COP 23 Fiji Germany

In my previous article I have touched base on the Conference of the People commonly known as (COP).COP 23 is currently underway in Bonn Germany, it started on the 06-17 Nov 2017. This conference precedes COP 22 that was in Nov 2016.

Briefly, let me lay the background of this conference. COP is the supreme decision-making body of the convention. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objectives of the convention, as defined by United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In simple terms COP is a collective Nations that is responsible to set a guideline for reducing the effects of Climate change and Environmental protection. COP meets every year, unless the parties decides otherwise. This is an annual climate change convention under the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and the Paris Agreement (PA). The first talk was held in Berlin Germany March, 1995

Just to have an idea about the nations that take part in the COP. That includes but not limited to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and East Europe and Western Europe.

As the proceedings commenced in Bonn, issues briefly on the agenda include among other things:

  • The United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (I will tell you more about this agreement in my next blog article)
  • How to produce a negotiating text that is party-driven and inclusive, balanced on all the elements and reflects the position of all parties.
  • Purpose of the guidance on the information that needs to be provided by parties as regards to their mitigation contribution
  • The other issue is the differentiation between developed and developing countries in terms of operationalization and mobilizing the Paris Agreement.
  • The parties will hold a dialogue called the “Talanoa Dialogue” (based on the spirit Pacific tradition that is used in Fiji with the purpose of sharing stories, build empathy and trust).

In addition to the above, there is an outcry from the developing countries for financial and technology support that is expected from the developed countries. It has surfaced that they have not lived up to their obligations during the past year. The developing countries wish to see some form of emphasis and commitment to be reached during this year’s proceedings. As the 2 week conference continues, I will bring you more points of discussions as they unfold. To learn more about the proceedings of COP 23 you can visit the following site


Do not forget to leave your comment below, I like to hear your views and comments.




Climate Change Adaptation

The reality is that, it is no longer possible to prevent climate change effects that is currently taking place. Unfortunately the damage has already been done. We are unfortunately at a stage where we need to control the magnitude of the effects. There have been initiatives taken by the United Nations to try to minimise the effects of climate change as a collective action. As part of the collective action the following ad hoc committees have been formed to jointly tackle issues of Climate change. The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, was adopted on 16 September 1987 and as subsequently adjusted and amended. Thereafter Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 jointly by the world meteorological organisation and the United Nations Environmental Programme. Thereafter United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in New York on 9 May 1992. At the present stage we are looking to the 23rd Conference of Parties meeting, preceding the Paris Agreement which was the most subsequent conference. Where we have seen the United States of America and China take charge in commitment to reducing their carbon foot print and subsequently help developing countries. COP 22 served as what we can call as an architecture in climate change convention, however there is still a huge gap in implementation.

With that being said and done, in line with measures put in place to ensure adaptation. COP has established the Warsaw International Mechanism hereafter (WIM) for loss and damage. The WIM comes into play when there are Climate impacts that cannot be adapted to, such as loss of territory due to sea level rise etc. Even though UNFCCC has not found a definition for loss and damage, Warner et al. 2012 defines loss and damage as “negative effects of climate change variability and climate change that people have not been able to cope with or adapt to”. Extreme events as identified by WIM include but not limited to both extreme events such as hurricanes, floods and slow onset events like sea level rise.

However, irrespective of any adequate mitigation efforts, we have seen in South Africa particularly what I believe are the first effects of climate change. In February 2017, we have experienced the most intense storm to hit Southern Africa. With the utmost effects occurring in parts of the Kwazulu Natal and Limpopo. The tropical cyclone Dineo was classified as a moderate tropical storm with a wind speed of 63-100hm/h, with an average rainfall of approximately 100mm that resulted in flooding that affected infrastructure and injured some people. Transcending the tropical cyclone is the prolonging issue of drought that has seen residents go days without access to fresh water. The effects of drought on the country’s economy have been severe, pushing food prices up.

Part of WIM include risk management, this is the area that is mostly relevant to each individual in as much is the state. Action area 2 of the WIM “Is to enhance the understanding of and promote, comprehensive risk management approaches (assessment, reduction, transfer, retention), including social protection instruments and transformational approaches in building long-term resilience of countries, vulnerable populations and communities. Research indicates that business-as-usual approaches to climate change adaptation will not be sufficient to avert rising losses. Transformational approaches, requiring deep shifts in the way people and organisations behave and organize values and perceive their place in the world is very important.

How do I plan for natural disasters? I hear you enthusiastically ask! Adapting the principle of the WIM as Warner, K. et al. (2012) Nicely elaborates the following points of risk management:

  • Risk reduction – as structural risk reduction measures are physical efforts that reduce the likelihood of a loss, such as dykes, non-structural measures include risk identification, which allows institutions to acknowledge and take action to prevent damage from risks.
  • Risk transfer shift economic risks from an individual or organisation to an insurer, primarily through insurance mechanisms.
  • Risk retention – risk retention efforts focus on resilience building and providing a cushion when the impacts of climate change damage assets and result in loss and damage.

In simple terms, this mean that each individual needs to make sure that they cover their assets and specifically for natural disasters. For example ensure that your car insurance cover flooding and storm damages. This is because government fund that is set aside for such disasters might not be available to you at your soonest convenience.

The change ambassador

Welcome to the ambassador of change blog. This blog is about raising awareness on issues pertaining to environmental effects (climate change) that we are currently facing worldwide. Reality is that, the world is facing the inevitable climate change effects, such as drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes etc. These days you cannot miss the shortage of water one of the biggest problems close to home. If you have not experienced water shedding, you have at least heard about it. To mention the obvious, water is the most vital unit of life. We cannot survive more than 3 days without water. Water shedding is the most devastating thing ever, as unlike electricity there is no replacement of water.

In the past few months in land areas such as Gauteng experienced massive floods, meanwhile the Western Cape was swept by veld fires followed by high tides. The list is endless there is disaster after disaster. One could say we are closely reaching what we call catastrophic disasters. The reality is that these are no longer environmental issues but it is also national security issue. This is why we need to stop going on as if it is ‘business as usual’.

Nonetheless, I write this blog to give a voice of reason, to encourage good practice and if necessary to expose the perpetrators. I intend to make the loudest noise to bring upon a fundamental swift of mind-set. To stir the conversations of change, to remove the stereotypical mind-set around the environmental science as commonly believed by others. The issue of climate change is real and urgent, it is not fragment of an imagination. Therefore, I make it my business to educate and challenge those that are willing to listen/read. Perhaps this could lend into the ears of the most influential and powerful (I certainly hope).

I believe, in the basic trichotomy:

  1. If you give people the information and data you empower the people, the more powerful the people’s voices can jointly become.
  2. The more influential they can be towards the politicians that could lead
  3. Change of legislation and harsh enforcement towards environmental degradation.Bahamas-Water-Disappeared-Hurricane-Irma