Consultations on local communities and indigenous peoples platform with …SBSTA - Par Anya Coutinho
One of the meetings we attended this week was “SBSTA informal consultations on local communities and indigenous peoples platform”. As it may sound too technical, let’s start with the short introduction about the conference functioning and a brief explanation of what is SBSTA. The center of all this huge “machinery” is United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or let’s call it simply convention on climate change. This is an international treaty and all the countries are expected to join it. If they do so, and accomplish all the legal requirements, they become the Parties and can be referred as the Conference of the Parties (COP) (as of today, the UNFCCC has 197 parties). As the Parties represent the highest level of political decision-making of this convention, they take the decisions about climate policy which will be reflected in the decisions taken at the annual conferences (ex. UNFCCC COP24) and then in their national policy. There are also Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), which are similar to the first one but are related to the specific agreements taken in the framework of UNFCCC. Apart from the Parties, there are other bodies which can influence the decision and play important roles in the climate negotiations. These include SBSTA, SBI, APA, Bureau of the COP, CMP, and CMA, Compliance Committee, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Green Climate Fund (GCF) among others. You can find all the bodies here. The one which is the main focus in this brief is Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice or SBSTA. It is an assisting body to the convention which supports among others the work of the Parties (COP). This support is provided by the timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters of the convention. For instance, it gives advice on guidelines for improving standards of national communications and emission inventories. The role SBSTA plays in negotiations is related to knowledge assessment on climate change, scientific assessment of taken measures in framework of the Convention, identification of innovative and efficient technologies, international cooperation in research and development related to climate change among others. On Tuesday, the 4th of December, for instance, during the informal consultation of SBSTA and local communities and indigenous peoples’ platform were discussed specific aspects of the participation and representation of these peoples in the climate negotiations process. In fact, this platform is expected to be finalized at the UNFCCC COP24 in order to advance its implementation. Many countries participated (ex. USA, China, Canada, EU, Poland, Costa Rica, Mexico) in the discussion of the proposed document. They discussed legal implications and details of the draft decision, expressing their views, concerns and making suggestions for the changes. Several changes were proposed. More meetings will be held to continue the consultation.