#APAN2018 – Linking the UNFCCC and Ecosystem Resilience

We had Youssef Nassef on the panel, everybody.

Kicking off Day Two with Plenary Session on “Ecosystem Resilience: Time Counts,” Youssef Nassef, Director of Adaptation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat shared the stage with four other renowned experts to talk on time as the key enabler for ecosystem resilience and services. The other prominent speakers on the panel included:

  • Dechen Tsering, Regional Director, UN Environment, Asia and the Pacific Office
  • Erna Witoelar, Co-Chair, Filantropi Indonesia
  • Daniel Murdiyarso, Senior Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  • Atabek Umirbekov, Climate Change Specialist, The Regional Environment Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)

Youssef touched on the international policy landscape, and its importance in regards to adaptation, referring back to Article 2 of the Paris Agreement. Article 2 highlights the aim of the Paris Agreement, which mentions limiting the global average temperature to well below 2C, adapting to adverse impacts of climate change, climate finance, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The intricate relationship of the health of the ecosystem needs to be prioritised. The recently launched Special Report 1.5C (SR1.5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change compared the dire consequences of between the global temperature rise between 1.5C and 2C. It also pointed out the very short time horizon that we have in terms of saving the ecosystem, which is a mere 12 years timeframe.

We need to start viewing the situation at a macro level. We need a scale up of action that transcends transboundary implications, bearing in mind that climate change does not respect political boundaries. Through accelerating collaborative assessment and action could we improve our ecosystem corridors and shared services.

However, there is a significant level of context that needs to be addressed at a micro level, which includes local appropriateness. Youssef brought up an interesting point on “reciprocal resilience,” of which he explained that it is high time to see the relationship as a mutual exchange of benefit between human and ecosystem – as humans cannot function without a healthy ecosystem.

I had the opportunity to ask a question during Q&A;

“Hi, my name is Jasmin from the Malaysian Youth Delegation. We’re a youth climate change organisation that focuses on climate policy, advocacy and negotiations. There has been a lot of talk on the SR1.5 in the past few days of this Forum, and the past few weeks since its global release. The science is clear. However, political will isn’t. There are a lot of mixed feelings with the publication of the report – some are scared, some are hopeful. The report acts as monumental tool to feed in scientific information that could influence climate negotiations and the facilitation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme. Even more so, in the stream of Adaptation and Loss and Damage. What are your expectations leading up to COP24?”

Youssef answered that prior to the release of the SR1.5, the scientists had always elated the fear to the public, and that the public still thought that 1.5C is impossible. Now, with the release of SR1.5 and the Summary for Policymakers, everyone (some, more than others) now know that it is possible. The SR1.5 conveys good and clear information and acts as a mitigation tool. There will be a lot of events at COP24, and SR1.5 will definitely be a monumental tool could impact subsequent negotiations processes ahead. Especially anticipating the Global Stocktake, with the first one happening in 2023. 1.5 is definitely viable and necessary, and acts as an important and ambitious backdrop in pushing the world to a more climate just place.

Read official APAN Daily Reports here.

Written by Jasmin Irisha

Edited by Joe Kit

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