Rio Pavillion at COP21 Discusses Cross-Cutting Issues in Climate Action
December 7, 2015  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment

PrintTuesday December 1st marked the opening of the Rio Conventions Pavilion, a dedicated space part of the Climate Generations Area at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Under the theme “Linking climate change, biodiversity and land management,” multiple sessions have discussed the role of the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and their interactions to contribute to climate action at the global, national, and local levels.

The first five days of discussions included biodiversity, land degradation, local communities and indigenous peoples, oceans and synergies, and the interactions among the Rio Conventions.

In terms of biodiversity and land management, both the CBD and the UNCCD hosted a day to analyze environmental management, adaptation, and mitigation strategies that can contribute from these to policy areas to climate action. Programs in forests, ecosystem services, and land degradation neutrality were used as examples of the type of cooperation mechanisms that are required to support the effectiveness of the three conventions. Biodiversity loss and desertification have negative effects on climate change. Therefore, they need to be addressed in connection to many other sectors, not only to achieve the specific goals of reducing emissions and controlling temperature raises, but to advance towards other human development goals.

The Rio Conventions Pavilion also opened space for indigenous peoples and local communities to express their voices. Promoting issues such as local-national dialogues on climate change and inclusion to develop responsive climate actions were central to the debate.

On December 4th, the Global Ocean Forum celebrated Oceans day. They hosted an event to discuss challenges and opportunities in the context of climate and oceans, coastal adaptation and scientific monitoring. Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation, mentioned how of the 183 coastal countries many already feel the effects of climate change. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, invited the international community to address climate change and oceans as a single agenda, including concerns of quality of life and human survival.

To finalize the first week, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) hosted Synergies Day. Synergies Day featured discussions on specific mechanisms for cooperation among the three conventions in combating climate change and achieving sustainable development.

Countries such as Namibia and Rwanda have been at events in the Rio Conventions Pavilion to present their experiences implementing synergestic actions between the Rio Conventions at the national level

Activities in the pavilion will continue during the second week of COP 21 (December 7th-11th) with discussions on the REDD, the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Gender, and the collaboration between the three conventions.

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About the Author :

Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy joined the GEG team in September 2011as a research assistant for the UMass Center of Governance and Sustainability. Natalia graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005 and its currently a PhD Student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston

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