AOSIS shares views on national communications from non-Annex I Parties

1999-05-31 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Climate

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is grateful for the opportunity to comment on
the issue of the consideration of communications from non-Annex I Parties. As all AOSIS
Members are non-Annex I Parties, and the majority are in the process of completing their
national communications, this issue is relevant and timely.
I. General concerns with the national communications
AOSIS has found that the assistance provided to them in the preparation of their national
communication could be enhanced. A number of technical issues have been raised as
particularly difficult for many of the Small Island Developing States to adequately report on.
The process of consultations required has also been identified as being far too ambitious for
the purposes of the national communications, and to ensure that the contents are as accurate
as possible. There have also been difficulties in using some of the existing IPCC guidelines
because of issues of scale, as for example emissions from Small Island Developing States in
many cases are so very small.
II. Improvements to the guidelines
At this stage, although improvements will no doubt be needed, AOSIS finds it to be
premature to call for a full review of the existing guidelines for non-Annex I
communications, as contained in decision 10/CP.2. However, AOSIS will engage in the
discussions as more and more communications become available to see where any common
difficulties have arisen.
III. Consideration of the national communications
AOSIS is of the view that the national communications from non-Annex I Parties should not
simply be aggregated for purposes of assessing global emissions figures. AOSIS is of the
view that a large amount of additional information will be provided by the non-Annex I
Parties in their communications on issues such as adaptation projects, vulnerability
assessments and other considerations. AOSIS expects the Secretariat to extract these relevant
sections for inclusion in the background documentation for a number of discussions by the
Conference of the Parties. These include articles 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8 and 4.9, as well as 5 and 6.
AOSIS Members intend to include information relevant to these issues in their
communications, although the initial communications may not cover all the necessary details.
Subsequent communications would be gradually improved.
In their national communications, AOSIS considers it to be particularly important for the
most vulnerable countries to identify adaptation needs and requirements, and as far as
possible suggest projects to assist with adaptation. There should be an opportunity to discuss
the proposals first of all in terms of their structure (engineering, further research, etc.), second
in terms of technological and innovative dissemination, and third in terms of the financing of
these projects. AOSIS sees this as an important part of the process, so that the ideas being
generated in one vulnerable country can be shared with others in a similar situation. This
would be a meaningful contribution towards implementing article 12.4.
In terms of the exact process that this consideration will take, AOSIS finds it difficult to make
a concrete suggestion in the absence of more national communications from non-Annex I
Parties. It is at stage considered premature to apply the same review process which Annex I
Parties have to take part in to the non-Annex I Parties. However, there are some lessons that
could be learned, such as the mutual benefits that accrue from having the advice of experts on
sections of a Party’s national communication. Whether this expertise should be made
available on a voluntary basis, and whether it should be made available prior to the
completion of the national communication, or prior to the initiation of the subsequent
national communications, is not yet decided.
AOSIS considers that at the very least the initial process should also consider issues such as technological needs, capacity building and institutional strengthening identified by non-Annex I for adaptation as well as mitigation
AOSIS would suggest that an initial process be considered for those communications that
will have been received by the 5th Conference of the Parties, but that the formal decision
should be taken at the 5th Conference of the Parties. This initial process should consider
such issue as the need for provision of expertise, enhancement of the reporting structure,
policy advice, and problems encountered. The initial process should also highlight how the
contents of the national communications can and should be utilized in the discussion of
other important issues before the Conference of the Parties. It is also important to facilitate
the retention at the national levels of key personnel involved in the production of the national
communications. This aspect should be discussed in the context of this initial process,
especially in relation to the funding requirements as identified in article 4.3, keeping in mind
the provisions of article 12.5 and the ability of the non-Annex I Parties to engage in these
AOSIS looks forward to further discussing these issues at the meetings of the subsidiary
bodies in Bonn in May and June, 1999.

Sub Topic: Transparency


Meeting: SB10