FEATURE: Postcard from Cancun – an Asian view
by Kashmala Kakakhel, Hina Lotia and Ali Tauqueer Sheikh, CDKN Asia team
CDKN’s Asia team attended COP 16 primarily to facilitate the contribution of the Pakistan delegation, under the CDKN-supported project Strengthening the Ministry of Environment’s Climate Negotiations Capacity. Under the project, five policy Briefs and eight Background Notes were developed.
Following the Policy Briefs work, Pakistan proposed an alternative definition of vulnerability. The present definition favours the least developed countries but not as much mid-sized countries like Pakistan that face a climate threat from multiple sources – from glacial melting, to changing patterns in monsoon, to seawater rise. The proposed definition has not been accepted, and may never get accepted by all parties, but it has given Pakistan at least an opportunity to articulate its position.
The CDKN team proactively supported the idea that the head of the Pakistan delegation should convene an informal meeting of SAARC countries. The argument in favor of convening such a meeting prevailed, giving Pakistan’s environment minister an occasion to explain to his counterparts his country’s position in the negotiations. South Asia is not a negotiating group, but such exchanges serve as building block for the countries in the region to better appreciate each others’ concerns and positions.
The CDKN team also facilitated a well-attended side event by Pakistan to highlight its vulnerability due to the recent floods. The event was also an opportunity in enhanced visibility for CDKN.
CDKN sponsored a group of nine delegates in order to augment the existing capacity of the Government of Pakistan. The delegates included climate experts with technical knowledge, adding depth to the overall representation. The delegates actively participated in regular and high-level segments of CoP, engaged in discussion and prepared joint positions involving technical input. In addition, the delegates were:
- Invited as panelists for other events and engaged in fruitful discussion.
- Presented a critique of the AGF report that was very well received, and covered in the media.
- Wrote articles and newspaper reports, were quoted, or facilitated better coverage.
Examples of the coverage achieved include:
- Yale School of Environment and Forestry Studies: It’s not about money
- Alertnet: Pakistan seeks standing as most climate vulnerable
- Dawn: Climate talks move ahead in Cancun
- Dawn: Minister urges world to show flexibility
- Dawn: Flood crisis highlighted at Cancun talks
- The News, Islamabad: Experts discuss future roadmap for up-scaling climate change
- One Pakistan News: Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change can never be ignored
- The Nation, Pakistan: Policy on climate change to be landmark
- OnePakistan News: Pakistan suggests meeting of SAARC members at CoP16
- Politics and Development Magazine: Climate change has some positive impacts too, expert
- The Friday Times: No can in Cancun – Rina Saeed Khan endures another fancy climate change conference
- Politics and Development Magazine: Capacity to understand REDD is limited all over the world: IG Forest Syed Mehmood Nasir
- Politics and Development Magazine: Developed countries are walking away from their promises on climate change, says expert
- Politics and Development Magazine: 2010 Climate Change Summit failed to achieve its objectives, however, it salvaged the process of negotiation, says UNEP’s former deputy executive director
- Politics and Development Magazine: Crisis of leadership, lack of coordination marred Pakistan performance at Cancun, says environmental writer
- Politics and Development Magazine: Pakistan lacks capacity to assess challenges posed by climate change: Shafqat Kakakhel
- Politics and Development Magazine: Climate change worst threat after terrorism, says policymaker
- Politics and Development Magazine: Pakistan deserves to be included in the list of most vulnerable countries due to climate change, says Planning Commission’s Dr Aurangzeb Khan
- Politics and Development Magazine: An effective policy together with an adaptation center is the solution to the challenges posed by climate change, says Dr Pervaiz Amir
- Politics and Development Magazine: Trans-boundary issues can unite India and Pakistan, says CDKN Asia Director Ali Sheikh
- Pakistan Times: Pakistan urges swift global response on Climate Change
- Pakistan Times: COP16 is a step in the right direction if Kyoto Protocol is extended beyond 2012: Expert