cop16-cancun-mexico.jpgThe Climate Change Convention in Cancun, Mexico, entered into the end of the first week with countries having started putting in place amendments and recommendations to the Kyoto Protocol.


Other parties were assigned to debate on how the climate change convention can fully implement issues to do with adaption, mitigation, financing and technology transfer.


The negotiating groups are expected to come up with a draft decision by early next week for onward approval by high level segment of Ministers of Environment that will start meeting next week on Wednesday.


Zimbabwean Climate change expert and negotiator, Mr Washington Zhakata, said the negotiations are on course and in full force except that countries are not yet in agreement with South Africa, China and Brazil, among other countries, calling for the retention of the original Kyoto Protocol.


Some small islands like Tuvalu, Cook Island and Guyana are proposing for the amendment of the protocol before it is adopted and some Annex 1, developed countries like Japan and Russia have indicated that they would like to do away with the protocol.


Mr Zhakata said in all group debates, developing countries are calling for more financial and technical support from developed countries to assist them in improving their abilities to mitigate and adapt to effects of climate change, adding that while the need to address climate change is urgent, there is also the need for patience in getting a successful outcome.


The general feeling among climate experts in Cancun is that COP16 must be a significant stepping stone to a full fair ambitious and binding deal to COP17 in South Africa next year. 


The climate experts said parties and member countries at COP16 should take decisions on important policy areas and establish a clear vision for COP17 and agree on a process for reaching a full fair ambitious and binding deal.


Outside the conference rooms and venue of this year’s climate change conference, the event is not marred by demonstrations like it was in Copenhagen last year.


Non-governmental organisations have been separated from the main negotiating conference rooms. Tight security has also been put in place with only accredited party members and technical staff allowed through to the sessions and debates.


Although expectations are low that a legally-binding deal might be achieved, climate change experts believe the peace and sober environment is good and can yield results.