UCA News - Issue 111
Mountain Partnership Secretariat and UCA Mountain Societies Research Centre co-organize regional technical meeting on climate change in mountain regions
On 9 - 11 November 2011, regional experts gathered in Dushanbe to strategize and support national delegations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or COP17) by strengthening regional inputs on climate change negotiations and on the potential impacts of climate change and adaptation options in mountain ecosystems. The regional technical meeting was organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) and the UCA Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC), in collaboration with the Government of Tajikistan, and with financial support from the World Bank.
Held at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe, the meeting brought together 35 experts from Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal and Mongolia. In his opening remarks, His Excellency Murodali Alimardon, Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan said “While in past centuries natural causes determined changes in people’s daily lives, developing countries are now suffering from unprecedented changes caused by human activity in terms of scale and pace.”
The MPS is implementing a Strategic Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Development in Mountain Regions that aims to (1) strengthen cross-regional and cross-thematic cooperation, and (2) empower national delegations and experts to negotiate with stronger representation in the UNFCCC or COP17 negotiation processes that can help mobilize international support and resources for promoting climate change adaptation in mountain ecosystems.
Talbak Salimov, Minister of Environment and Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan emphasized the need for regional efforts, saying “Even though all the countries in the region have their own interests, climate change challenges are common to all of them, which is why it is crucial for the participants in this meeting to develop a common vision.”
Topics in the meeting sessions ranged widely including, the value of usable science in political negotiations; how to make ecosystems and human goods and services work for mountain countries; and promoting the inclusion of mountain development issues in international negotiations at international events such as COP17 in Durban and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Summit).
A working group of country representatives was formed to create a structural framework of issues and a cohesive agenda for final discussion groups. A field visit to remote villages in mountainous Nurobod district was organised, where participants learned about local adaptation practices and community efforts, including a renewable energy demonstration centre, mountain slope stabilization strategies and energy-efficient alternatives. Dr Bettina Wolfgramm, MSRC Senior Research Fellow, presented the results of her research on sustainable land management practices in the district.
“We are pleased to be part of regional efforts that bring together research science and practical advocacy to strengthen the voices of Central Asian delegates at international fora, and address the realities that Central Asian mountain communities face” said Dr Nasreen Dhanani, Director of Research at UCA.
The meeting is one of three regional meetings in Central Asia, Latin America and Africa organised by the MPS Initiative. The workshop was facilitated by Mickey Glantz, Director of the Consortium for Capacity Building at the University of Colorado, who was commissioned by MPS/MSRC. A meeting report outlining how issues of shared concern are framed by decision-makers in the region and potential opportunities for further regional information exchange will be prepared and distributed to participants and interested stakeholders.