Wednesday, 12 December 2007 3:09 PM

Good News from Bali

Climate change talks in Bali yesterday yielded a victory for vulnerable nations when they won the key decision to be represented by the Kyoto Protocol's Adaptation Fund.

Fiji Times Online reports the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as saying that, "YEARS of tense climate-change talks ended last night with victory for the most vulnerable countries, which won a key decision at the UN conference in Bali" when describing this major victory.

This outcome means that these nations, which include the nations of the region, will be represented fairly in a new body that funds efforts to adapt to climate change. This body, the Kyoto Protocol's Adaptation Fund, will be 'under the authority of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and not a US-based organisation'. The fund has been accumulating money for several years but has not yet been activated because countries could not agree what body would administer it.

According to the report, until yesterday, the 'only contender on the Bali agenda was the Global Environment Facility, a multilateral environmental funding agency based in Washington DC' but there was opposition from developing countries due to struggles in the past to obtain funding from the GEF and because the GEF council is 'dominated by the United States which has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol'. They also felt that the potential size of the fund meant it should have its own board and governance system, according to the report.

Mr. Amjad Abdullah, lead negotiator for the Maldives and chair of the Least Developing Countries negotiating block, which gathers 49 nations, said that this was a major victory in that "the African countries, small island states and least developed countries stuck together and fought for a dedicated secretariat with a representative governance board that has special places for the most vulnerable nations".

The decision will be passed to government ministers this week to be endorsed by ministers from the 175 countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

A statement from the IIED said "The outcome represents a major victory for the countries that have contributed least to climate change but are set to suffer most from its impacts, the least developed countries, small island developing states and Africa".

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