AOSIS shares views to be discussed at the Expert Workshop on funding, insurance and technology transfer

1999-05-31 Samoa on behalf of AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Climate

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) welcomes this opportunity to further elaborate
on the issues relating to articles 4.8 and 4.9. These articles are of fundamental importance to
developing countries, in particular AOSIS, but unfortunately they have not received the
necessary attention up until now. AOSIS sees this as an important opportunity to move
forward the deliberation of the issues in a positive manner and has urged the Conference of
the Parties (COP) to start its consideration of what actions are necessary to assist the
developing countries included in Articles 4.8 and 4.9 in their efforts against the adverse
effects of climate change. In this regard would like to raise a few concerns.
AOSIS values the discussions currently undertaken on this issue, in order to establish a
process for considering Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the UNFCCC. A key point is that both
concepts whilst being considered jointly at the initial stage must also in the early stages pave
the way for further in-depth consideration as separate concepts. AOSIS is of the view that
those countries recognized under Article 4.8 will be those most vulnerable to the adverse
effects of climate change. AOSIS feels that preliminary discussions of considering jointly
both Articles have been fruitful in the context of assessing the sense of other Parties on this
very important issue. However, AOSIS is of the opinion that Parties must look at the adverse
effects of climate change as a premise for assisting those countries most vulnerable.
I. Process
It is clear to AOSIS that only the developing countries themselves can identify and highlight
their concerns in the areas of funding, insurance and the transfer of technology under these
articles. The best methodology for doing so appears at this stage to be the national
communications from Parties not included in Annex 1. Further opportunity should be given
for the developing countries to explore what other means could be used by the COP to better
reflect these concerns.
AOSIS views it as most important that each National Communication should outline
information on the adverse effects of climate change, including anecdotal information.
Although conventional science gathering methodologies of industrialized countries are an
accepted norm in many parts of the world, many of the AOSIS members have a wealth of
information related to climate change and this information needs to be considered alongside
conventional science.
Furthermore, AOSIS views the importance of the work of the IPCC in assisting Parties to fill
in gaps and provide information on the adverse effects of climate change. Both the 1st and
2nd Assessment Reports moved to assist us in this context, and it is hoped that the Third
Assessment Report will be able to build upon the previous reports with a focused view on the
special needs and concerns of small island states.
II. Analysis
AOSIS Members are concerned that we proceed speedily but with some degree of analytical
consideration. While adaptation projects will be the decision of Governments, there will be a
need to show how one has arrived at the conclusion that a given project is good for the
adaptation of the country. A number of countries that are members of AOSIS are fulfilling
their requirements under the UNFCCC to develop and complete their National
Communications. One of the most important components of each of these communications is
the outline on the vulnerability of the country to the adverse effects of climate change and
possible options to adapt to those effects. Recent agreements at COP4 have enabled AOSIS
members to take a look forward at how adaptation planning and technologies may be further
considered in detail in the context of the Second National Communication. It is also
important to address the issue of what constitutes appropriate alternative technology.
Parties should be assisted in their efforts to assess and evaluate different technologies, as well as in
sharing of information.
III. Further discussion and problem solving
The above section notwithstanding, AOSIS has been disappointed with past discussions in
that not enough effort has gone into producing innovative approaches to adaptation. There are
indeed very few adaptation technologies available, and AOSIS feels that further and
intensified work is required. This should contribute to the discussion of adaptation problems,
and assist particularly vulnerable countries to make informed decisions. AOSIS feels that the
most critical aspects of recognizing the special needs and concerns of its members will be in
the context of the transfer of technologies, particularly adaptation technologies, and the
financing of implementing technologies in member countries. AOSIS is of the view that
linking the concept to measures which provide for actual results to island communities is one
of the most vital issues we are seeking to address. AOSIS would therefore support any efforts
that the FCCC Secretariat may be able to undertake to assist the Parties in advancing the
discussion on the issue of adaptation, as well as on adaptation technologies and strategies.
IV. Linkages with other activities under the Convention
There are clear linkages to issues such as public awareness and education, as well as the issue
of financing of adaptation. AOSIS feels strongly that this particular linkage should be
highlighted as an important issue under the Convention. However, AOSIS feels that it is
premature to make a formal linkage to the issues which will arise under the Kyoto Protocol,
until such time as the Protocol is nearer to entry into force.
V. Participation
AOSIS Members are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. It is not
a coincidence that ‘small island countries’ are listed at the top of the list of countries most
vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Indeed the very survival of many of these
countries hinge on the ability of the international community to implement the provisions of
these articles of the Convention. Hence, it is absolutely vital that AOSIS experts be invited to
the workshop for an effective and balanced discussion on these important issues, and that the
participation by AOSIS Government delegates be facilitated. Such participation could also
have wider benefits for the AOSIS membership as a whole through the sharing of information
and experience.
AOSIS looks forward to the further work on this important issue, and considers that this is an
area where the FCCC Secretariat could usefully cooperate with other agencies and
departments of the UN system, such as the Small Island Developing States Unit of the
Department for Economic and Social Affairs, as well as with SIDSNet.

Sub Topic: Cross-cutting


Meeting: SB10