Water scarcity disturbs age old social harmony in Peri Urban Kathmandu-II

Part 2– Change in weather and raining pattern (as experienced by locals of Peri Urban Areas in and near Kathmandu) has affected the traditional ways of farming and also their livestyles.The changes in raining pattern have resulted in the water scarcity which has ignited communal conflicts in the society. New varieties of weeds and pests have emerged challenging the traditional knowhow in the field. Nepal Engineering College has collected many such examples during its research on “Impact of Climate Change on water scarcity in Peri Urban Areas”. Research Associate Anushiya Joshi talks about it.

http://youtu.be/W3shdMgMhoU

Water Scarcity disturbs age old Social Harmony in Peri Urban Kathmandu-I

Part 1– Change in weather and raining pattern (as experienced by locals of Peri Urban Areas in and near Kathmandu) has affected the traditional ways of farming and also their livestyles.The changes in raining pattern have resulted in the water scarcity which has ignited communal conflicts in the society. New varieties of weeds and pests have emerged challenging the traditional knowhow in the field. Nepal Engineering College has collected many such examples during its research on “Impact of Climate Change on water scarcity in Peri Urban Areas”. Research Associate Anushiya Joshi talks about it.

http://youtu.be/O-GE8CW8Czo

RTF- Is it an answer to CC mitigation in urban??

Roof top farming- Is it an answer in fighting the effects of Climate Change at least in the urban areas? A pilot program was launched in Kathmandu by Kathmandu Municipality, supported by UN Habitat and RUAF Foundation. Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO) and Institute for Social and Environment Transition Nepal , ISET are working together with Kathmandu Municipality. Emma Karki and Minakshi Chhetri, research officers in ISET Nepal, talk about the findings of the research.

http://youtu.be/5UF0p3S13lI

Indonesia’s new forest agency head expected to speed reform

COLOMBO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The recent appointment of a new head for Indonesia’s fledgling REDD+ Agency, tasked with reducing climate-changing emissions from deforestation, is expected to accelerate tree planting and other efforts to protect forests in the Southeast Asian nation, as well as raising more funds for this work. http://www.trust.org/item/20140108104601-gxicv/

Drought parches Sri Lanka’s farms, threatens hydropower

Experts in Sri Lanka fear that despite the increased frequency of extreme dry seasons, the country still lacks measures to ease the impact on vital sectors like agriculture, energy and water resources. Ranjith Punyawardena, chief climatologist at the Department of Agriculture, said that this year’s main paddy rice harvest was likely to shrink by 7-10 percent due to the shortage of rainfall. – http://www.trust.org/item/20140214194424-vmupo/?source=hptop

U.S. wants poor and rich countries alike to cut emissions under next climate treaty

If the U.S. gets its way, developing countries will need to roll up their sleeves and do more to slow down global warming.

The Obama administration is taking the position that poor and rich countries alike should be legally obligated to reduce the amount of climate-changing pollution that they produce after 2020, when a new climate treaty is expected to take effect. The Kytoto Protocol approach, which saw rich countries but not poor ones compelled to rein in greenhouse gas pollution, is “clearly not rational or workable” any more, U.S. officials argue in a new submission to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The next big U.N. climate meeting will be held in Lima, Peru, this December, and then Paris will host a bigger one in December 2015, at which world leaders hope to finalize the new climate treaty.

“[T]he United States supports a Paris agreement that reflects the seriousness and magnitude of what science demands,” Obama administration officials wrote in their 11-page U.N. submission, which was published on Wednesday. “As such, it should be designed to promote ambitious efforts by a broad range of Parties.”

Continue reading at Grist — http://grist.org/news/u-s-wants-poor-and-rich-countries-alike-to-cut-emissions-under-next-climate-treaty/

Bangladesh moves to clean up dirty climate spending

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:19 PM

Author: Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Amid allegations of misuse of climate funds, Bangladesh is formulating a plan to coordinate expenditures across agencies and ensure greater transparency and accountability in climate change-related activities.

Officials said the move is part of efforts to ensure appropriate and effective use of funds in offsetting the impacts of climate change on Bangladesh, one of the most vulnerable nations to the global warming.

“In the fiscal budget, funds are being allocated for climate change-related projects for almost all the ministries. But the spending lacks coordination thus (it is) sometimes being misused which now we are trying to bring under strict regulations,” Rafiqul Islam, the joint chief of the Planning Commission, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He said huge amounts of money are being spent in a scattered way which causes frequent repetition and duplication of projects. “Several organisations embark on the same types of projects, while many areas remain unattended,” he noted.

Islam said if a “climate fiscal framework” is formulated and properly followed, agencies would have a clearer idea what projects are in place and how much money is involved with each of them.

DEVELOPMENT SPENDING

The government has already changed the format of development project proposals (DPP) to include climate change issues.

“From now on, while preparing a DPP for a project, it has to be mentioned if any climate change-related components are there or not. That will help in keeping track of how much money is being spent in what types of climate change-related projects,” Islam said.

He said countries like Indonesia and Cambodia already have in place climate fiscal frameworks that help them more easily tracking spending on climate change programmes.

The Bangladesh framework is being formulated under a project on “Poverty, Environment and Climate Mainstreaming”, funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

Currently, Bangladesh spends money on climate change projects from two major government and donor-sponsored funds.

The Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) is a fund operated by the Bangladesh government, development partners and the World Bank. A separate Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) is financed solely by the government from public funds.

Alongside the two major funds, there is spending to reduce climate change impacts by various non-government organisations, foreign sources, and even private households.

As of June 2013, developed nations had made climate finance pledges of $594 million to Bangladesh, although much of the money has yet to be delivered. In addition, the South Asian nation had received $147 million out of $149 million promised by a group of wealthy states through BCCRF, the multi-donor fund administered by the World Bank.

NO CLEAR SPENDING PICTURE

Rezai Karim Khondker, a professor at the Dhaka School of Economics and head of the team building the climate fiscal framework, said so far there has been no clear calculation of how much money was being spent on climate change and from which sources.

“The framework aims at bringing coordination in climate change-related spending,” he said.

Khondker said a large amount of money was needed to combat the impacts of climate change on low-lying Bangladesh. The framework will help keep a tally of the sources of funds and also of where those are being spent, and for what purpose.

Experts and various civil society organisations have raised questions about transparency in climate fund spending and produced evidence of mismanagement of money. The Bangladesh chapter of Transparency International (TIB) last October released a study on climate fund governance which revealed political influence, nepotism and corruption in the selection of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to carry out work on the ground.

It said some groups paid 20 percent of their allocation as “commission” in order to be chosen for adaptation projects.

Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman told Thomson Reuters Foundation that civil society organisations have been demanding transparency and accountability in climate fund spending from the very beginning.

“There should be policy directives for spending funds in need-based projects. Transparency has to be ensured at the implementation level so that people who are in need benefit,” he said.

BASIS FOR COMPENSATION?

Iftekharuzzaman said industrialised nations, who are primarily responsible for climate change, should offer compensation for countries hardest hit by climate impacts, but are unlikely to do so without transparency in how funds are being spent.

“Unless the good governance of funds is ensured, they won’t cooperate,” he said.

He said participation of civil society and experts needs to be increased in governance of climate funding, and that people with conflicts of interest need to be kept out of policy decisions.

Ainun Nishat, a noted environmentalist and vice chancellor of Brac University, agreed that monitoring mechanisms for climate spending have to be made stronger to ensure transparency, and that the decision to create a climate fiscal framework was “timely.”

“Steps have to be taken to eliminate the causes of slow release of funds by the donors,” he said.

Nishat said information on spending of climate funds and on projects underway should be made publicly available via websites to help reduce misuse of funds.

Syful Islam is a journalist with the Financial Express newspaper in Bangladesh. He can be reached at: [email protected]

U.S. whacks India with WTO complaint over its local solar program

India is going gangbusters for solar. Over the past four years, the country has boosted its grid-connected solar capacity from 18 megawatts to 2,200 MW. The prime minister’s pet renewables project, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, aims to increase that figure to 20,000 MW by 2022. And, as we told you yesterday, India has plans to build the world’s biggest solar array.

Such ambitions are helping the country slow the growth of its carbon emissions and are providing reliable electricity supplies to historically electricity-poor communities. And because the national solar program requires developers to use domestically made panels, it’s generating green jobs in a country where poverty is rampant.

Which all sounds great — unless you’re the U.S. government.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says India’s rules requiring use of domestically produced solar panels unfairly discriminate against American panel manufacturers. He has been trying to smash open trade barriers around the world on environmental goods like solar panels and wind turbine components. On Monday, he announced that the U.S. would file a case with the World Trade Organization in a bid to abolish India’s rules on use of domestic panels. “Domestic content requirements detract from successful cooperation on clean energy and actually impede India’s deployment of solar energy by raising its cost,” Froman argued.

Continue reading at Grist … http://grist.org/news/u-s-whacks-india-with-wto-complaint-over-its-local-solar-program/