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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.
  • Wrote articles and newspaper reports, were quoted, or facilitated better coverage.

Examples of the coverage achieved include:

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