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Special Report on Selected Side Events at UNFCCC COP-6 Part II
published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat
<< visit the UNFCCC Secretariat website >>

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Events convened on Thursday, 26 July 2001

National communications from non-Annex I Parties
Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat

At this event, representatives from Cuba, Ghana, Nicaragua and Panama made presentations on their national communications.

Vute Wangwacharakul, Chair of the CGE, reports that non-Annex I national communications provided excellent and valuable information.

Vute Wangwacharakul, Chair of the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from non-Annex I Parties (CGE), noted that non-Annex I national communications provided valuable information, but significant challenges were encountered with their preparation. He outlined these challenges and the CGE's recommendations to address them. On greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, problems included a lack of activity data and local emissions factors, and difficulties with the use of the UNFCCC reporting guidelines and certain methods in the revised 1996 IPCC guidelines. The CGE recommended revising some source categories in energy, agriculture, waste, and land use, land-use change and forestry, and using the IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National GHG Inventories.
Listen to Wangwacharakul's introduction

On vulnerability and adaptation (V&A), problems included the use of methods contained in the IPCC technical guidelines; a lack of data and national expertise to apply methods and tools and inadequate institutional frameworks and financial resources required to undertake the assessments. The CGE recommended securing adequate financial and technical support to collect and manage data, enhancing national capabilities, strengthening institutional frameworks, and implementing adaptation plans on a sustainable basis. On GHG abatement analysis, Wangwacharakul said difficulties included a lack of data, methods and institutional capacity. The CGE recommended securing adequate funding for data acquisition and use of methods and tools, and improving national expertise.

Luis Paz explains that Cuba's national GHG inventory revealed a 37 percent decline in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels in 1994.

Luis Paz outlined Cuba's national communication. He highlighted the impacts of climate variability as particularly problematic, and outlined strategic actions to address these impacts, including building institutional capacity to develop climate prediction and early warning systems, develop climate applications, and anticipate the potential impacts of extreme events. Cuba's adaptation strategies include: protecting and better managing water resources; reducing the vulnerability of beaches and mangroves; conserving and protecting forestry resources and increasing forest cover; and improving its agricultural system. Paz highlighted lessons learned, including the need for: institutional capacity and additional funds to improve observation systems; more research, technical capacity and funding to enable a better understanding of actual climate variability; and capacity building for assessment of adaptation and mitigation costs.
Listen to Paz's presentation

William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu presented on Ghana's initial national communication. He reported that Ghana's GHG inventory, which assessed emissions from 1990 to 1996, revealed that Ghana is a net uptake country as of 1996. He noted that Ghana's water resources vulnerability assessment revealed that temperatures could rise 1°C over 30 years, rainfall and runoff could decrease by 20 and 30 percent, respectively, and groundwater recharge could fall by 5-22 percent by 2020. The coastal zone vulnerability assessment showed potential losses of land from erosion and flooding, and salinization of lagoons due to sea-level rise. He emphasized the need for more accurate data to better evaluate the likely impacts of sea-level rise.
Listen to Agyemang-Bonsu's presentation

William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, Ghana

Mario Torres presented Nicaragua's first national communication. He explained that their national inventory of sources and sinks, with a 1994 base year, revealed that Nicaragua is a net negative emitter. Torres highlighted several activities undertaken to address climate change, including: undertaking technical studies on impacts in hydroelectric energy, forestry systems and human health, on vulnerability in water resources, and on abatement in protected areas and the energy sector; developing a portfolio of projects and participating in various mitigation options, rehabilitating the national hydro-meteorological network; and incorporating climate change into university forestry and environmental engineering curricula. He highlighted problems encountered in preparing the communication, including difficulties with: qualified data archives related to the climate system and to forestry and forest fires; institutional capacity; and adequate financial resources for developing technical studies and activities.
Listen to Torres' presentation

Gonzalo Menendez, Panama's Deputy Minister of Environment, presented Panama's initial national communication to the Secretariat. Emilio Sempris explained that the process of preparing the communication revealed a high potential for GHG abatement options through improvements in energy efficiency, rural electrification with clean energies, and afforestation and reforestation. He emphasized the need for a second generation of V&A assessment of water resources, including an adaptation policy framework.

More information:

Vute Wangwacharakul <>
Luis Paz <>
William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu <>
Mario Torres <>
Emilio Sempris <>

Reporting and review of GHG inventories from Annex I Parties
Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat

From left to right: Audun Rosland, Taha M. Zatari, Martin Meadows, Jose D. Gonzales Miguez, Vitaly Matsarski and Helen Plume.
At this event, experts involved in the reviews of GHG inventories from Annex I Parties and a representative from a reviewed country presented their insights on the reviews.

Audun Rosland, Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, presented impressions on a recent desk review. He highlighted the usefulness of the Preliminary Guidance report and the synthesis and assessment (S&A) reviews, but suggested they could have been more focused, clear and detailed.

Jose D. Gonzales Miguez, Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, presented his experience with centralized reviews. He suggested that the process should be streamlined, and noted the need for better pre-review team preparation on the S&A reports.

William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu and J.D. Gonzales Miguez

William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, EPA Ghana, presented lessons learned from the UK in-country review process. He said the S&A reports were useful as a basis for in-country review, and stressed the need for access to additional information. He called for the timely availability of review materials and the presence of national sectoral expert teams during sectoral presentations.

Martin Meadows, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, highlighted key elements from New Zealand's in-country review process, including the review team's expertise, Secretariat support and timely availability of documentation. He underscored the need for access to the GHG inventory database and sufficient time for the review team to edit and review host country documents.

Heather Plume, New Zealand Ministry of Environment, presented New Zealand's perspective on the inventory review. She said the review was useful in prioritizing work on the inventory and highlighting issues regarding key sources, appropriate methodological approaches, data archiving and information.

More information:

Audun Rosland <>
J.D. Gonzales Miguez <>
William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu <>
Martin Meadows <>
Helen Plume <>

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) on the side is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. The Editor of ENB on the side is Kira Schmidt <>. This issue has been written by Emily Boyd <>, Fiona Koza <> and Kira Schmidt <>. The Digital Editors are Andrei Henry <> and Kenneth Tong <>. Photos by Andrei Henry <> and Leila Mead <>. Funding for publication of ENB on the side at COP-6 Part II is provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The opinions expressed in ENB on the side are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENB on the side may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor at <>. Electronic versions of these issues of ENB on the side from COP-6 Part II can be found on the Linkages WWW server at

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