introducing a majority voting procedure.

Larry McFaul, UK Verification Research, Training and Information Centre, discussed verification mechanisms for monitoring, reporting, review and compliance. Noting that verification mechanisms must be both strong and flexible, he said the climate regime has a strong compliance mechanism in comparison to other environmental agreements, and noted that national communications and greenhouse gas inventories are effective tools for verifying policies and results. McFaul said uncertainty about the second commitment period reduces incentives for compliance during the first commitment period.

Discussion: Participants said introducing majority voting would be difficult, and discussed the need for a change in the social discourse by focusing on the economic benefits of climate action and the loss of economic competitiveness by countries who oppose the Kyoto Protocol.

More information:

Gunnar Sjöstedt <
Norichika Kanie <>
Dirk Hanschel <>
Larry McFaul <>

Community forest management as an efficient,
additional carbon sequestration strategy
Presented by Environnement et Développement du Tiers-Monde (ENDA)

Bhaskar Karky, King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation of Nepal, emphasized that 40% of the population in Nepal is involved in community forestry, and said carbon revenues from avoided deforestation projects could play a role in reducing poverty

Margaret Skutsch, University of Twente, emphasized the role of deforestation in global warming. She explained that “avoided deforestation” projects are currently not eligible under the CDM, but the project “Kyoto: Think Global, Act Local” aims to provide scientific evidence for a policy change in the second commitment period. She said 25 community-based forest management projects in six countries are involved, with local communities trained to monitor forest areas and make standard biomass estimates.

Eliakimu Zahabu, Sokoine University of Agriculture, explained the methodology that local communities are trained to use in order to monitor carbon sequestration and assess the state of the community forest. He said the methodology aims to reduce transaction costs, be user-friendly and fulfill scientific requirements.

George Jambiya, University of Dar es Salaam/World Wildlife Fund for Nature – Tanzania, said the Kyoto project includes six sites in Tanzania and one planned for Uganda. He outlined results from a Tanzanian village including two forests, noting that these results indicate good forest management.

Bhaskar Karky, King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation of Nepal, said results from the Indian State of Uttaranhchal show that community forests seem to have a positive impact on carbon storage, while results from Nepal indicate differences between local communities in forest management practices.

Libasse Ba, ENDA, said Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea are involved in the Kyoto project, and presented results from Senegal. He said villagers in the Tamba region have been trained to use field methodology, and have listed local priorities, including fire control, access to water, and development of agriculture and resources to fight poverty.

Jeroen Verplanke, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), discussed ways to capitalize on indigenous knowledge. He said communities involved in the project have learnt how to use high-tech equipment without difficulty, and noted that the cost of such technology is not high and is expected to decrease.

Peter Minang, ITC, analyzed ways of making Cameroonian community forestry policy compatible with the CDM, highlighting the need to clarify ownership of carbon credits and change forest taxation and timber extraction rules.

Mike McCall, ITC, outlined policy developments in community carbon forestry in India, Nepal, Cameroon and Mexico. He emphasized that community forestry could be developed to deliver additional environmental, economic and cultural benefits.

Margaret Skutsch <>
Eliakimu Zahabu <>
George Jambiya <>
Bhaskar Karky <>
Libasse Ba <>
Jerone Verplanke <>
Peter Minang <>
Mike McCall <>

Integrated administration of urban solid waste with reduction of methane gas and its use
Presented by the Forum of Buenos Aires (FOROBA)

Miguel Rementería, Interdisciplinary Commission of the Environment, expressed regret regarding the lack of financing for urban solid waste management projects

Miguel Rementería, Interdisciplinary Commission of the Environment, described plans to construct an integrated urban solid waste treatment plant in the municipality of Mercedes, a province of Buenos Aires, to manage 50 tons of urban waste per day while capturing and utilizing methane gas emissions. He indicated that the municipality is awaiting project registration under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). He stressed the need for public awareness raising and political will to support such an initiative, and indicated that the project could provide a model for other municipalities, will have to comply with domestic environmental legislation, and will have a positive social impact in providing 23 new jobs in the municipality. He highlighted the need to ensure safe working conditions, and explained that the emissions savings achieved through the construction of the plant should be compared against landfilling, which is the disposal method for solid urban waste in bordering municipalities. He stressed the need to educate the public to encourage them to separate organic and inorganic wastes. 

Alvaro Huguet, FOROBA, provided details of the technical operation of the plant. He described how inorganic components that constitute approximately 70% of the waste are separated from organic wastes. He explained that organic waste is crushed and mixed, before being introduced to an anaerobic bio-digester in which it is broken down to produce methane. He indicated that the methane is collected and used for energy consumption in the plant and sold to other industrial plants, while the resulting mud is broken down in worm beds.

Discussion: Participants questioned how to prevent the entry of contaminants like heavy metals into the organic matter, and Huguet responded that heavy metal concentrations were negligible, indicating that the solution was to effectively separate organic from inorganic waste.


Miguel Rementería <>
Alvaro Huguet <




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