Windhoek — Namibia was chosen with eight other countries to showcase its Momentum for Change initiative 'lighthouse activities' during the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18).
COP18, where Namibia will showcase the EazyStove, will take place in Doha, Qatar in late November to early December. The lighthouse activities in developing countries either help to curb greenhouse gas emissions or help people adapt to climate change, while at the same time benefiting the urban poor.
Namibia is among the countries extremely vulnerable to climate change, due to its arid nature, hence the logical route to follow is that of adaptation, in order to minimise the impact of climate change.
Momentum for Change aims to create a public platform that raises awareness about concrete mitigation and adaptation actions being implemented by a wide range of stakeholders at regional, national or local level. The initiative seeks to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change and to transform misperceptions surrounding taking action on climate change. Momentum for Change was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa at the end of last year.
Nine activities were selected as lighthouse projects, selected from a field of more than 100 projects submitted to the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel. They were chosen for their ability to show how their work helps poor urban communities with adaptation and or mitigation toward climate change. During the showcase in Doha, delegations will be talking about their projects, the public/private partnership links and what the projects have done in the communities where they have been launched.
The activities include the promotion of electric buses and rickshaws in Sri Lanka, energy efficient brick kilns in Peru, a project to support the work of clean energy entrepreneurs in Uganda and in Namibia, holistic approaches to community adaptation to climate change, and an activity that uses a six-point method to assist local communities in adapting to climate change, amongst others.
"We are very excited to showcase this year's lighthouse activities as they demonstrate the commitment by communities, civil society organisations, local governments and private businesses to take concrete action to address climate change," the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said.
According to Figueres, the examples are inspiring and encouraging, not least for governments who have already set the course towards greater climate resilience, but who need to take the next essential steps to galvanise the speed and scope of climate action.
Two key criteria for the selection of the initiatives are that they have proven to be effective and have the potential to be replicated in other countries and communities.
They were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the UNFCCC's Momentum for Change initiative, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to interact with the activity partners in two social media discussions ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha. The first is scheduled to take place on November 14 and the second event is scheduled to takes place a week later, on November 21. Participants can join in via Twitter using the hashtag #m4c2012.