From compelling videos to expert presentations and productive discussions, the European Commission’s Global Climate Change Alliance plus (GCCA+) initiative used the two important international gatherings to underscore the importance of ramping up resilience and fostering sustainable development in these vulnerable regions.

GCCA+ @ COP23

The UN Climate Change Conference – presided over by Fiji, the first SIDS to assume the important leadership role – was held from 6-17 November in the German city of Bonn. Nearly 200 countries took part in the talks on implementing the historic Paris Agreement. 

The GCCA+ held a 14 November side event at the EU Pavilion that drew top international delegates, policymakers and civil society representatives for an engaging discussion on how the GCCA+ is helping SIDS counter the consequences of climate change. 

The event included the screening of a powerful video that showcased GCCA+ activities in Mauritius, the Comoros and the Seychelles. Entitled ‘Building climate change resilience in the Indian Ocean’, it features the personal, first-hand accounts of farmers, residents and officials about the realities on the ground – such as extreme weather, drought and coastal erosion. 

The video presented some GCCA+ solutions, including a project to help farmers whose land is contaminated with sea water on the small, self-governing island of Rodrigues. “The vegetables don’t grow anymore because the soil is salt, pure salt,” Jacques Ravena, president of the local planters’ association, tells viewers.

Another project, on the island of Anjouan where 300 000 people are suffering from several years of drought, the GCCA+ helps organic farmers to grow tougher crops that can survive on the parched land. 

Mini videos highlighting specific climate change struggles and solutions in Mauritius and Seychelles saw considerable success online.

The session also featured a number of case studies from other countries, such as Timor-Leste, highlighting how adaptation to climate change is possible through better water management, as GCCA+ local representative Isabelle Soares passionately testimonied.

 

GCCA+ @ International Climate Change Conference for the Caribbean

‘Adaptation in Action’ was the theme of the 9-12 October event which attracted more than 100 climate scientists, researchers, negotiators and development partners from around the world to Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Organised in part by the European Union within the framework of the GCCA+ initiative, the conference addressed the role of information in shaping and implementing climate policy and programmes in the Caribbean region, providing a key platform for interaction and knowledge sharing. The report will be available at the link below as soon as published.

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