Monday, April 25, 2016
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FOR many Small Island Developing states (SIDS) in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific the impact of natural disasters and climate change is real.
The recent devastation caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji reiterates why SIDS require specific assistance and points to the need to better "climate-proof" development projects in these economies.
Both the 2014 Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which took place in Samoa, and the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, recognised the vulnerability of countries to natural disasters but importantly also highlighted the shared responsibility of the state, the private sector and the development community in the recovery effort.
Severe TC Winston has disrupted Fiji's development path much like in 2015, when Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands. Having learnt from previous cyclones, Fiji's National Disaster Management Office in partnership with other government and United Nations agencies were in action before, during and immediately after the passage of the storm. Their work saved countless lives and prized possessions.
The response has also been swift from Fiji's traditional development partners such as Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, but also from China, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and other smaller islands in the region. As I make my first visit to Fiji as executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), my aim will be to see where ITC can be of assistance and help to rebuild the economy.
This first official visit to Fiji was initially planned as an opportunity to open new facilities developed through ITC's EU-funded projects to increase farmer incomes and exports for the Ra Province, and inaugurate new pasture management systems for sugar-belt livestock farmers. Together with Fiji's Ministry of Agriculture, the Pacific Community, community leaders and enterprise partners we had laid the foundations for a regeneration of Fijian agriculture.
Before Severe TC Winston, ITC and its project partners in Fiji had brought more than 700 farmers, their families and communities to a new level of production and income. These people had invested their time, effort and savings, and had just started to reap the rewards when the disaster struck. Now they have lost everything except the know-how and organisational structure imparted through the projects. More
Climate Change & Biodiversity (A Pakistan case study): Impact of Climate Change on biodiversity of Butterflies in Northern coniferous forests of Punjab,Pakistan
Climate change is an established fact but the way and the intensity in which the climate has been changing since 1975 has created an alarming situation in Pakistan .
The last decade was the warmest since instrumental records have been kept in the nineteenth century. Climate change is a major threat to biodiversity by causing changes in plant phonologies and a poleward shifts in birds and butterflies. In terrestrial ecosystem 28,586 significant biological changes are related with climate change. With a relatively short life-cycle and host-plant reliance, butterfly communities show quick response to climate change. Punjab has few coniferous forests which are home to many exotic species. Twenty two years climate analysis shows reduction in precipitation and an increase in extreme weather events. In short span of just twenty years 14 butterfly species have disappeared from very rich forests of Murree. The species which are present are also on the verge of extinction as with climate change the number of invasive species is coming upwards.
by Hassaan Bin Saadat (Author)
Saturday, April 2, 2016
25 March 2016: The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), Rachel Kyte, highlighted challenges to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).
Briefing UN Member States and civil society, she also provided an update on the SE4All initiative's plans for supporting implementation of the Goal.
Kyte emphasized that Goal 7 has three “pillars,” addressing energy poverty, technological advancement, and investment in energy efficiency. Stressing the interlinked nature of the Goal, she said the first pillar, addressing energy poverty, is essential to leaving no one behind, noting that the electricity access gap undermines education, productivity and economic growth, while the gap in access to clean cooking fuels is detrimental to health and gender inequality. On technological advancement, Kyte noted the past decade's reductions in the cost and complexity of renewable energy, which makes on-shore wind, solar photo voltaic, and other technologies more competitive with fossil-based energy sources. On energy efficiency, she said greater investment has made it possible to provide basic electricity services using much less power.
Despite this positive progress, Kyte warned that global economic trends have slowed the momentum for electrification, renewables, efficiency and clean cooking. She said the global energy transition is not taking place at a sufficient pace to meet the temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change, or the broader development goals expressed in the 2030 Agenda.
Kyte also stressed that the financial needs to achieve SDG 7, which are estimated at over US$1 trillion annually, will need to come from both private and public sectors. She highlighted the importance of small-scale, private investments to develop renewable energy in many African countries.
On the role of the SE4All initiative in supporting the achievement of SDG 7, Kyte said the Forum's 2017 meeting will assess progress and provide substance for the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) and the UN system as a whole in its review of progress towards the SDGs. In the meantime, SE4All is developing a framework for addressing challenges faced by Member States in achieving SDG 7. Member States will have opportunities to provide input on this framework throughout May 2016, Kyte said, and the SE4All Advisory Board will consider the framework at its meeting, on 15-16 June 2016. [Event Webcast] [SE4All Website]