On 2 December, in an event organised alongside the COP 21 negotiations in Paris, the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) showcased some of its supported country projects in some of the world’s most vulnerable places and vowed to further help them put into action National Adaptation Planning processes (NAPs) and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) made as part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The GCCA+ side event entitled ‘A European Union Initiative Supporting Climate Resilience’ – EU Flagship event to mark Resilience Day (2 December) called ‘Global Perspectives on Adaptation’ – was well attended by delegates from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), developing countries, donor countries and key policy-makers, including Mr Anders Henriksson who as principal advisor on DG DEVCO’s policy definition gave an insightful opening address.
The GCCA+ alliance, it was heard, works together with all relevant stakeholders and partners to translate climate agreements into concrete, actionable change on the ground, helping in particular Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to cope with the effects of climate change.
This was evident in the short film projected to showcase a successful project in Ethiopia and through national experiences in implementing a range of actions and policy directions underway in Chad, Myanmar and the Maldives.
COP21 side event: How could GCCA+ help developing countries implement a climate agreement
Mr Patallet Bianpambe, GCCA+ project coordinator from the Ministry of Environment in Chad, showed how efforts to enhance climate governance and support innovative adaptive approaches are having the desired effect on the ground with several project examples in soil restoration and agricultural practices (view the presentation).
Mr Hussein Zahir, GCCA+ project coordinator from the Maldives, presented his country’s ecosystem-based approach to mitigating the impacts of climate change and adapting to new realities. Examples cited include a clean energy solution on one island, coral reef ecosystem health monitoring stations, and ecotourism-based conservation and management models applied to two southern atolls (view the presentation).
Speaking about the situation in Myanmar, Mr Hal Maung Thein from the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forests underlined the importance of striking a balance between rapid development and sustainability. A roadmap to 2030 was presented with several ‘focus areas’ outlined. These included agriculture, food security and health; environment and biodiversity; and human settlements and buildings (view the presentation).
For others in Paris at the side event, it was a chance to share experiences, benchmark best practices and network with other delegates: “For countries like Myanmar, which are in very early stages of implementation, it was an amazing opportunity to come here and see what others are doing,” said Pasquale Capizzi, chief technical advisor for Myanmar’s Climate Change Alliance, after the event.
While on the donor side, Mr Adrian Fitzgerald from Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, highlighted the increased impact GCCA+ can achieve when donors coordinate their work, pooling resources and scaling up successful actions. He said: “Through the GCCA+ we are engaging with governments and helping them to develop their climate policies.” And the question of how best to do this came up during the Q&A session.
Delegates were keen to discuss fresh ideas to ‘grow’ the programme, engage with a wider range of audiences, and improve results on the ground in order to help the GCCA+ deliver on its pledge to put global climate policies into action.
New GCCA+ video: Watch how the initiative translates global climate policies into local actions