climate 16.08.10.jpgNegotiations continue at the 2011 UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, with the African group G77 and China calling for compensation to address losses and damages associated with climate change in different countries that are particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects to enhance adaptive capacity.

The conference entered day three this Wednesday.

Besides the fight to salvage the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol into the second commitment period by developing countries, different bodies of the Conference of Parties have started seriously meeting, with issues of loss and damage associated with climate change taking centre stage in the subsidiary body for implementation.

The African group G77 and China urged progress on national adaptation plans, loss and damage.

Developing countries delegates revealed that countries under the G77 and China group have experienced record-breaking temperatures which saw temperatures in some countries soaring to 46 degrees Celsius resulting in dramatic losses in agricultural production, particularly in rural communities.

They said such droughts and climatic changes have resulted in critical food and fuel shortages, hence the need for industrialised countries to avail easily accessible funds for such communities to be compensated and to enable them to adopt a range of sustainable agricultural approaches, including crop diversification, grazing and woodland management as well as wetlands conservation.

In an interview, climate change expert in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Mr. Washington Zhakata who has been following events in the COP17 subsidiary body for implementation said though parties have not agreed on the modalities, it has become clear that compensation of losses associated with climate change is urgently required.

He however said the African group would like a national adaptation plan that is not prescriptive but flexible, country-driven and should recognise that adaptation occurs at local level.

Mr. Zhakata said funds for effective adaptation among subsistence farmers to promote sustainable livelihood for dry lands, enhancing the use of early warning systems and integrated climate risk management should also be made available to vulnerable
communities.

climate change conference durban.jpgCOP17 Climate Change Conference delegates agreed that changes in rainfall patterns, changes in temperature, changes in forest vegetation, erratic rainfall, recurrent droughts and very high temperatures, drying up of water sources, warm winter season and the extension of the winter season, are prominent features identified as signs of changing climate and global warming.

These require urgent intervention and a conclusion of climate change issues that could not be concluded in Copenhagen and Cancun, Mexico if the world is to be saved.

Asked if indications on the ground are that the world leaders will achieve a conclusion of climate change issues, Mr. Zhakata said the Africa group G77 and China believe in the signing of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol considering that carbon markets and clean development mechanisms and programmes among others, will collapse if an agreement is not reached in Durban.

Analysts say a credible outcome in Durban must consist of a second commitment period of the Kyoto of no longer than five years, concrete resolution on issues of climate change mitigation as well as adaptation funds for developing countries.