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Climate change negotiators meet

Nov 15, 2010, 12:27 PM | Article By: Abdouile Nyockeh

As climate change discussions continue to gain momentum across the globe, various expert and climate change negotiators from least developed countries within the sub-region on Friday concluded a three-day regional preparatory forum.

Funded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, UNEP and the Gambia government, the forum was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

In his opening statement, Hon. Jatto Sillah, minister of Forestry and Environment, described climate change as "a global problem, a predicament for all nations but its effects are distributed unevenly".

According to the minister, "the issue of climate change is downplayed by a lot of countries, in particular our partners in the so-called developed world, most of whom are the real culprits".

He called on experts "to ensure that justice prevails as Africa bears the brunt and silent pains of something that it does not at all attribute to".

Minister Sillah opined that climate change has continuedand will continue to be the major challenge for us, and that its impact will spare neither the rich nor the poor.

"As members of the least developed countries, our vulnerability cannot be compared with some other countries," he stated, noting that those who have the capacity to cope with the effects of climate change and its mitigation are also historically responsible for the cumulative green house emission that is causing these harmful effects, and must be addressed now.

He told experts: "I have been adequately informed and fully aware of the recent climate change conference held in Tianjin, China, where you had discussions on the development of a long-term shared vision to deal with climate change on both adaptations and mitigation, operational elements such as climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building including the future of the Kyoto Protocol."

He also urged them to "speak with one common voice, loud and clear that will benefit our countries".

The minister urged the experts to also ensure that, during their negotiations, the nationally appropriate mitigation actions for developing countries do not affect their goals for economic growth and poverty reduction.

"Development and transfer of technology remains at the forefront as key elements for crafting a future climate regime, and for enabling the effective implementation of ongoing actions on both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and there is need to clarify how financial and technological support both mitigation and more importantly for LDCs adaptation will be generated, Minister Sillah further stated.

The chairperson of the LDC group, Ms. Keeena Mosheshe, said that this was the last but one occasion for the LDC group to articulate its negotiating positions before the Cancun meeting. She added that their main objective here in Banjul is to set the scene for Cancun, and how they can do that.

"We should identify and isolate those areas where it is possible to conclude decisions in Cancun, therefore, defining outcomes of Cancun while at the same time ensuring that the continuing process maintains a balance between LCA and KP and within each of the two-tracks. We should do this carefully, and make sure that our interests as LDCs are included in those decisions" she asserted.