Over the next two weeks BirdLife International will be participating in the international climate change negotiations, which opened today in Doha, Qatar. BirdLife calls on governments to work in earnest at the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference to advance and agree a timetable, workplan and milestones to reach a global climate change agreement by 2015, that is fair ambitious and legally binding. Parties must also increase climate change mitigation ambition in the interim, to get countries back on track in reducing emissions to keep average global temperature rise below 2°C, beyond which we would enter a new global environment that may no longer support much of life on Earth as we know it today.
One main focus for the BirdLife delegation is the mechanism to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (so called REDD+) to ensure that biodiversity and livelihoods are safeguarded in its implementation. REDD+ has the potential to significantly mitigate climate change whilst benefiting biodiversity and people, but only if robust safeguards and systems are put in place. BirdLife calls on Parties to further recognize the multiple benefits of REDD+ (not just carbon), in terms of payments for outcomes; the role of national forest monitoring systems in measuring multiple benefits; acknowledging the advice developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity on REDD+ safeguards and multiple benefits; as well as through addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
BirdLife will also contribute to discussions on adaptation to climate change impacts. We are working to ensure that appropriate support is provided for national adaptation planning in developing countries that deliver to vulnerable people and the ecosystems they rely on. Furthermore, we are promoting that further action is taken to address the loss and damage from extreme events and, so-called, slow-onset events (e.g. sea-level rise, biodiversity loss and desertification) associated with climate change, to countries that share the least responsibility for driving climate change.
BirdLife is represented at the conference by members of the BirdLife Global Secretariat, together with BirdLife Partners from Germany, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, Spain, and the UK.