Kesepakatan politis Kopenhagen dan masa depan bumi

Fitrian Ardiansyah, Koran Tempo, Kolom Ilmu dan Teknologi, 6 Januari 2010, Halaman B5

Guna mencegah perubahan iklim yang dahsyat, secara terus-menerus masyarakat dunia berupaya memastikan didapatkannya kesepakatan yang mengikat semua negara. Untuk mencapai hal tersebut, sekitar dua tahun sejak dari Bali ratusan negara bernegosiasi di bawah Kerangka Konvensi Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa tentang Perubahan Iklim.

Banyak yang mengharapkan Konferensi Tingkat Tinggi Perubahan Iklim ke-15 di Kopenhagen yang lalu dapat menghasilkan kesepakatan yang adil, ambisius dan mengikat. Sebelum Kopenhagen, selain dari Konvensi, PPB mempunyai perjanjian yang mengikat yang dikenal sebagai Protokol Kyoto. Namun, Protokol ini baru mengatur periode pertama (2008-2012) penurunan emisi gas rumah kaca (GRK) dari negara-negara maju sekitar 5 persen dari tingkat emisi pada 1990.

Karena itu, dibutuhkan perjanjian yang mengatur keberlanjutan periode kedua dari Protokol Kyoto serta perjanjian baru yang mengatur seluruh negara untuk secara wajib maupun sukarela mempunyai penurunan emisi besar-besaran.

Diharapkan, negara-negara maju secara berkewajiban menurunkan emisi GRK sekitar 25-40 persen pada tahun 2020 dibandingkan tingkat emisi pada 1990. Sedangkan, negara-negara berkembang secara sukarela menurunkan emisi sekitar rata-rata 30 persen dibandingkan grafik proyeksi pembangunan seperti layaknya saat ini (business as usual).

Seandainya ini tercapai, kenaikan suhu rata-rata muka bumi tidak akan melebihi 2 derajat Celsius – suatu ambang batas yang masih dianggap aman dan belum menimbulkan dampak parah akibat perubahan iklim.

Nyatanya, dinginnya Kopenhagen selama dua pekan sepertinya hanya memberi jalan bagi 119 kepala negara dan puluhan ribu perunding untuk ”sekedar” menghasilkan kesepakatan politis yang dikenal sebagai Copenhagen Accord.

Untuk mendapatkannya memang tidaklah mudah. Walau semua negara terkesan ”bergulat” sampai detik terakhir, keputusan yang ada hanyalah berstatus sebagai ”catatan semata” (taking note of the Accord). Status seperti ini tentulah sangat rapuh, dan tidak mengikat secara hukum. Nasib bumi dipertaruhkan sedangkan berbagai aspek untuk menanggulangi dan beradaptasi terhadap perubahan iklim menjadi tidak terlalu jelas.

Kesepakatan Politis Kopenhagen memang mencantumkan ambisi global dengan angka 2 derajat Celsius. Hanya, karena tidak ada target pengurangan emisi GRK yang jelas – terutama dari negara-negara maju – dalam penurunan emisi, diproyeksikan suhu rata-rata muka bumi dapat meningkat sampai setinggi 3,9 derajat Celsius.

Hal ini dapat berakibat kepada ratusan juta bahkan mungkin hampir setengah milyar penduduk bumi yang akan terkena dampak perubahan iklim dari banjir bandang di daerah pesisir, sampai kepada bahaya kelaparan, seperti yang ditulis dalam Review Stern.

Satu hal yang bisa dikatakan ”menggembirakan” yang tertuang di dalam kesepakatan politis ini adalah klausul penyediaan dana. Di dalam Kesepakatan Kopenhagen ini, negara-negara maju menjanjikan sekitar 30 milyar dolar Amerika sebagai dana tanggap awal (fast-start financing) untuk membantu negara-negara berkembang melakukan upaya adaptasi dan mitigasi, termasuk di sektor kehutanan.

Dana tersebut dapat bertambah sampai mencapai US$ 100 milyar pada 2020. Untuk mengaturnya akan dibentuk Copenhagen Green Climate Fund. Ini merupakan tanda yang baik, walaupun dana yang ditawarkan masih jauh dari harapan, karena selama bertahun-tahun sangat sulit bagi negara maju untuk berkomitmen mengeluarkan angka pasti kontribusi pendanaan mereak bagi negara berkembang.

Satu hal lagi yang mungkin menguntungkan bagi negara hutan tropis seperti Indonesia, adalah diakuinya REDD (pengurangan emisi dari upaya pencegahan deforestasi dan degradasi hutan).

Meski demikian, secara keseluruhan kesepakatan politis ini masih jauh dari cita-cita terjaminnya masa depan yang lebih aman bagi kita dan anak-cucu kita akibat dampak perubahan iklim.

Semua negara masih harus mendorong dicapainya perjanjian yang lebih mengikat secara hukum yang diharapkan dihasilkan di tahun ini. Suatu perjanjian yang secara menyeluruh dapat membuat kita lebih siap menghadapi perubahan iklim beserta dampaknya di tingkat dunia, nasional dan lokal.

FITRIAN ADALAH DIREKTUR PROGRAM IKLIM DAN ENERGI WWF INDONESIA DAN DOSEN TIDAK TETAP PADA PROGRAM PASCASARJANA DIPLOMASI UNIVERSITAS PARAMADINA

Advertisements

Lower than expected, but no turning back

Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta Post, Copenhagen, Road to Copenhagen   |  Tue, 12/22/2009 9:59 AM  |  Environment

After two years of formal negotiations, countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have “agreed to take note of” the Copenhagen Accord, without committing to accept it.

Countries wrangled and played hardball until the very last minute to produce a political but non-binding document crafted by the world leaders.

Falling sharply short of what we need – a fair, ambitious, legally binding global climate agreement — the Copenhagen COP (Conference of Parties)-15 with its Accord does still provide some real additions to ongoing negotiations.

Nevertheless, this political agreement does not offer a clear global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2020 and 2050, in particular for developed countries.

Under the annex of the Accord, developed countries will make individual pledges to reduce their GHG emissions. However, they are not required to provide an aggregate target, and there are also no targets for 2020 or 2050.

Unfortunately, the current pledges on the table right now may not be sufficient to hold global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Unless more stringent targets and actions are committed to in the future, pledges may lead instead to a global average temperature rise of 3.9 degrees Celsius.

To prevent global warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, industrialized countries need to commit to reducing their emissions by 40 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

Therefore, all countries need to continue pushing and lobbying industrialized countries into reducing their emissions.

The big question is whether the Accord can be used as the basis for forging the future legal instrument building on the Kyoto Protocol, including the aspects of compliance and enforcement, so that developed countries, such as the US, will commit to stronger GHG emissions reduction targets.

Governments under the UNFCCC in 2010 need to create a legally binding framework with an amended Kyoto Protocol, and strengthen this Accord leading to a new Protocol, which secures the survival of countries, cultures and ecosystems.

The Accord includes an annex of developing countries’ contribution to emissions reduction under the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). However, the Accord does not allude to long-term plans assisting countries in migrating to low-carbon economies from now to 2050.

To secure this pathway, developing countries need to agree on taking significant action to reduce their emissions to at least 30 percent less than business-as-usual (BAU) by 2020.

Another crucial angle of the Accord is the provision of a climate fund with goals for short-term and 2020 financing.

Some US$30 billion was committed to helping developing countries adapt to climate change, including in the forestry sector, with longer-term financing possibly reaching up to $100 billion by 2020.

A Copenhagen Green climate fund will be created as an operating entity to administer this financial scheme.

This is a good sign, as for many years, it has proved difficult to obtain financial commitment from developed countries to help developing countries tackle climate change.

However, the Accord has yet to elaborate on the sources of this financing. It is still unclear how much will come from carbon markets or public finance.

All countries, including Indonesia, the refore need to push for more detail on financing arrangements in 2010.

Another breakthrough in the Accord was the compromised reached between developed and developing countries regarding the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of actions aimed at mitigating climate change.

This hopefully will ensure that commitments pledged by countries will be realized in a more transparent way.

Assessments will be carried out through international consultation and analysis based on information provided by individual countries. The overall assessment of the implementation of this Accord shall be completed by 2015.

For Indonesia, another sign of hope is the recognition – in the Accord – of the crucial role of REDD-plus – reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation.

Overall, the Copenhagen Accord is still miles away from guaranteeing a safer future for our current and next generations.

Outcomes from Copenhagen’s COP-15 in Copenhagen were lower than expected. But time, however, is limited, hence there is no turning back.

Countries around the world need to work harder to transform the Accord into a stronger legally binding agreement, an agreement that will equip us politically and financially to cope with climate challenges at global, national and local levels.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/22/lower-expected-no-turning-back.html

What is at stake for Indonesia

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 12/01/2009 10:42 AM  |  Environment

Copenhagen, which will host the UN Climate conference in less than a week from now, may be far away from Indonesia. But any results coming out of this intense negotiation forum will have a significant impact on the fate of the country and the earth in general.

The Bali Action Plan (BAP), the main outcome of the 13th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-13) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Bali in 2007, marked the beginning of two years of formal negotiations to reach an ambitious global climate agreement.

This plan mandates parties to negotiate and reach a substantial agreement on how to — over the long term — reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mitigate and adapt to climate change, transfer and develop the appropriate technology as well as provide the financial resources and investment to do so.

As the host country of COP-13, it is in Indonesia’s best interest the Copenhagen conference reaches the BAP’s objectives – by having a new treaty regulating bigger GHG emissions cuts, which follows on from the Kyoto Protocol.

The current Kyoto protocol, which will expire in 2012, requires developed nations to cut GHG emissions by about 5 percent from 1990 levels to help slow global warming.

Credible science proves this level of cuts is insufficient, and that there is a need for all countries to urgently take further action.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average global temperature must not rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius if we want to ensure  that most vulnerable nations, communities and ecosystems survive.

Emission reductions from developed countries therefore have to be at the high end of the IPCC’s lowest mitigation scenario strategy – between 25 to 40 percent.

However, current proposed GHG emission targets will lead to a higher than 3.5 degree Celsius increase in average global temperature by 2100, according to Climate Action Tracker’s Project Catalyst.

Although China and the US – two of the world’s biggest GHG emitters – have brightened the prospects of reaching an agreement with their current promises to curb GHG emissions, the emissions reduction targets tabled by industrialized countries currently add up to only reductions of 10 to 14 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Therefore, Indonesian negotiators, led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, need to lobby industrialized countries to push them into committing to higher emission reduction targets.

Developed countries, including the US, are required to join a strong new international agreement in Copenhagen by adopting economy-wide quantified emission reduction commitments.

The commitments of industrialized countries need to be articulated without loopholes. The main loopholes to watch out for are: offsets, reduced/abandoned Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) surplus from the previous commitment period, and unclear accounting rules for land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Beside commitments from developed countries, developing countries also need to take significant measures to contribute to climate change mitigation.

A large number of developing countries, including Indonesia, have announced they would put in place significant measures unilaterally as well as actions that require the support of industrialized countries.

These measures should be spelled out clearly and in detail under the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) at the Copenhagen conference.

With NAMAs, developing countries can aim to reach the emission reductions required and at the
same time grow their economies enough to eradicate poverty and ensure the right to sustainable
development.

These actions need to be brought into the Copenhagen climate deal at a level that can lead to a deviation from business-as-usual scenarios of at least 30 percent by 2020.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a particularly important component of reducing overall GHG emissions.

With deforestation, forest degradation and other land use changes accounting for approximately 15 to 20 percent of GHG emissions, it is clear that any solution tackling climate change must include a solution to these issues.

The current rate of deforestation and forest degradation, not only affecting the world’s rich terrestrial biodiversity but also the livelihoods of more than one billion of the world’s poorest people, has clearly undermined the development of nations with tropical forests.

Therefore, it is crucial Indonesia and these nations secure a global umbrella framework for REDD as part of the post-2012 global climate agreement.

The success of the Copenhagen conference will not only mark Indonesia’s triumph in guiding the BAP but also ensure the survival of this archipelagic country, its hundreds of millions of people and precious ecosystems.

The observed and projected impacts of climate change in this country include an increase in the
severity of droughts, floods, fires, coral bleaching, the gradual rise of sea levels, and an increase in the frequency of extreme weather conditions including storms, which destroy natural and human-made systems in the area.

Therefore, it is important to set in place a framework for immediate action as part of the Copenhagen deal, especially for other vulnerable countries – including Indonesia – and ecosystems, which includes the provision of financial help to face loss and damage caused by climate change impacts.

Developing countries implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change cannot be expected to do so without financial support from industrialized countries.

Indonesia needs to convince industrialized countries they have to provide fast-start financial packages between 2010 and 2012. They must then be coaxed into agreeing on multiple and innovative sources and scale of long-term funding.

This overall support must be additional to aid budgets and managed in a transparent way to help developing countries.

For the last two years, 192 governments have worked on the new agreement, incorporating a shared vision and building blocks for mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance. All the necessary proposals have been drafted and are on the table. The raw material for a new agreement exists.

To ensure the BAP is implemented and a deal is struck in Copenhagen, Indonesia has to be pro-active in lobbying the world’s negotiators and leaders to agree to the relevant parts of the future climate treaty, formulated in treaty language, based on a decision on the exact form of
an enforceable, legally binding framework.

Indonesia can use its unique position to bring the developed and developing worlds together and bridge the gap between these two blocks to reach a global climate agreement.

Positive outcomes at the COP-15 will not only help the world tackle climate change but also eventually safeguard the development and survival of Indonesia’s population and its valuable ecosystems.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/01/what-stake-indonesia.html

New emerging economies, new climate leaders?

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 11/24/2009 1:09 PM  |  Environment

With less than 2 weeks to go before the start of the Copenhagen conference, and with leaders from developed countries having so far failed to pave the way for a successful outcome at the summit, the world may require stronger leadership from emerging economies to provide a breakthrough.

The Copenhagen conference is a critical moment that the world has been working toward for two years since the Bali Conference of Parties (COP-13), which historically marked the beginning of 2 years of formal negotiations to reach an ambitious global climate agreement.

Its success will depend on parties reaching an agreement on how high they will set the bar to bring about reductions in emissions that will ensure the survival of the most vulnerable nations, communities and ecosystems.

To achieve this objective, industrialized countries will have to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 to 40 percent compared to their 1990 levels, as recommended by one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) scenarios.

Some developed countries, e.g. the European Union (EU) and Japan, have taken this 15th Session of Conference of Parties (COP-15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) very seriously.

These countries committed themselves to emit 20 to 25 percent less GHG than in the 1990s by 2020.

They also promise to increase their emission reduction target if other industrialized countries and big developing countries follow suit.

Other developed countries, have yet to come up with more ambitious targets, while the US, the largest emitter of GHG and the only Annex I country that is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, hasn’t even announced its GHG emissions reduction target.

On the other hand, key emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia have unveiled their mitigation policies.

In the last two years, these countries have developed and completed their respective national strategies and plans to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.

These include: China’s National Climate Change Program (completed in June 2007), Indonesia’s National Action Plan addressing Climate Change (completed in November 2007), South Africa’s Long Term Mitigation Scenarios – Climate Change Policy Framework (completed in July 2008), India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (completed in July 2008), and Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change (completed in December 2008).

This year, some of their leaders went even further by vocalizing their aspirations to reduce their countries’ emissions to less than business as usual (BAU) by 2020.

The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has made a pledge to reduce the country’s emission by 26 percent in 2020 and by 41 percent if supported by developed countries.

His counterpart in Brazil has stated that by 2020, this country intends to reduce its emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 percent in comparison to a BAU scenario. Both countries have also promised to reduce emissions from deforestation.

South Africa, meanwhile, said it could level off its emissions by 2025. Others, including China and India, are pouring money into green-energy projects; while China has talked about significantly reducing the carbon intensity of its industry, and in a joint statement with the US, the country flagged its intention to crystallize this objective in an international agreement.

These existing unilateral actions taken by new emerging economies may have a larger impact than many realize. Given the stage of development these emerging countries are currently at, their existing aspirations have shown they are not only courageous but also willing to contribute to climate solutions.

The existing aspirations of Brazil, China, Indonesia and South Africa alone – if implemented – will do approximately as much to reduce GHG emissions by next year as the EU hopes to accomplish by 2020, according to an analysis by the Center for Clean Air Policy.

On the other hand, climate change in developing countries can lead to significantly damage to natural, communal and business assets. Some studies typically place damage in the range of 2 to 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per year for these countries, if the average temperature increases between 1.5 and 4 degrees Celsius.

People living in developing countries, including those in Asian mega-cities, along coastal areas and river deltas, are the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, storms and other phenomena arising from climate change, underscoring the threat to these peoples’ lives and economies, states a recent WWF’s report.

Hence, it is in these emerging economies’ best interest to reach successful outcomes to both mitigate and adapt to climate change in Copenhagen.

To accomplish this, leaders of emerging economies need to influence their counterparts in developed countries – especially the US – and show that Copenhagen can still deliver what the world needs. Negotiators have been working on the legal language for over a year, it is ready and the only missing ingredient is political will to make the final calls and turn it into a treaty text.

The text needs to capture the important progress that has been made to date – partly by these emerging economies – and create a clear, fast path towards a final legally binding document. This document may not need to capture every detail but certainly has to incorporate ambitious objectives.

Regardless of the outcomes reached at Copenhagen, emerging economies need to urgently take action in their own backyards. A less carbon-intensive development needs to be mainstreamed to ensure these countries develop in a sustainable manner, with a positive effect on the global climate system.

These actions will also contribute to achieving sustainable development objectives, such as energy security, sustainable economic development, technological innovation, job creation, local environmental protection and enhancement of emerging countries’ capacity to adapt to climate change impacts.

However, these actions require adequate, sufficient and sustainable financing. The finance available within emerging economies and the one offered by developed countries to pay for low-carbon development and adaptation to the impacts of climate change is currently inadequate.

In Copenhagen, leaders of new emerging economies need to ensure that this coming agreement will provide innovative sources of funding and a commitment to financial support in addition to the already stretched aid budgets.

A deal with low targets and no financial support to pay for low-carbon actions in developing countries will not halt the world’s trajectory towards dangerous global warming.

Achieving favorable outcomes in Copenhagen is not impossible. There is still time and opportunity to turn Copenhagen around, but this requires political will.

Leaders of emerging economies hand in hand with their counterparts need to commit to action to reduce emissions, to provide sufficient public financing through reliable mechanisms, to protect forests, and to support the most vulnerable countries to adapt to and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Only if leaders step up at this unique moment will history judge them as climate leaders and heroes. For this, the future is literally in their hands.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf or.id

Original Link:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/24/new-emerging-economies-new-climate-leaders.html

Copenhagen deal: The Coral Triangle’s chance to survive

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Richard Leck ,  Contributors ,  The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   |  Tue, 11/03/2009 1:06 PM  |  Environment

Water covers almost 71 percent of the surface of our planet Earth, with our five oceans – including the Indian and Pacific – containing 97.2 percent of the Earth’s water.

Unfortunately, scientists report that climate change is rapidly transforming these oceans and may result in devastating impacts on people and marine species.

The Coral Triangle (CT), the world’s center of marine life located along the equator at the confluence of the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, is now under extreme threat from climate change as well as escalating local and regional environmental pressures.

Not only is the region one of the world’s most amazing natural marvels comprising valuable marine environments as well as a much sought-after tourist destination, it also provides a daily income to hundreds of millions of people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

The CT – renowned as the “nursery of the seas” that covers barely one percent of the globe’s surface – is home to 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs and more than 35 percent of its coral reef fish species.

Much of the tuna eaten around the world comes from the CT, an important contribution to the economies of Indonesia and our neighbors with whom we share this precious area. The region’s cultural significance cannot be overstated, nor its importance for rare species, such as the six species of marine turtles swimming its waters.

Fast-forward a few years into the future. As a result of climate change, seas will warm up and large areas of once iridescent coral will be bleached and rendered lifeless.

A massive breakdown of the ecosystem will limit the Coral Triangle’s ability to support the people living on its coasts, and the effects will be felt wherever people make a living from the sea – from small coastal settlements to mega cities.

The truly frightening part is that many people are already witnessing these changes – such as more intense storm surges, or tropical cyclones, shifts in weather patterns and changes in the behavior of marine species. These observations are backed by solid science.

According to a panel of scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), climate change is increasing the temperature and acidity of seawater – leading to coral bleaching – and altering atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

At the May 2009 World Oceans Conference in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado, the WWF released a report about the impact of climate change on the Coral Triangle. The report showed more intense cyclones and typhoons, increased acidity of oceans, rising sea levels and the destruction of coral reefs were likely to occur if the world continued to emit greenhouse gases at its current rate.

If we don’t halt this growth rate, the cost our children will have to bear will be massive. By 2050, the Coral Triangle will provide 50 percent less protein than it does now and 80 percent less by the end of the century.

In other words, we’re talking about a massive threat to food security. In Indonesia alone, where fish account for more than 60 percent of the animal protein consumed, the impacts on people’s livelihoods will be catastrophic.

However, there are reasons to be optimistic. The impact climate change has on the CT and its people has finally begun to receive the attention it needs. Regional and international measures are gradually emerging to avoid an ecological and human catastrophe in this region.

The leaders of the six countries that make up the Coral Triangle – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands – have identified the urgent need to shield some of poorer communities living along the coast from the devastating impacts of climate change.

Some of these impacts are unavoidable but we can reduce their scale and severity by introducing and mainstreaming climate change adaptation, which will lead to an increase in the resilience and resistance of people and ecosystems.

For instance, working as part of the Coral Triangle Initiative, the WWF is in the process of identifying pockets of marine diversity that are more naturally resistant to coral bleaching.

By establishing a solid network of well-managed and sustainably financed marine protected areas through partnerships with governments, communities and businesses, we can help defend these vital areas against a changing climate.

World leaders must support Coral Triangle countries in their efforts to protect their most vulnerable communities from rising sea levels, loss of food and livelihoods.

This help must come in the form of improved stewardship of marine resources to reduce stresses on the local environmental caused by over-fishing, pollution and declining coastal water quality and health.

Without a global agreement at the UN Climate Conference at Copenhagen in December to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, efforts to sustainably manage the Coral Triangle’s marine resources for the millions of people that depend on them will be in vain.

Moreover, it is crucial to recognize ocean- and coastal-related dimensions – promoted in the Manado Ocean Declaration – as part of the negotiation text and eventually as elements of the outcomes derived from the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.

The ocean and coastal dimensions cover issues of vulnerable coastal communities, subsistence fishing, capacity-building enhancement, the importance of marine and fisheries research to support policy implementation and adaptation as well as mitigation strategies.

In one month’s time, negotiators and world leaders at Copenhagen will have the opportunity to give some of the most vulnerable areas on Earth a chance to survive.

It is time our leaders endorsed tough but crucial decisions to safeguard the Coral Triangle, so that we can survive in the long term.

Fitrian is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id. Richard is the WWF’s climate change strategy leader – Coral Triangle. He can be reached at richard.leck@wwf.org.au.

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/03/copenhagen-deal-the-coral-triangle039s-chance-survive.html

Dealing with climate change dangerous impacts

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, The Jakarta Post, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Ari Muhammad ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 10/13/2009 12:11 PM  |  Environment

Climate change is a grave threat to the economies, societies and natural environment of all countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia.

Unless action is taken today to begin to stabilize and then reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – action including achieving an ambitious global climate agreement at Copenhagen – the impacts of climate change will become increasingly severe and irreversible.

Climate change can lead to damage to natural, communal and business assets. Some studies typically place damage in the range 1-1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per year for developed countries, and 2-9 percent for developing countries, if the average temperature increases between 1.5 and 4.0 degrees Celsius.

In his 2006 review, Nicholas Stern extended this estimation by stating that unabated climate change could cost the world at least 5 percent of GDP each year; if more dramatic predictions come to pass, the cost could be more than 20 percent of GDP.

Overall in Indonesia, the observed and projected impacts of climate change include an increase in the severity of droughts, flooding, fires, coral bleaching, the gradual rise of sea levels, and the increase in frequency of extreme weather conditions including storms, which will be destroying natural and human-made systems in the area.

Increased rainfall during the wet seasons may lead to high floods, such as the Jakarta flood in February 2007 that inundated 70,000 houses, displaced 420,440 people and killed 69 with losses of US$450 million, according to the World Health Organization.

Hundreds of millions of people live in Indonesia, most of who depend on resources, goods and services for their livelihood. However, climate change will profoundly affect biodiversity, water resources and the economy in the country, all of which in turn will impact its people.

One study reveals that millions of people are at risk from flooding and sea-water intrusion caused by rising sea levels and declining dry-season precipitation; these phenomena will negatively impact the aquaculture industry (e.g., fish and prawn industries) and infrastructure along the coasts of South and Southeast Asia.

The impacts of climate change will increase the pressure on forest, coastal and marine ecosystems caused by illegal and destructive logging, overfishing and overexploitation of natural resources.

Hence, the challenge that the government faces is finding ways to devise climate-smart development strategies that ensure the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation in the country’s development agenda.

Adapting to climate change means adjusting natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

This demands not only the improvement of national policies – which includes devising climate-smart strategies and mainstreaming these in the development agenda – but also the increase in workforce capacity from national to local levels. To begin with, this requires significant amounts of adequate, sufficient and sustainable financing.

To protect natural and business assets from climate change impacts, the World Bank estimates that $9-41 billion a year will be needed globally. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calculates the need for $49-171 billion a year – to adapt to climate change alone until 2030 – in which $28-67 billion is required to help efforts in developing countries.

Unfortunately, the current provision of funds to cope with these impacts is yet to be at a level sufficient to meet these requirements. The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) have allocated only $114 million, and the Adaptation Fund, established last year, can accumulate and provide only around $200 million. Some even predict that in reality only $500 million can be gathered for climate change adaptation.

With this dismal figure, Indonesia also needs to seriously prepare its regional and domestic plans to adapt to climate change. Vulnerable sectors – agriculture, marine and coastal, forestry and infrastructure – and areas need to be assessed and prioritized.

Cooperation among countries at the regional level is essential and coordination among sectors and different levels of government is pivotal for successful adaptation initiatives.

At the regional level, for instance, the creation of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) by six countries in the Asia Pacific is a good starting point for addressing climate adaptation in marine and coastal areas.

This initiative and its Regional Action Plan can complement individual countries’ actions to reduce the social, economic and biological impacts of climate change by developing adaptation policies and providing funding, especially for establishing and managing networks of marine protected areas and promotion of sustainable coastal livelihood.

Effective management of coastal resources through a range of options including locally managed regional networks of marine protected areas, protection of mangrove and seagrass beds and effective management of fisheries would contribute to a slower decline in coastal and marine resources as well as an increase in the resilience of coastal communities and the marine sector overall.

At the local level, encouraging news is coming out of Lombok. The provincial government of Nusa Tenggara Barat has carried out initial vulnerability assessment, predicting climate impacts and identifying areas and sectors most vulnerable to climate change.

It is a pioneering work because many climate predictions and assessments have been carried out at a global or regional level. The most important thing is that the results of this assessment were endorsed by the governor, and key elements of the findings are planned to be inserted in the mid-term development planning document of the province.

Reducing and coping with climate change impacts may be an endless struggle. However, some actions taken at the local, national and regional levels can further keep our hope alive to win this battle.

Fitrian is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id. Ari is adaptation policy coordinator at WWF-Indonesia. He can be reached at amuhammad@wwf.or.id.

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/13/dealing-with-climate-change-dangerous-impacts.html

Getting ready for REDD — crucial for tropical forest nations

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, The Jakarta Post, Fitrian Ardiansyah | Tue, 10/06/2009 9:06 AM | Environment

The achievement of a strong climate agreement in Copenhagen is essential to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius. With deforestation, forest degradation and other land use changes accounting for approximately 20 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is clear that any solution to the climate change problem must include a solution to these issues.

In addition to contributing to global climate solutions, tackling deforestation and forest degradation is a crucial part of the development of tropical forest nations.

Forests have a vital role to play in the fight against global warming — being the largest terrestrial store of carbon and the third largest source of carbon emissions after coal and oil.

Also, forests have significant economic and ecological values as providers of ecosystems’ goods and services, a home for the largest part of the world’s biodiversity and support for the livelihoods of more than 1 billion of the world’s poorest people.

Indonesia, as one of the largest rainforest countries in the world, has been facing a serious rate of deforestation and forest degradation, which eventually leads to the significant GHG emissions and the undermining of the development of the country.

According to the Forestry Ministry, the country lost around 2.8 million hectares a year in 1995 to 2000, 1.09 million hectares a year in 2000 to 2005 and 0.8 million hectares a year in 2006 to 2008. Forest degradation was at 59.7 million hectares in 2002. Sumatra, Kalimantan, Papua are the three islands most affected and threatened by deforestation and forest degradation.

For Indonesia to be successful in addressing these issues, the country needs to urge the creation of a global umbrella framework for REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) under the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).

This framework has to provide clear directions on policy approaches and build a mechanism for financial support for developing countries in preparing, developing and implementing REDD.
WWF’s report on climate solutions identifies that the probability of success of good climate solutions will drop progressively from greater than 90 percent down to 35 percent in the absence of effective action to curb forest and land-use emissions.

Hence, making REDD part of the post-2012 global climate agreement will not only help tropical developing nations but also clearly contribute to solving climate change problems.
Until the Bangkok Climate Change Talks this week, significant progress has been made. The incorporation of REDD in the Bali Action Plan, which emerged from the UNFCCC COP (Conference of the Parties)-13 in late 2007, was a good start for a global framework.

This has encouraged the development of REDD readiness programs at the national level in many countries, the initiation of early actions in the forms of REDD demonstration activities at subnational levels (i.e., landscape or district levels) and the exploration of financing options for REDD.
Nevertheless, substantial work and challenges remain if a coherent REDD mechanism is to be successfully included in the post-2012 agreement. These include aspects related to developing further policies and improving the technical capacity in developing countries, as well as the provision of adequate, sufficient and sustainable financing.

In Indonesia, the development of REDD policies dates back to before the COP-13 in Bali, with the establishment of IFCA (Indonesia Forest Climate Alliance).

The Alliance, led by the Forestry Ministry and helped by various government departments, donor agencies, research institutions and NGOs, has outlined key elements of REDD including methodologies, land-use policies, institutional arrangement and benefit distribution mechanisms.

Evolving from this and as part of the ministry’s internal policy development, three ministerial decrees have been issued on REDD (i.e., 68/2008, 13/2009 and 36/2009). These decrees have made Indonesia the leading country in providing legal direction in developing and exercising REDD.

However, with 109.9 million hectares gazetted as formal forest zone, Indonesia has to do considerable preparations to have proper REDD policies. Deforestation and forest degradation are often associated with the development of other sectors, such as agriculture, mining and infrastructure. Hence, the creation of REDD policies at the national level has to address the involvement of these sectors and coordination among these sectors is critical.

Decentralization and growing aspirations among indigenous and local communities will also require the central government to take into account the roles and needs of local governments and these stakeholders in developing policies and financial mechanisms for REDD.

Failure to capture these important aspects may hinder the development and implementation of REDD and may make Indonesia lose one of the biggest opportunities to reduce and even stop deforestation “once and for all”.

Another important aspect for REDD to be workable is the provision of positive incentives. For this, Indonesia and other developing countries need to remind industrialized countries they must assist developing countries in financing REDD.

REDD will need substantial and predictable amounts of funding from multiple sources, starting immediately. Different funding sources will be appropriate for phases of REDD’s development, which may include preparation or readiness, demonstration activities and full implementation, as well as considering the needs for capacity building and different national circumstances.

These include public funding committed by industrialized countries as part of the agreements reached at COP15 in Copenhagen. Over time, compliance carbon markets can also play an increasing role in securing adequate funding for REDD.

It is essential to have this general work on policies, financing and ground initiation ready and tested for REDD to be successful in the future and contributing to real reductions in emissions.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy.
He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id. This weekly column features articles related to developments in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/06/getting-ready-redd-—-crucial-tropical-forest-nations.html