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OCTs and Environment Situation and opportunities in EC cooperation European Commission – DG Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "OCTs and Environment Situation and opportunities in EC cooperation European Commission – DG Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 OCTs and Environment Situation and opportunities in EC cooperation European Commission – DG Environment


3 Environment in OCTs OCTs are situated in all parts of the globe: natural conditions are very varied and cover a wide range of ecological zones But common points do exist : All OCTs are islands or have easy access to the sea All are potentially affected by climate change All have coastal and marine resources All have important biodiversity All have specific problems due to the size of their economies or to their isolation : waste management, energy, water and sanitation, land management,… European Commission – DG Environment

4 Environment in EC-OCTs cooperation The association agreement objectives are: Poverty prevention, reduction and eradication Integration in the regional and world economies Sustainable development : Environment is one of three pillars of sustainable development It recognizes important environmental issues for OCTs: article 15 e : waste and 15 f : biodiversity Regional integration is promoted, inter alia regarding cooperation on environment (article 16.4) European Commission – DG Environment

5 Environment in OCTs What are the main environmental issues at stake in the OCTs: Climate change Biodiversity Waste management Natural resources management: land, water, marine resources European Commission – DG Environment

6 Climate change and OCTs Climate change is already taking place and is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere Climate change is projected to increase, both in magnitude and in rate of change Impacts include increased global warming, rising sea-levels, changes in rainfall patterns increase of extreme weather events (cyclones, hurricanes, draughts) European Commission – DG Environment

7 Climate change and OCTs Climate change impacts may affect all OCTs in different manners: Small islands may be affected by sea-level rise Arctic and sub-antarctic zones affected by snow and ice-melt All OCTs may be affected by more frequent and more extreme climatic events (cyclons, droughts) Modifications in weather patterns (rainfall, average seasonal temperature) may impact agriculture, livestock, woods Sea-temperature variations may affect marine resources: fish stocks, coral reefs European Commission – DG Environment

8 Climate change and OCTs Most OCTs have a higher vulnerability due to: Geography/topography Size of the economy Structure of the economy Most OCTs have a lower adaptation capacity: Geography/topography (e.g. nowhere to move if sea- levels are rising) Limited financial and human ressources Limited possibilitites for economic diversification Limited natural ressources European Commission – DG Environment

9 Climate change : Action at EC/EU and global level EU Strategy on climate change in the context of development cooperation (Dec. 2003) and Action Plan (Nov2004), to be implemented from 2004 to 2008 Objective: to assist EU partner countries in meeting the challenges posed by climate change through the implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol Strategic priorities: raising the policy profile of climate change, adaptation, mitigation and low greenhouse gas development paths, capacity building Kyoto protocol now fully into force Negotiations ongoing in Montreal at the time being European Commission – DG Environment

10 Climate change and OCTs : Why take action? Climate change poses a threat to efforts for development since it puts at risk e.g. economic activities, investments in infrastructure, increases the risk for disasters and put additional pressure on limited natural ressources If we ignore climate change in our development efforts today, we may make short-term development gains, but these gains may not be sustainable in the longer perspective Responding to the risk of climate change is an opportunity to take action to reduce vulnerability and make development resilient to climate change European Commission – DG Environment

11 OCTs and Biodiversity : facts Total OCTs biodiversity is higher than in the whole European Union OCTs cover a high range of high quality ecosystems : from arctic and subarctic regions to tropical forests and highly varied marine areas The loss of biodiversity represents also an economic loss, direct or potential Resilience to natural disasters and/or climate change is higher if biodiversity is intact European Commission – DG Environment

12 OCTs and Biodiversity : Action at EC/EU level EU Gothenburg summit (2001) : halt the loss of biodiversity before 2010, which led to the Biodiversity strategy and action plans. An new EC Biodiversity communication is being drafted for end of 2005 At the Paris Conference (january 2005) on biodiversity and science, Pdt Chirac made proposals for biodiversity actions in FR OCTs (Plan dAction Biodiversité outre-mer) Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) : applicable to OCTs if legislation adapted NGOs are lobbying hard in favour of decisive actions in favour of biodiversity in the OCTs European Commission – DG Environment

13 Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and Development Cooperation Strategic Objectives: Mainstream biodiversity objectives into co-operation strategies and policy dialogue with developing countries. Integration into development projects across different sectors. Support sustainable use of natural resources, particularly in relation to forests, grasslands and marine/coastal ecosystems. Strengthen capacity of relevant agencies involved in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Further integrate EIA practices in development co-operation. Co-ordinate the implementation with third country own biodiversity strategies. Ensure complementarity and co-ordination of policies and approaches in EC, other donors and international institutions, particularly GEF, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Provide sufficient funds for biodiversity on bilateral aid programmes as well as for international mechanisms (e.g. CBD

14 Biodiversity : can OCTs make a change? Yes, and there is a lot of potential How ? (possible actions) : Set-up of marine and inland protected areas Integration into regional conservation networks Capacity building Adaptation of legal framework and law enforcement Sustainable management of natural resources, i.e. fisheries, vegetation, agriculture Why? Biodiversity is an important asset for economy: fishery, agriculture, but also tourism, health,… Biodiversity also has a social role European Commission – DG Environment

15 OCTs and Waste : facts OCTs are in a special situation regarding waste management : little islands or territories Isolation limited resources (human, financial, natural) high sensitivity of ecosystems extreme climatic conditions European Commission – DG Environment

16 Waste : can OCTs matter? Different types of actions may be foreseen Awareness raising Waste management schemes adapted to the specific conditions: cost-effective, environmentally sound, 3Rs :reducing, recycling, reuse Specific measures for marine debris, ballast waters, etc. Regional partnerships to draw on best practices and develop innovative solutions European Commission – DG Environment

17 Instruments Environment integration manual under preparation: Contains guidelines and draft terms of reference for EIA, SEA and CEP For each country or region, a CEP is to be drawn up, in context of preparation Indicative Programme key environmental issues, trends and pressures, disaster preparedness linked with natural resources; governmental and civil responses; Consultation and dialogue the status of regulatory reforms and the institutions involved; obligations undertaken by OCTs and EC in the frame of MEAs such as FCCC, CBD. Helpdesk ( dex.htm

18 Other environmental issues The following issues are also possible areas for enhanced EC/OCTs cooperation: Management of coastal and marine resources Water resources and sanitation Land degradation Management of fishery Renewable energy Sustainable consumption and production Natural disasters preparedness

19 Conclusion Environment is a pillar of sustainable development Environment is also a set of opportunities Regional or global cooperation brings added value Favourable scene Environmental issues are high on the international agenda Association Agreement OCTs/EC EC has clear commitments to fulfill Networking for exchanging experiences and designing specific solutions with SIDS European Commission – DG Environment

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