UN Cimate Change Talks 2011: DURBAN ON THE MOVE
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December 09, 2011
Beaches and pools are full of families enjoying their time after week's long exertion, colours and music everywhere, but the global colour remains fade as the ongoing talks on climate change (started back on November 28th, 2011) remains hanging especially on the question of saving Kyoto Protocol and fully establishing the committed green climate fund (GCF).

Now, during past week, it seems that every country is in its own business and no one caring the humans and nature in years to come. Big wigs like Chinese have given the green signal that they might ready to adapt the second phase of Kyoto Protocol while European Union is suggesting on, at least carving a comprehensive road map till 2015 would be great success to achieve the realistic targets.

Britain is eager to find a way to finalize the Kyoto protocol for the second phase and fears if it would not happen, US$80 billion carbon market would be in danger as both EU and developing nations are getting benefits from this huge market.

But on the other hand, it seems that United States intends to shelf the Kyoto and other matters for the time being as some influentials in and outside the US, has stakes in oil and coal sectors.

Talking to Pulse on the basis of anonymity, one the US official said, his country is reluctant as lots of oil and coal tycoons don't want these fossils to be stopped, they don't have anything in renewable or alternatives, they even don't want to pay dollars on carbon emission credits and to put off their multi-billion dollar business, then there bad economic conditions and certainly these are the reasons, why US is not much interested in climate talks.

Least Developed Countries (LDC's) and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) are stressing the world that they are most effected due to climatic changes, so, world must extend its assistance and to some extent they are able to send their message across.

But, question arises where Pakistan stands right now. So, according to Islamabad officials, Pakistan among all other nations still looking towards the big guns (e.g. United States and China etc.) to respond quickly as disasters are hovering around.

According to the German Watch’s recent report the "Global Climate Risk Index 2012" launched here at the sidelines of the seventeenth conference of parties (COP17), Pakistan topped the list in a ranking of countries that suffered the most from the effects of climate change.

Report’s index recognizes the indisputable fact that Pakistan faces climate impacts which are not only happening in real time but in a widely diverse pattern -- ranging from extreme events such as cyclones, glacial melting and floods as well as indirect impacts such as droughts, shifting cropping patterns and climate-induced migrants.

Talking to Pulse, Director General Environment and Climate Change Affairs and Chief Negotiator from Pakistan, Javed Ali Khan said that Pakistan was bit isolated earlier but now after German Watch\s report and the hard work done by Pakistani delegates world community has recognized that Pakistan is vulnerable to disasters as a result of climate change and requires international assistance.

"We are among the most vulnerable countries, deadly floods from the last couple of years suggest that where Pakistan stands and German report has cleared all bolters from our path, we are stressing upon the international community to come forward and assist us in mitigation and adaptation measures."

"Pakistan is sincere with the world efforts to fight climatic changes but international community must have to realize the fact that Pakistan among other developing nations wants there helping hand." This was said by the former federal minister for environment, Malik Amin Aslam while talking to Pulse.

Voices of thousands suggest the same, when people from different folks were protesting at the roads of Durban on December 3rd, to save the Kyoto protocol, end the carbon emissions and go for environment friendly policies and efforts.

During the protest, most people have the view that media have already played a pivotal role in raising awareness and can act in a meaningful way to focus the human attention towards this grave issue of survival.

The same was on during the first ever communication day held at one of the hotel at south beach, most of the media practitioners and participants were of the view that it's indeed important to give true access to the journalists especially to research papers and journals and impart such tools, so that it's easy for them to effectively communicate climate change especially to the vulnerable communities.

It was really a busy week overall, but it's imperative that everyone has put his or her extreme efforts to save mother earth, the same was the message during the forest day 5, conducted by Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR) on December 4th, to protect natural resources from further degradation.

Experts says that a new wave of deforestation is sweeping across the world, decimating wildlife and threatening the resilience of its ecosystems to withstand the effects of climate change—especially in the area food security.

Addressing the forest day 5, Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank said that Forests cannot be sustained if people are hungry or governance of natural resources is inadequate.

“Hunger places a direct burden on forests when people are forced to push deeper into forested areas to grow crops… or resort to making and selling charcoal in order to buy food, he added."

With declining conditions in forests looming as a threat to climate health and the wellbeing of a billion impoverished people, the world’s largest consortium of agricultural researchers announced the launch of three years an ambitious global research program of US$233 million devoted to forests and agro-forestry and aims to reinvigorate efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and expand the use of trees on farms.

The initiative includes a focus on the critical importance of forests as natural “carbon sinks” that can help slow the pace of climate change and the need to conserve forest biodiversity.

The current state of climate negotiations in Durban, in particular around reduction emissions through deforestation and degradation (REDD+) and its implementation and the drivers of deforestation, were a major focus of discussions at the event.

Pakistan is also pursuing this important area of REDD+ to get maximum benefits out of that not only by protecting the forests but also by earning through carbon credits and same was under discussion by the Pakistani delegation attending the mountain day, a parallel event with forest day and yes, certainly at the sidelines of COP17, an initiative by International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepalese and Bhutanese government, to have a sustainable future especially in terms of mountains and glaciers.

At this moment, three reports were launched by ICIMOD, in which the findings from the most comprehensive assessment to date on climate change, snow and glacier melt in Asia’s mountainous Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region—site of Mount Everest and many of the world’s tallest peaks—highlight the region’s extreme vulnerability to climate change, as rising temperatures disturb the balance of snow, ice and water, threatening millions of mountain people and 1.3 billion people living downstream in Asia’s major river basins.

“These reports provide a new baseline and location-specific information for understanding climate change in one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world,” said Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “They substantially deepen our understanding of this region – and of all mountain systems – while also pointing to the knowledge gaps yet to be filled and actions that must be taken to deal with the challenge of climate change globally and to minimize the risks from impacts locally.”

During this event, talking to Pulse, Javed Ali Khan said that Pakistan must be included in the mountain countries, as we have a huge Karakurram range and lots of glacial lakes, getting over and over due to the receding glaciers.

"Pakistan intends to work with Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and all other nations to protect the water towers and the only source of fresh water for drinking and agriculture in our region, we don't want to be over looked."

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