Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Tuesday, 23 January 2018

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will represent the EU at the UN Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), organised in Samoa from 1 to 4 September. The event, which takes place every 10 years, will aim to put in the spotlight the significant challenges that these small islands face. The Commissioner will confirm EU's renewed commitment to address the special needs and vulnerabilities of SIDS. Due to their small size, the lack of domestic markets and economies of scale, the SIDS face geographic isolation and have limited institutional capacities. They are all greatly affected by climate change and confronted with rising sea levels, great dependence on highly costly imported fossil fuels, and face frequent natural and man-made disasters.

Having lived and worked for more than a decade in four Caribbean countries, I have witnessed firsthand how Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are extremely vulnerable to challenges ranging from debt and unemployment to climate change and sea level rise.Such aspects make their paths towards sustainable development probably more complex than non-SIDS countries. That was my experience, working closely with governments, civil society organisations and the people of Belize, Cuba, Guyana and Haiti – where I led the U.N. Development Programme's (UNDP) reconstruction efforts after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

A new research and development programme in the Pacific brings together the CGIAR and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to address climate-change-adaptation needs of Pacific fishers and farmers. The Pacific peoples are dependent on coastal resources for their livelihoods. Research has highlighted their extreme vulnerability to the effects of climate change, which is driving sea-level rise, ocean acidification, increased temperatures, erratic patterns of seasonality and increases in typhoons. CTA and the international agricultural research centres supported by CGIAR are joining forces to initiate a research and development (R&D) programme to build resilience and strengthen adaptation to climate change and variability amongst fishers and farmers in the Pacific region.

Monday, 01 September 2014

Climate is changing and the most immediate impact is likely to be from extreme climate events such as droughts, floods, storms and cyclones. The 2012 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events (SREX) and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation provides clear evidence that climate change has already affected the magnitude and frequency of some climate extremes. The UK’s Humanitarian and Emergency Response Review (HERR) predicted that globally 375 million people a year will be affected by climate-related disasters by 2015, and recommended that DFID should integrate the threat from climate change and other potential hazards into disaster risk reduction. The BRACED programme is part of DFID’s response to this recommendation.

Friday, 01 August 2014

The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) says it will implement an Euro 12.8 million (One Euro =US$1.29 cents) project later this year to address to address ecosystems-based adaptation. The CCCCC said the project will be carried out under an agreement with the German Development Bank (KfW) that seeks to protect the region’s extensive coastal resources through a combination of ecosystems-based adaptation and environmental engineering approaches.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

For the first time since the Fukushima disaster, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing ambitious climate targets, and plans to promote climate-friendly strategies worldwide at the annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. EurActiv Germany reports. "A turnaround is needed – worldwide," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at the Fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue on Tuesday (15 July).  Speaking in Berlin, Merkel quickly made it clear she intends  to motivate a greater commitment to climate change mitigation. It is important to provide for a wide spectrum of commitments, she said.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Green Climate Fund will be launched later this year, but India, China and, perhaps more surprisingly, the European Commission, will not contribute to its capitalisation. France promised to contribute, and called on its partners to do the same. EurActiv France reports. The capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund is under way, but without the EU. The first roundtable talks will be over by late 2014, but the European Commission will not be present. Due to governance issues, it has refused to contribute to the fund, which aims to help developing countries deal with climate change.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The president of Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific ocean, recently purchased eight square miles of land about 1,200 miles away on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island. Like other Pacific Island nations, including Tuvalu and the Maldives, Kiribati is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change — especially sea level rise. In certain areas around these islands sea level is rising by 1.2 centimeters a year, about four times more than the global average. Within decades significant chunks risk submersion. Kiribati president Anote Tong is well aware of this, saying of the purchase, “we would hope not to put everyone on [this] one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it.”

Friday, 04 July 2014

The European Commission and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that lays the foundation for continued collaboration on environment and climate change issues. Under the MOU, the European Commission and UNEP and will engage in more targeted cooperation on such areas as climate change, green economy, biodiversity and the new mercury convention. The MOU outlines the cooperation the two parties will undertake to protect the environment and prevent climate change, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication goals. The agreement is one response to the outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), held in June 2012.

Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Today and tomorrow, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and Ministers from 16 ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries will co-sign the first National Indicative Programmes under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020 in Nairobi (Kenya). The signing ceremony will take place in the margins of the meeting of the Joint Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU, in Nairobi.