Durban Climate Change Conference – November 2011
UNFCCC, 28 November – 9 December 2011

The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, began in 28 November 2011 and will continue until 9 December. The event includes the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7). In support of these two main bodies, four subsidiary bodies will convene: the fourth part of the fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 14); the fourth part of the sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 16); and the thirty-fifth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 35) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 35). A joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment involving government ministers and other senior officials will also take place from 6-9 December. One focus will be on efforts to move ahead on several initiatives and institutions that were the subject of decisions in Cancun in 2010. In this respect, negotiations in Durban are expected to result in decisions that would operationalize, inter alia, a technology mechanism to promote clean energy and adaptation-related technologies, an adaptation framework to support developing countries and a Green Climate Fund. A second focus will be the question of how the international community will collaborate in tackling climate change in the future. In this respect, the AWG-KP and COP/MOP are expected to take a decision in Durban on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, bearing in mind that the Protocol’s first commitment period expires in 2012. Additionally, the question of long-term cooperation under the UNFCCC will be taken up by the AWG-LCA and COP. Discussions are expected to focus on a timeline for developing a future framework under the Convention and also on an upcoming review of the adequacy of, and progress towards, limiting average global temperature rise to 2°C. This review is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2015. Visit the meeting webpage … Follow the IISD RS daily coverage of the meeting …

Side Events and Exhibits | COP 17/CMP 7
UNFCCC, 28 November – 9 December 2011

A number of side events organized during the Durban Climate Change Conference are of relevance to indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge. On Tuesday, 29 November, a side event by Conservation International presented indigenous peoples’ key proposals for mitigation and adaptation actions based on the sustainable use and management of their lands, territories and resources; another event organized by The Gaia Foundation and Development Fund showcased community efforts to use agroecology, indigenous knowledge and pastoralism to adapt to and mitigate climate change; while the Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK) presented peoples-led climate change adaptation and mitigation in Bangladesh. Other events to be held during the meeting will focus on, among other issues: REDD+; the Surui Forest Carbon Project; the role of rural and indigenous women to adaptation and low carbon development; how pastoralist traditional knowledge can be combined with atmospheric science and contribute to adaptation policy-making; and the multi-stakeholder collaboration to reinforce adaptation opportunities for African pastoral peoples. Read the list of side events … Follow the IISD RS daily coverage of selected side events …

Indigenous Leaders Alert the UNFCCC and the World to the Imminent Threat that REDD Poses to their Territories and Livelihoods
IPCCA release, 29 November 2011

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: As the UNFCCC COP 17 opens in Durban, South Africa, a gathering of indigenous leaders from around the world discussing biocultural protocols and REDD warned the UNFCCC and the international community of the grave danger that REDD and market-based solutions to climate change mitigation post to their cultures, territories and livelihoods. The participants of the workshop on REDD and biocultural protocols organized by the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA) met on 24-25 November 2011 to share emergent findings, analyze how REDD affects indigenous territories and discuss strategies for climate justice. In their Declaration, they strongly reject REDD as a “neo-liberal, market-driven approach that leads to the commodification of life and undermines holistic community values and governance”, further noting that REDD+ policies and projects are directly targeting indigenous peoples and their territories, are undermining indigenous governance systems, and impact negatively on traditional forest-related knowledge, food sovereignty and food security, and traditional health care systems. Read the IPCCA release … Read the IPCCA Declaration from Durban … Read an IPS article of 29 November 2011 on forest-dependent communities and REDD+ …