Put resources for poorest on Bali climate agenda says allliance

(Photo: Reuter / Cathal McNaughton)A person walks past a snow drift on the Cushendall Road as wintry weather continues to cause havoc across the United Kingdom, in the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland March 24, 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron should ensure environmental resources are included in future development goals for poorer nations when he participates in an international climate discussion in Bali this week, a coalition of environmental and a Christian group is urging.

Cameroon needs no reminders of what extreme climate is after Britain's wettest year on record in 2012 has left the country with fewer butterflies than ever known and an unseasonably cold winter that has extended into this week.

For Tuesday's high-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda meeting in Bali, civil society organizations around the world are making their case for what should be in the new development framework.

A 24-member high-level panel is meeting on Tuesday after scholars, representatives of the public sector, civil society organizations and youth organizations met the day before.

Christine Allen, policy and public affairs director at UK-based Christian Aid, said, "We will not be able to eradicate poverty over the long term without dealing with environmental challenges.

"This means that the Prime Minister, as co-chair of the High-level Panel, must ensure that action to address environmental and resource challenges is integrated into any future development goals."

Christians Aid says that due to increasingly serious threats facing the world's poorest, and their dependence on the natural environment for their livelihoods and survival, the new set of goals must leave developing nations better prepared to manage the risks that they face.

Working with leading environment and development groups – Christian Aid, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF – the Green Alliance coalition have drawn up four tests for environmental resilience that would put the framework on track to deliver this.

• Support environmentally resilient poverty reduction, by building national and community capacity to respond to climate impacts and natural resource constraints. This could include adapting water, energy and food systems to respond to a changing climate.

• Deliver resource efficiency and security, by building good resource management and sustainable resource use into national growth models, as well as increased transparency, access and rights for local communities. Strengthening private sector reporting requirements could be one approach. A shift to more sustainable resource consumption at the international level would mean a more equitable and secure supply for all.

• Enable access to sustainable, secure, clean energy for all, through economic growth models built on low carbon, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

• Reduce vulnerability to, and the impact of, disasters and, in turn, reduce the need for humanitarian aid, while protecting lives, livelihoods and economic investments.

"But will tests and proposals such as these get a look-in at the meeting in Bali, or in the panel's final report? " asks Hannah Kyrke-Smith, a policy adviser for the Green Alliance.

"So far, the willingness of the UK government to engage on these issues has been limited.

"But environmental resilience is central, not tangential to the main goal of poverty eradication. It isn't possible to eradicate poverty if developing nations continue to be poorly prepared to manage the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, ecosystem decline and resource depletion," writes Kyrke-Smith in supporting a paper on the Green Alliance proposals.,

On Wednesday two of the three cochairs of the Bali High Level Panel, Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will conclude the talks, while cochair UK Prime Minister David Cameron will participate by video conference.

The united environment and development groups are trying to ensure that the next set of goals help nations develop for the long term, and not just until the next extreme weather event or energy crisis.

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