Lima, Peru, December 9, 2014: Tackling climate change requires serious collaboration between the public and private sectors, engagement with civil society, and having strong and transparent institutions, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said, wrapping up three-days at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP).
“We are on the cusp of creating a new era of action on climate change –here in Lima and with the vital adoption of a new climate agreement in Paris next year. Moreover, a Post 2015 sustainable development agenda is imminent,” Helen Clark said. “We can achieve our goals by nurturing partnerships which promote a low-emission and climate-resilient future.”
To enable an historic level of indigenous peoples’ participation at the COP20 in Lima, UNDP and the Governments of Norway and Peru invited more than 300 indigenous women and men from Africa, Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean to attend. They gathered in Lima in an official Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion for the first time at a climate change COP.
Five indigenous men and women from the three regions presented proposals to address climate change, at an official event today.
Candido Mezua of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Indigenous Peoples proposed that state delegations include indigenous peoples in their climate change negotiations. He also asked UNDP and the Governments of Peru and Norway to support this proposition.
“Indigenous peoples are the real custodians of forests and it is important to strengthen their positioning in the climate negotiations,” said Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway. She also thanked UNDP and Peru for facilitating an historic indigenous participation at the COP in Lima.
“Our commitment for indigenous peoples’ participation in this COP is an important step towards addressing crucial pending indigenous issues, including land tenure, “said Peru’s Vice Minister for Environment Gabriel Quijandria at the event today.
Helen Clark stressed that indigenous leaders and organizations must be empowered to play a greater role in leading, collaborating and participating in the global effort to address climate change, particularly given their vital historical role in protecting forests and their deep cultural relationship with and dependence on the natural environment.
She also visited a UNDP-managed Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Programme fair with over 40 people – mostly women – from the highlands, from the Amazon forest and coastal areas who sold eco-friendly products such as alpaca wool garments, quinoa, beans and honey.
The UNDP Administrator stressed the importance of empowering women while conserving biodiversity, boosting climate resilience and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Wrapping up her third day at the COP the UNDP Administrator spoke on how large-scale public-private collaboration can enhance climate progress and sustainable development.
“One of the most exciting and dynamic advances in the forests space over the past year has been the substantial commitments made by major companies on eliminating deforestation from commodity supply chains.” In the palm oil sector, for example, businesses representing over 75 per cent of the global trade in the commodity have adopted zero-deforestation policies in the past year.
At the UN Climate Summit, hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2014, UNDP also facilitated the endorsement by more than 170 governments, companies, civil society organisations and indigenous peoples’ representatives of the New York Declaration on Forests aiming to cut the loss of natural forests in half by 2020, and to end it a decade later. Agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Wilmar adopted zero deforestation policies, and the consumer goods industry pledged to eliminate deforestation by 2020.
Helen Clark highlighted the importance of countries’ nationally determined mitigation contributions including ambitious goals and policies to reduce forest loss and increase reforestation. She urged advanced economies to deliver large-scale economic incentives for forest protection and restoration in the context of the new climate agreement, particularly through REDD+ – a mechanism that supports the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
She thanked the Government of Switzerland for its pledge to support UNDP’s National Commodity Platforms, which have been facilitating countrywide public-private sector collaboration on greater sustainability in major agricultural commodity sectors.
For example, the National Pineapple Platform in Costa Rica has led to better governmental regulation, and has encouraged large companies to support small producers to shift to sustainable practices.
UNDP launched a Palm Oil Platform for Indonesia in September, and another platform will be established in Peru to reduce encroachment into the Amazon.
With the largest climate change portfolio in the United Nations – US$1.3 billion covering adaptation and mitigation – UNDP has been supporting over 140 countries, including more than 40 Least Developed Countries, to access climate finance and mechanisms and implement climate change initiatives.
This includes access to nearly all UNFCCC mechanisms such as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, Low Emission Development Strategies and National Communications.
UNDP also provides assistance to countries in their climate change negotiations and has supported the Government of Peru in hosting the COP20.
During meetings with Helen Clark, President Ollanta Humala of Peru and the Minister of Environment and COP President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal praised UNDP’s support to set up the country’s biggest international event.
To read Helen Clark’s remarks during COP20 click here