Meeting

UN High-level Task Force on Global Food Crisis Holds Inaugural Meeting and Launches Website [viewed]

Moon12 May 2008: The inaugural meeting of the UN High-level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, focused on elaborating a comprehensive framework for tackling the challenges posed by the food price crisis. In his opening remarks at the 12 May 2008 meeting, Secretary-General Ban recognized that soaring food prices are “essentially linked to the global demand for food exceeding supply, the drivers of the crisis are complex and the consequences are varied. Tackling this issue will require international leadership and coordination at the highest level.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement | UN Press release | Task Force website

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World Migratory Bird Day Focuses on Biodiversity [viewed]

11 May 2008: Celebrated on 10-11 May 2008, World Migratory Bird Day 2008, organized under the auspices of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), sent a “clear signal to world leaders that more needs to be done to halt the loss of biodiversity and to increase national and international efforts to protect the network of sites required by migratory birds.” Although the exact reasons for the global declines are complex and vary from species to species and from flyway to flyway, the overall decline in bird numbers may be linked to the loss of habitats and biodiversity worldwide. The loss and fragmentation of essential habitats is being further compounded by the effects of climate change.

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IPCC to Hold Expert Meeting on LULUCF [viewed]

7 May 2008 : The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will hold an expert meeting on estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases from land uses such as agriculture and forestry.

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ITTO Meeting Develops Recommendations on Tropical Forests and Climate Change [viewed]

Head_logo2 May 2008: The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) held an international expert meeting on the role of sustainable management of tropical forests in climate change adaptation and mitigation from 30 April- 2 May 2008, in Yokohama, Japan. Participants reviewed the potential of sustainable forest management to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, explored existing and possible future schemes to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and other mitigation options in the forest sector, and made recommendations for future action.

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Working Group Considers Environmental Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities on Marine Biological Diversity [viewed]

Marine

2 May 2008: Participants to the Second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction have addressed the issue of environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities. A number of developing countries at the 28 April-2 May 2008 meeting in New York, US, organized by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, expressed concern with ocean-based climate change mitigation activities, highlighting uncertainties regarding their impacts.

Norway, Australia, Marshall Islands and Mexico argued that these activities should be subject to the carrying out of an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Above - L-R: Co-Chair Ambassador Robert Hill (Australia) and Co-Chair Juan Manuel Gómez-Robledo (Mexico).

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UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Makes Recommendations on Climate Change and Calls for UNFCCC Participation [viewed]

2 May 2008: An estimated 2000 delegates gathered at UN headquarters in New York, US, from 21 April to 2 May, for the Seventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII) – a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The theme for the session was “Climate change, biocultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship roles of indigenous peoples and new challenges.” In its deliberations, the Forum noted that indigenous traditional ways of life have been threatened by climate change, that indigenous peoples continue to be the main custodians of knowledge and biodiversity and that indigenous peoples have largely been kept out of the international dialogue on climate change.

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Second Review of Kyoto Protocol Discussed [viewed]

1 May 2008: The UNFCCC Secretariat recently organized a workshop in Bonn, Germany, for parties to the Kyoto Protocol to discuss a second review of the Protocol, which will take place later this year.

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FAO and World Leaders Gear Up for High-level Conference on World Food Security [viewed]

Fao_229 April 2008: “Soaring food prices in recent months are dramatically worsening the living conditions of the ‘bottom billion' of poor people who live on a dollar a day or less,” said Jaques Diouf, FAO Director General, in a statement announcing preparations for the FAO's “High-level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy,” to be held 3-5 June 2008 at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

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UNCTAD XII Adopts Accra Declaration and Accord, Stresses Action on Climate Change [viewed]

Unctad

25 April 2008: The twelfth UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII), which took place from 20-25 April 2008, in Accra, Ghana, adopted a ministerial Accra Declaration and an Accra Accord, identifying challenges and opportunities of globalization for development and a four-year work plan. The conference, which was attended by approximately 4000 delegates, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, considered sustainable development, poverty reduction and related global policies. The conclusions highlighted the challenges facing many developing countries in relation to global economic integration, and set out an agenda for progress in economic and social development. Outcomes included a pledge by member states to resist protectionism, particularly against goods and services from developing countries. The Accra Declaration notes that climate change currently poses a significant challenge, especially to the poor, who are least equipped to adapt. It urges urgent action to address adaptation and mitigation in accordance with the provisions and principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, bearing in mind the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and taking into account social and economic conditions and other relevant factors. It further states that adequate financing and technology will be critical to help developing countries to rise to this challenge and that the trade and development aspects of climate change are important for development prospects of developing countries, and should be adequately taken into account in mitigation and adaptation strategies.

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GEF Council Approves Climate Projects, Requests Further Guidance on Tech Transfer [viewed]

25 April 2008: The Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which convened in Washington DC, US, from 22-25 April 2008, reviewed a progress report on the implementation of the Resources Allocation Framework (RAF), discussed the Strategic Programme to Scale-up the Level of Investment in the Transfer of Environmentally-friendly Technologies, as requested by the UNFCCC, and approved ten climate change projects.

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