Thursday 20 June 2013

14th LDCF/SCCF Council pledges low below World Bank estimates for Adaptation costs

Washington DC, June 20, 2013The 14th LDCF/SCCF has again postponed hopes of LDCs to live better in a changing environment that contributed least to changing global climate. 

Section of Council members during the 14th LDCF/SCCF
Still the donor countries have pledged (Not even committed) far below the World bank estimates as presented by CSOs, 
“We are however concerned that overall allocation of funds to LDCF/SSCF is inadequate to meet the current adaptation needs. The World Bank estimates the cost between 2010 and 2050 of adapting to approximately 2°C warmer world by 2050 is in the range of $70 billion to $100 billion a year”, Robert Bakiika, RFP-East Africa.

This is coming continuous and systemic behavior and a sign of donor countries continuious non-commitment to climate change issues. Currently these pledges are far below the science of climate change.

Earlier during the 44th GEF Council, the GEF Scientific and Technological Advisory Panel (STAP) warned of future likely increase in global temperature as a result of anthropogenic activities.
It should be noted that GEF is a financial mechanism under the UNFCCC specifically for adaptation and technology transfer for LDCs and non-LDCs respectively.
A total of US$ 129 million has been pledged under the LDCF and US$ 69.1 million under SCCF shared as US$ 52.9 million for Adaptation and US$ 16. 2 million dollars For Technology transfer.

Among the pledges presented today, the usual big BOSS, USA made the outstanding pronouncement of US$ 25 million for LDCF and US$ 10 million for SCCF (yet to clarify whether it is for Adaptation or technology transfer).

The pledges stand as follows;
·         Switzerland additional 1 million Swiss franc in LDCF  with SCCF (750,000 in Adaptation & 500,000 technology transfer)
·         Germany: LDCF 50 million euro, SCCF 30 million to adaptation window
·         Sweden: 115 SCK million currency (LDCF), Finnish (LDCF but get back)
·         Norway: process of 22 million NOK (LDCF) 15 million NOK (SCCF (Adaptation)
·         Denmark considering contributing
·         Belgium: 12 m euro (LDCF) and SCCF 12 m euro under technology transfer

It should be noted that only this financial mechanism is more predictable and available for LDCs as far as adaptation work is concerned. The Adaptation Fund is unrealiable in a sense that it depends on the proceeds from the emission trading especially under CDM.

The voices of civil society under the GEF NGO Network seemed to have not been heard as per the statement.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Kumi smallholder farmers acknowledge climate variability and decry over unfulfilled presidential pledge on irrigation scheme

One of the Ongino community members making prayer
Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility (EMLI) in partnership with Action Aid International Uganda (AAIU) Kumi Local Rights Programme organized a public hearing in Ongino Sub-County on the 22nd of May 2013 and was hosted by Ongino Star Organization (OSTARO).

The hearing attended by over of 200 people, including the District Environment Officer, Women, Children, Youths, partner organizations, small holder farmers to mention by the few  started at 2.30 pm.

The District Environment Officer, Kumi, Mr. Okalang Emmanuel said that Ongino was more exposed to climate change shocks and hence encouraged the community to open up and share in-depths experiences and/or comments on climate change in the sub county. Amongst the issues he highlighted included the followings:
  • Government has a system that engages people at all levels right from the village, parish, sub-county, district and finally to the central government;
  • Government interventions now-days are demand driven and so communities are supposed to demand for them such that they are prioritized and reflected in the development plans;
  • Communities should effectively utilize the parish chiefs so as to channel all the environment issues affecting them;
He called for both the policy and government interventions while appreciating the contributions of women in climate change copying mechanisms because it adversely affects women and children.

Interestingly, the community members expressed their grievances to both the government and development partners of which some were;
  • Members expressed concern that although they generate their issues of concern and forward them to local government authorities, feedback does not come in time posing a challenge of probably translating into bigger community challenges due to lack of timely response;
  • Poverty was cited by many as the major driver of environmental degradation hence resulting into changing weather patterns;
  •  Inadequate and poor inputs in terms of seeds supplied by the government and some NGOs;
  • Community members urged for the strengthening of bye-laws that safeguard the natural resources especially forests and trees;
  • Inadequate participation and no free prior informed consent by the community  whwn developing district development priorities;
  • Corruption that occurs when emergencies occur thus leaving out the most affected. This calls for a more transparent way of ensuring that relief/emergency response reaches the targeted persons;
  • Unfulfilled promises by high profile government leaders evidenced by the pledge to support an irrigation scheme for Ongino by the president of Uganda;
  • Many strings attached to community programmes that are intended to benefit the vulnerable. An example given was NAADS hence ending up benefiting the well off-instead;

An elder making a point on problem animals
One participant from Tisai said that since their insurgency and being pushed to Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps have awlays had challenges of problem animals BUT there has never been any deliberate government effort to curb this. Another participant expressed skeptism over the Department of Disaster Preparedness for not focusing on critical disaster issues and taking time to respond to disasters in particular areas, hence called on the Department to design mechanisms for fast and effective response to disaster both at local and district levels.

In conclusion, the hearing created a platform for the community to distill information on climate change and the draft policy and also demand for answers from some of their district technocrats.  
Members were urged to utilize the information gotten and use it to demand for better services from government. They were further reminded to always take on any available opportunity received so as to present their concerns to duty bearers and utilize platforms to enhance their participation in planning and budgeting processes.

Lastly, members were urged to follow up with the local leaders and technocrats to ensure that their priorities are always captured and reflected in the local government development plans.