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12/10/2010

NGOs offer perspectives to delegates on final day

Environmental groups call for inclusive and creative solutions in Cancun

Negotiators in Cancun must incorporate the perspectives of developing countries, indigenous communities, women, children and workers unions into agreements reached on the final day of the COP16/CMP6 summit, environment officials said at a High-Level Plenary Session on Friday.

Central American leaders in particular noted that the tropical region needs concrete measures on global warming to come out of the conference.

“Our research shows us that with a one-meter rise in the sea level, around 60 percent of our ecosystems and infrastructure will flood, and combined with a rise in the planet’s temperature, our region will suffer a loss of 85 percent in our GDP,” said Kenrick Leslie, the Executive Director of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Gaspar Vega, Belize’s Environment Minister and acting president of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), added that, “Climate change has a multiplying and magnifying effect on the social, economic and environmental problems in the region.”

Members of non-governmental organizations at the session highlighted the role that natural resources play in confronting climate change.

Coosje Hoogendoorn, director of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), said that planting and harvesting bamboo is a simple solution, as the shoots store carbon dioxide and provide a sustainable and fast-growing material for building homes in impoverished communities.

Anada Tiéga, the secretary general of the RAMSAR Convention, an international treaty on wetlands, said that nations must do more to protect their mangroves, swamps and mudflats, which store greenhouse gases like methane that contribute to global warming.

“It is up to us to manage (our wetlands) properly so that they can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation,” he said.

Keywords
COP16, COP16/CMP6, climate change, climate conference, Cancun, Central America, Kenrick Leslie, the Caribbean Community, CARICOM

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