Declaration on climate change focuses on vulnerable

A Maasai woman is collecting water
Copyright: Dieter Telemans/Panos

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  • A declaration calls for a need to address climate change impacts on the poor
  • It calls for increased and transparent funding to tackle climate change
  • An expert says adaptation and mitigation projects should get similar attention

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[NAIROBI] An international conference has passed a declaration to urgently address the needs and interests of the poor and most vulnerable in agreements on sustainable development, finance and climate change.

The Nairobi Declaration, which was passed at end of the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA9) held in Kenya on 27-30 April, calls for  methods to measure the effectiveness of adaptation to climate variability for the poorest and most vulnerable in the developing world.   

“It is the responsibility of developed countries to support the adaptation efforts of poor and vulnerable groups.”

Nairobi Declaration

The participants say the declaration would be used in the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Paris later this year.

“It is the responsibility of developed countries to support the adaptation efforts of poor and vulnerable groups,” says the declaration. “Governments should promote approaches to climate change adaptation that build the capacity of local actors.”

The declaration also calls on the international community to ensure that vulnerable groups are included in the process of developing goals, strategies for implementation, indicators and evaluative frameworks for adaptation.

Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), tells SciDev.Net: “2015 is a very important year when global development agendas will be set. Governments should prioritise the needs and interests of the poorest and most vulnerable in their national adaptation planning processes and provide clear, timely and accurate reporting on the extent to which adaptation finance reaches vulnerable groups.”

The declaration advocates for securing of additional, adequate and transparent adaptation financing, especially for community-level adaptation efforts: “Global agreements must increase and accelerate finance for adaptation in poor and vulnerable communities and establish transparent mechanisms for monitoring adaptation finance,” the report notes.

Joshua Irungu, the governor of Laikipia County in Kenya and the chairman of the country’s council of governors committee on environment, challenges the youth to participate in adaptation initiatives. “Adaptation to climate change has become a key subject in international negotiations.There’s need for urgent and proactive adaptation as this will determine the future,” Irungu says.

Reacting to the Nairobi Declaration, George Mwaniki, a senior research fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies, says that there is a need for an equal allocation of funds for both adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

Mwaniki adds that the private sector plays a key role beyond financing, and should therefore be persuaded to participate in programmes that combat climate change, a view shared by Edith Adera, a senior programme specialist with expertise in climate change and waterat the International Development Research Centre.

“We need to build capacity of those working in climate change adaptation programmes to make them bankable and encourage the private sector to work with researchers to get the opportunities available,” Adera added.
This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa desk


Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Nairobi Declaration on community-based adaptation to climate change (IIED, 27-30 April 2015)