Governance

Event: Course on Geospatial Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Horn of Africa [viewed]

The aim of this 10-day course, which is being sponsored by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), is to provide participants with: geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing methodologies related to disaster risk assessment; and training on the concepts of available geospatial technologies and methodologies for risk assessment and satellite-based mapping. At the end of the course, students are be expected to be able to: define and describe basic concepts and terminologies related to geospatial information technology (GIT); apply basic methods and functionalities for GIS analysis and mapping; identify, access, search, collect, organize and analyze geospatial data relevant to DRR; apply GIS methodologies and tools to perform disaster risk assessment; and understand and explain the advantages and limitations of using geospatial information in DRR.

The course will: provide insight into the various tools available in GIS for DRR; and introduce students to applications of geospatial technologies for DRR, with case studies for flood and drought, and map layouts. This course will include: lectures and GIS lab exercises using local datasets and real case scenarios; 10 modules; and a balanced approach between theoretical and practical methodologies.

The course is targeted to disaster management professionals working in government organizations who want to strengthen their practical skills in applications of geospatial technologies for DRR. Upon completion of the course, students will be presented with a UN Certificate from UNITAR. Participants are encouraged to complete the course ‘Getting Started with GIS' (http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.webCourseDetail&courseid=2500).  

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Guest Article #137: Mobilising 100 Financial Institutions for Energy Efficiency [viewed]

This month's COP 21 in Paris concluded with a universal agreement to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to aim to further reduce it to below 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, the world needs to shift to carbon neutral economies within this century – with a downward carbon trend required well before 2050.

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December 2015 Climate Finance Update [viewed]

December 2015 Climate Finance Update21 December 2015: During the month of December, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Adaptation Fund and the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), among others, reported on new financing pledges and other climate finance news. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), climate funds and UN initiatives launched studies, reports and briefs on, inter alia, climate risks and resilience, and adaptation finance. A large number of climate finance-related side events were held during the UN Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015.

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WTO Reports Progress on Environmental Goods Agreement [viewed]

World Trade Organization (WTO)14 December 2015: The World Trade Organization (WTO) has achieved "considerable progress and a high degree of convergence" toward an environmental goods agreements (EGA) to lower trade barriers on environmental goods, according to the chair of the negotiations, Andrew Robb of Australia. The EGA would contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Robb notes.

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Event: High-Level Signing Ceremony for Paris Agreement [viewed]

A high-level signing ceremony, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will take place as a first step in implementing the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015. The Agreement will then be open for signature in New York, US, until 17 April 2017. Countries will also need to adopt the agreement within their own legal systems, through ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. The agreement will enter into force when joined by at least 55 countries, which together represent at least 55% of global emissions. The ceremony is taking place on International Mother Earth Day.  

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UN Secretary-General, UNGA President Brief States on Paris Agreement, Next Steps [viewed]

United Nations15 December 2015: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Mogens Lykketoft briefed UNGA Member States on the outcomes of the Paris Climate Change Conference and its Paris Agreement adopted on 12 December 2015. They urged Member States to continue to act with collective responsibility, leadership and unity to implement action on climate change, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and outlined next steps on implementation.

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Advisory Group Highlights Sustainable Transport for Addressing Climate Change, SDGs [viewed]

United Nations7 December 2015: The UN Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport, including leaders from the public and private sectors and representing all modes of transport, met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, government representatives and other stakeholders on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Change Conference, aiming to advance implementation of climate-related solutions. The 16 members of the Group asserted that, through innovation in operations, policy and technology, the transport sector can lower emissions while ensuring access to markets, services and social interaction for people.

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Event: 2016 Annual Meetings of the Inter-American Development Bank and Inter-American Investment Corporation [viewed]

The 57th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the 31st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) is intended to provide a forum for discussion among the institution's Governors, including finance ministers and central bank presidents, and representatives of multilateral financial institutions, development agencies and private banks. A series of seminars will take place prior to the opening of the meeting. In addition to meetings of the Boards of Governors, the meeting will include sessions on, inter alia: the private sector as an engine of growth for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC); strengthening financing for the private sector to promote growth; consolidating LAC's participation in global value chains; the Caribbean's energy challenge; protecting productive ecosystems, including the coasts and the ocean, through an integrated approach; a “Blue Urban Agenda”; and the Road to Habitat III. The annual meetings take place in late March or early April each year.  

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UNFCCC COP 21 Adopts Paris Agreement [viewed]

cop21_iisd12 December 2015: On 12 December 2015, in Paris, France, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1), a universal, legally-binding agreement to take effect from 2020. Commenting on the new Agreement, COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France, stated, "The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high. Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort."

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COP 21 Side Events Address African Youth, SDGs, International Mountain Day on Final Day [viewed]

afric_cop2112 December 2015: Following intensive consultations and bilaterals, UNFCCC COP 21 concluded on Saturday, 12 December 2015, with the adoption of the Paris Agreement and associated decision (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1). On 11 December, a number of side events took place on the final official day of COP 21.

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