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NEWS: Climate Vulnerable Forum delivers powerful message to the world

Nineteen of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change delivered a powerful message calling unanimously for a legally- binding agreement for implementing the UNFCCC, in an impressive meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on November 13-14, 2011.

The meeting was inaugurated by UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon and attended by ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)– a body of counties facing major climate change challenges. The Forum Declaration is of particular significance in view of the fact that it has been issued days before COP 17 will be held in Durban.

The Declaration calls for urgent adoption of a comprehensive and legally-binding global agreement capable of fully attaining the objectives of the UNFCCC. It also reaffirms the commitment by climate vulnerable countries to focus on adaptation, particularly in the short term in order to minimise immediate danger, and calls on developed countries to support the implementation of schemes. Similarly, the declaration recognises an urgent need for technology transfer from the international community as a means of ensuring fuller and more pragmatic technological developments.

The forum reminded the world that the survival of people, and even countries, is at stake. As Sheik Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Bangladesh, said in his address:

“Climate change caused over 300,000 additional deaths last year. We the vulnerable countries suffer the most for our limited coping capacities. Bangladesh and other vulnerable countries could not wait for international response to climate causes…we are implementing 134 climate change adaptation and mitigation action plans.”

CDKN is supporting developing countries, through the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the Advocacy Fund and other initiatives, to take a leadership role in the UNFCCC negotiations.

As the forum declaration itself proclaims, the CVF is not waiting for the industrialized world to act on climate change.

“We are resolved, as vulnerable states, to demonstrate moral leadership by committing to a low-carbon development path on a voluntary basis within the limitations of our respective capabilities, which are to a large extent externally determined by the availability of appropriate financial and technological support and call on all other nations to follow the moral leadership.”

CDKN supported DARA to provide assistance to the Government of Bangladesh as hosts of the 2011 CVF. Briefing Notes provided the most up to date evidence on the impact of climate change to delegates and will be a useful resource for the upcoming COP 17.

With CDKN support, the CVF received high-profile attention and participation. Coverage by Al Jazeera, BBC, The Washington Post and a lot more,guaranteed the forum’s message is heard around the world.
One World provided online coverage of the forum and interviewed some of the key players, including Ahmed Naseem, Maldives Foreign Minister, José MaríaFigueres, former President of Costa Rica, and SaleemulHuq CDKN Asia’ Climate Change Advisor.

The 19 signatory countries who adopted the declaration are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh (chair), Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

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