COP19 Concept Note

  1. Background and rationale

The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CoP19/CMP9) will take place at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, from 11 to 22 November.  "COP19/CMP9 affords an opportunity to consolidate responses to climate change and to showcase the many ambitious adaptation and mitigation initiatives being implemented around the world. By scaling and speeding up action we prepare for a universal global agreement and move toward a safer future.”[1]

Mandated by the African Union Assembly (Assembly/Dec.342(XVI)) on COP16/CMP6, and with the leadership of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Government of South Africa, a very successful ‘African Pavilion’ event was organised during COP17/CMP7. The African Pavilion offered an opportunity for a wide range of actors to showcase some important initiatives on climate change and development in Africa. This marked a significant shift from Africa’s low-key participation at previous COPs.

Beginning COP15/CMP5, Africa’s focus shifted to supporting the African Group of Negotiators (AGN). Representatives from Africa also participated in side events and organised various meetings with partners for fundraising and joint research programme activities.

The (Assembly/Dec.457(XX)) on the coordination mechanism of CAHOSCC and Africa’s preparation for COP 19 / CMP9 requested the three Institutions i.e AUC, UNECA and AfDB to support the AGN for successful negotiation in Warsaw. Building on the collaborative spirit developed over the years, the AUC, AfDB and UNECA organised a retreat from 5-7 September, 2013, where they made a commitment to the following actions: i) effectively support African Negotiators in preparation for and during COP 19; ii) convene focused discussions on relevant African issues; iii) provide an appropriate space for African institutions to dialogue on climate change and related developmental issues; iv) showcase Africa’s progress on various fronts particularly in relation to climate change analytical work, adaptation and mitigation efforts; and v) build on the experience of previous COPs, especially COP 17 and COP 18.

To help meet these challenging commitments, it was decided to organise a day of activities under the rubric ‘Africa Day’. This would complement other side events, exhibitions, AGN support activities, networking and related functions throughout COP 19.

Indeed, Africa Day will comprise a special day of Africa-focused events at a venue created to host informal networking of participants drawn from three arenas:

  • Policy: high-level policy makers from African Member States, Regional Economic Communities, Parliamentarians, Multilateral Organisations and Bilateral Organisations;
  • Science: regional and sub-regional climate centres, regional and international researchers, scientists and technology specialists from research institutions actively engaged in advancing knowledge in development and climate change in Africa; and
  • Practice: including private sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), media and independent writers on climate change and development issues.

The Africa Day event will focus on the theme of “Ending hunger in Africa through transformative agriculture in a changing climate”. This theme will frame discussions and events planned to influence the agenda at COP19/CMP9, particularly focusing on ending hunger in a context of climate change.

The ClimDev-Africa participation at COP 19, and most especially organisation of the Africa Day, is part of incremental progress towards COP 21, where we hope to make Africa’s voice more audible and stronger in the discussion for a 2015 agreement. The next three COPs will be critical to the success of COP 21, in terms of reaching an agreement acceptable to all parties, and one that takes into account the views of Africa. ClimDev-Africa will therefore work assiduously over the next two years to enhance the visibility of Africa in the climate change discussions, both in terms of content and positions. ClimDev-Africa will step up its presence and actions during COP 19 and COP 20, with a view to maximising its support to Africa strengthened position and impact at COP 21.

  1. Objectives

The Africa Day and ClimDev-Africa Activities during COP 19 will provide a forum for:

  • Showcasing and bringing to life issues of climate change in Africa;
  • Providing a platform for interaction by policy makers, scientists and practitioners;
  • Expert discourse and open debates that set the context for Africa-relevant climate change issues and themes in the larger framework of sustainable development in Africa;
  • Knowledge-sharing among stakeholders working in and/or for Africa;
  • Promoting quality scientific research, field experience and evidence-based policy.

The events will build on, and be informed by, actions on the ground, forums, initiatives, consultations, conferences, meetings and workshops held before COP 19, such as the Conference of African Heads of States and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), consultations of the AGN, the High-Level Meeting For Africa on Zero Hunger,  the Third ClimDev-Africa Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-III), The Africa Climate Conference 2013 (ACC2013), the Africa Common Position on Sustainable Development Goals and post-2015, the outcomes of the UNCCD COP 11, the on-going discussions on the draft Africa Climate Change Strategy, outcomes of the Extraordinary Session of AMCEN, etc.

These events set the stage for advancing a transformative development agenda that can serve the needs of climate resilient economic, environmental, and social systems in Africa, while sharing and clarifying messages from Africa regarding climate change and development.

  1. Major Activities at COP 19

1. Africa Day 

The main purpose of Africa Day is to showcase, discuss and bring to life issues of climate change in Africa within the following framework:

High Level Dialogue– Lead AUC and supported by UNECA and AfDB :

The theme of the high level dialogue will be on “Ending hunger in Africa through transformative agriculture in a changing climate”. The dialogue is planned for November 19, 2013. The session starts at 11:30am in a Warclow room, located on level 2, B2 area of the National Stadium of Poland. This would be informed by the attached Annex 1, detailed concept note and programme. It is also further informed by major knowledge products and initiatives such as the CCDA-III conference anchor paper and outcomes, the works of AGN, the programme of NEPAD and CAADP, and progresses in climate finance for adaptation in Africa.

The panel discussion will be preceded by the openings of the AUC Chair and African Heads of States currently chairing the African Union and the CAHOSCC. Panellists in the Africa Day event will include invited high level officials and experts.

Participants during the event include AMCEN ministers, AGN members/African Countries focal points for UNFCCC, secretariats of other Ministerial Conferences such as AMCOW and AMCOMET, NEPAD, development partners and other pertinent institutions.

The high-level panel discussion is envisaged as a one and half hour activity and will be followed by a press conference.

At the end of the event, snacks will be provided by UNECA/ACPC after completing the high level dialogue. This is also envisaged as a networking occasion, dissemination of ClimDev-Africa knowledge products, including edited working papers, policy briefs and other relevant materials.

2. Support to the AGN – led by UNECA/ACPC supported by AUC and AfDB

Activities in support of AGN will build on the experience of previous COPs and may include:

  1. Synthesis of key positions in support of AGN
  2. Preparation of key texts for submissions
  3. Input of research papers (ref. AGN workshop)
  4. Communication/media support
  5. Provision of interpretation and translation services.

This will be implemented by three institutions and also involve employing additional three technical staff as consultants, running throughout the CoP19/CMP9 period. These activities are led by ACPC.

In addition, the three institutions including AU-NEPAD Agency are also supporting members of the AGN and their supporting staffs to Warsaw, Poland.

3. Support to AMCEN & CAHOSCC – Led by AUC with support by UNECA/ACPC

  1. Briefing of CAHOSCC and the Africa Group
  2. Briefing meetings of the AGN-AMCEN
  3. Press conferences and meetings

4. Side events

  1. Analysis of Agricultural Systems in Africa, On 10th November, 2013. Organized by CCAFS and ACPC
  2. Contribution of African Meteorological Institutions to Climate-related risk reduction: Meteorology and use of Earth Observation (13th November, 2013) – AUC in collaboration with ACMAD
  3. Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative at the EU Pavilion - on 20th  November, 2013, AUC -led
  4. AfDB side event – “Transitioning towards Green Growth in Africa: The Role of the African Development Bank and other regional institutions” – on 18th November, 2013
  5. Energy Side Event – Date TBD, organized by TERI and ACPC  
  6. Attendance at other African related side events and panel discussions

5. Exhibition – The three Institutions showcasing their climate related work by mounting three booths. In order to complete this activities, the three institutions work together and provide

  1. Printed banners
  2. Materials and posters
  3. Promotional items
  4. If possible, the three booths or stands combined into one shared space

6. Media coverage led by AUC with support of AfDB and UNECA, the following will be provided

  1. Daily press release
  2. Press conferences
  3. Side events followed by press conferences
  4. Interviews
  5. Blogs on ClimDev-Africa website and the three institutions web-sites
  6. Support to African journalists to improve coverage of issues of relevance to Africa.

7. Dinner Dialogue – led by UNECA/ACPC and supported by AUC and AfDB. It will be held on 21st November, 2013 commencing at 7pm, at Intercontinental Hotel. The event will be utilized to:

  1. Raise awareness for increased support for the ClimDev-Africa programme
  2. Articulate the importance of investment in climate science, data and information in the African context
  3. Attendants include but not limited to African countries specially the pilot projects beneficiaries (hydro-met services from the pilot countries and regional climate centres, e.g. ACMAD, ICPAC, etc),development partners, and other partner institutions

8. Partnership/stakeholders meetings – The three institutions engage with various partners at COP19/CMP9 in order to:

  1. Forge partnerships
  2. Enhance resource mobilisation
  3. Improve coordination and synergies among partners
  4. Miscellaneous

4. Outputs/Outcomes

Africa Day and ClimDev-Africa outputs from COP19/CMP9 include:

  • African events bringing together policy, practice and research communities to discuss, debate and advance the African climate change and development agenda;
  • Social and networking opportunities around climate change and development in Africa;
  • African multimedia products highlighting the African climate change and development agenda;
  • Worldwide media exposure for Africans at COP 19;
  • Physical and virtual networking spaces;
  • Helpdesk to provide information on COP 19 and beyond; and,
  • Development marketplace for innovative ideas and proposals on climate change and development across Africa.

Expected outcomes include:

  • Recognition of the impact of climate change on Africa;
  • Greater African ownership of the African agenda on climate change and development; and,
  • Greater awareness of what countries, institutions, organisations and individuals are doing to address climate change and development across Africa.

Recognition and understanding of these issues by all actors attending COP 19 will ultimately improve Africa’s negotiating position and lead to greater coherence and integration of activities addressing climate change in Africa.  Furthermore, use of media and communications, coupled with quality information, high level input, and key messages, will enhance achieving the objectives, outputs and outcomes of the Africa Day and ClimDev-Africa activities.               

5. Mobilising Partners

Mobilising the support and involvement of various African institutions will be critical to the success of the Africa Day event. To maximise the impact of the event, in terms of the legitimacy, influence and depth of knowledge realised there, it is important to engage as partners a wide range of organisations and individuals who can bring to events their insights on climate change and development in Africa, as well as their connections, networks and diversity.

6. Final Report

A report on COP 19 will be developed by the three institutions and led by UNECA-ACPC with the support of AfDB and AUC.

Annex 1:

The ‘Africa Day’ and ClimDev-Africa Activities Programme

The African Union (AU) event on Agriculture and Climate Change will be an integral part of the ‘Africa Day’ activities organised by the ClimDev-Africa partners. The theme of the day is on “Ending hunger in Africa through transformative agriculture in a changing climate”

The AU side event is informed by the understanding that Africa is one of the continent’s most vulnerable to climate change. Despite endowments of rich natural resources and biodiversity, Africa’s fragility is related to weaknesses in institutions, policies and infrastructure. In a region already challenged by food security, health and ecosystem degradation, climate change adds to the complexity, threatening to reverse the development strides that many African countries are experiencing.

Climate change interventions should give particular attention to agriculture, on which 70% of Africa’s population depend for their livelihood. Most African agriculture is rainfed, making farmers especially vulnerable to changes in climate. Even small changes can have devastating consequences for food security and economic growth.

Africa has made considerable progress in mobilising resources to strengthen Africa’s knowledge and capability on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Several African countries have developed climate change strategies and National Adaptation Plans.  International organisations, such as the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) are investing in Africa. Bilateral partners such as Japan, USA, Canada and Germany are supporting research and development, while multilateral partners including the EU, World Bank, AfDB, IFAD and the IDB are supporting various initiatives and international development agencies such as FAO, UNDP, UNEP and UNESCO are publishing guidelines for action. African countries are beginning to benefit from financing mechanisms such as the CDM and REDD+, and the AU has mandated ACMAD, through the ECA, to gather information on climate change.

However, such initiatives lack a platform at continental level to exchange information and knowledge and thereby increase efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. This creates an opportunity for CAADP, as the African-owned and led continental framework for agricultural development, to integrate information on climate change impacts and responses – as outlined in National Adaptation Plans and Climate Change Strategies – during its review of National Agriculture and Food Security Investment plans.

The AU COP 19 ‘Africa Day’ event heralds a series of events and studies planned for 2014, which the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government has declared the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. Climate change is an important consideration in the quest to mobilise support for African agriculture.

COP 19 is taking place at a time of increased awareness on the impacts of climate change in Africa and numerous initiatives on adaptation and mitigation. However, many of these initiatives are working in isolation, and this leads to duplication of efforts and inappropriate use of resources, even as critical areas remain to be addressed. COP19/CMP9 offers an opportunity to bring together actors and map initiatives in the climate change and agriculture sub-sector, identify critical gaps and ensure that Africa’s concerns are at the forefront of the discussions.

Key themes for discussion during the AU side event will also form part of the Africa Day content, and are listed further below.

The Africa Day event is intended to provide a platform for sharing information and knowledge on past, existing and planned initiatives on climate change adaptation and mitigation for climate-smart agriculture in Africa. It is planned to improve coherence between climate change strategies, national adaptation plans and CAADP national investment plans. It also aims to enhance understanding of, and support for, African communities’ adaptation to climate change, while creating synergies and partnerships for smarter investments in climate change and agriculture in Africa.

Events featuring high-level panellists and roundtable discussants will include African Heads of State and Government, Ministers, practitioners and researchers including, for example, high-level experts from governments, negotiators, development partners, international agencies, non-governmental organisations, scientists and private sector representatives. 

During the major session “Ending hunger in Africa through transformative agriculture in a changing climate”, subject to confirmation, a series of issues will be discussed by African Heads of State and Government and other world leading African policy makers, practitioners and researchers. Issues to be covered include the following:

  1. Agriculture in the Climate Change Negotiation (AGN)
  2. Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in to the African Agricultural Development Agenda (AUC)
  3. Innovative Research and Technologies for Adaptation to Climate Change in African Agriculture (FARA, Ghana)
  4. Options for Financing Climate Change Adaptation in African Agriculture (AfDB)

The detail of the high level round table is attached, provided at the end of this annex

Panel discussion background material for discussions will be compiled from papers presented at CCDA-III, as well as by institutions providing the panel members. CCDA-III papers will be distilled into summaries and made available on the materials table.

Languages, interpretation and translation:  All documents and events will be in the official languages of the AUC to ensure the widest possible African participation.