AOSIS takes stock of progress at COP12

2006-11-15 H.E. Tavau Teii Download PDF

Topic: Climate

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Members States of the Alliance of
Small Island States, all of whom are Parties to this Convention. We are most
gratified by the warm welcome extended to our delegations.
Mr. President, at this session, AOSIS has sought progress on a number of
key issues, chief amongst them adaptation, capacity building, financing and
in general, the effectiveness of the operations of this Convention and the
Protocol. Enhanced representation would enable us to better participate in
these important discussions, so as to address these priority issues at future
meetings, including the upcoming session in Bonn next year. We call on
those in a position to do so, to provide the necessary support to ensure that
AOSIS Member States are adequately represented. That being said, we are
grateful for the support that we have received, for example the generous
support offered to our SIDS Article 6 Workshop on education, training and
public awareness by New Zealand and Norway.
Mr. President, AOSIS welcomed your opening statement and the emphasis
you placed on adaptation. This resonates very well with our own views that
we are now at a crucial stage for furthering the adaptation work. The 5-year
work program on adaptation being considered at this session could be an
important contribution. However, we do note that the program is, strictly
speaking, addressing activities that would support adaptation or would lay
the groundwork for adaptation. It is of concern to us that we will not yet be
looking at concrete adaptation activities. While we appreciate the need for
all vulnerable countries to be enabled to assess their adaptation needs, we
must also allow for consideration of stage 3 adaptation activities. The
linkages therefore to the Adaptation Fund must be considered at a future
session. I should also stress the urgency of implementing concrete adaptation
projects at the country level through some sort of prompt start mechanism.
Mr. President, as SIDS we have capacity building needs that are extremely
serious. While some progress has been made in training our national climate
change teams, we also have problems with retaining expertise. Of course, all
countries face this challenge of the brain drain, but for SIDS, where we have
small administrations to begin with and where the climate change impacts
will be most severe, we have to have sufficient capacity to build our
resilience. We need capacity to do research and observation, coastal zone
dynamics, agriculture and food security research, water resources
management and a whole range of other activities that are necessitated by
the challenge of climate change. Since our countries have done little to cause
climate change, we feel that it is only fair that the developed countries assist
us in coping with this challenge in a more timely manner.
Mr. President, we were legally required at this conference to review the
protocol under article 9. It is our view that we need to have a fairly broad
review of all elements of the protocol without undermining its overall
architecture. We consider this as a matter of some urgency in light of
emerging scientific information. While we recognize the need for common
but differential responsibility, we should also be open to a discussion of
what we as developing countries can do to contribute to the ultimate goal of
the Convention. I would like to note that many SIDS have instituted
comprehensive renewable energy policies, and that some SIDS are exploring
the use of reducing emissions from deforestation, so that we thereby address
mitigation. Some SIDS are also considered models of eco-friendliness. In
fact, the Mauritius Strategy suggests that the international community should
look to SIDS becoming virtual laboratories for sustainable development. The
main obstacle for achieving progress in this regard remains the lack of
exacerbated by small size and the consequent difficulty in
achieving economies of scale.
Mr. President, this conference has seen some major achievements. We
consider this conference to be a success since we have taken many important
decisions on adaptation work program, national communications guidance,
transfer of available technologies, and on furthering work under 1/CP.10.
That being said we still have much work to do, such as reaching conclusions
under the work on article 3.9, and AOSIS pledges its full support to
complete our agenda under your guidance.
Finally, we are most appreciative of the conclusion that has been reached on
the Mauritius Strategy issue here in Nairobi, and we in our SIDS expert
meeting will work hard to provide our views on the issues of priority to
SIDS on climate change in conjunction with the ongoing work of the
Convention and Protocol.
Thank you Mr. President.

Sub Topic: Cross-cutting


Meeting: COP12