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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA HOSTS CGE ON NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AT JOLLY BEACH
Monday 21st March 2011

Antigua and Barbuda is at the hour hosting a consultative group of experts (CGE) on National Communications from the parties not included in Annex1 of the Convention.

Close to sixty delegates are on island from more than seventy countries.

The three day workshop will facilitate exchange of views on possible elements to be considered in the future revision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) guidelines for the preparation of national Communications.  Antigua & Barbuda to this end is in the process completing their Second National Communication on Climate Change.

Kojo Agyemang –Bonsu of the UNFCC Secretariat, put into perspective the objectives of the three days’ meeting of the Consultative Group Experts.

He says, the sessions would continue the sharing of best practices and lessons learnt and in –dept exchange of views in the thematic group discussions on the UNFCCC guidelines.

The group is expected to report back on exchange of views from the thematic group discussions on the way forward, having identified the technical challenges encountered when preparing National Communications.

The mandate of the workshop came against the backdrop of a Subsidiary Body for the Implementation (SBI), at the thirty –second session, which took note of and welcomed the CGE , on National Communications from parties not included in Annex 1 to the convention (CGE ) FOR 2010-2012.

The scope of the workshop would include among, parties proving description of their national and regional priorities, objectives and circumstances, on the basis of which they will address climate change and its adverse impacts.

This description may include information on features of their geography, climate and economy which may affect their ability to deal with mitigation of and adaptation to climate change as well as information regarding their specific needs and concerns arising from the adverse effects of climate change and /or the impact of the implementation response measures.

Additionally the parties are expected to provide information on existing institutional arrangements relevant to the preparation of their national communications and distribution responsibilities.

More specifically,  the guidelines would include a framework for reporting information on national greenhouse gas inventory, programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change, which encapsulates, institutional arrangements for the preparation of their vulnerability and adaptation assessment, an assessment of the current vulnerability sectors based on historical/ baseline climate data.
 
The CGE, are also encouraged to provide information constraints and gaps, related financial, technical Capacity Needs.

Permanent Secretary within the Ministry Of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment Sharon Peters, in her welcoming remarks told the parties that, without appropriate adaptation measures climate change could have an extremely harmful impact on the sustainability of the development process. The coastal zone, as in many small island developing states, is extremely vulnerable to climate change.
 
“As many of you are aware the coastal zone is the core of our Tourism product. Additionally, 85% of our Critical infrastructure and resources lie within the coastal zone,” said Peters.
 
The permanent secretary stressed that “for developing countries, the preparation of National Communications is a critical process.  It provides an opportunity to document the current climate change situation impacting the country, as well as the projected impact of climate change in the future.”
 
She urged parties, “to work efficiently, and effectively, Consider ways to improve the guidelines to enhance them so that the process can be more effective at capturing the needs and opportunities that exist for adaptation and the eventual benefit to developing countries.”
 
She added, “You have, this week, an opportunity to make an important contribution to the review and enhancement of the guidelines that developing countries use to develop their National Communications.”
 


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