Navigating the Durban Daze

Agriculture Biodiversity Investments Water Nov 16, 2011
Christina Mercado

Year-end climate talks are still two weeks away, and already the array of panels, speakers and workshops is dizzying, Ecosystem Marketplace offers up this list of the COP 17 side events we’ll be attending/covering/watching through our news coverage and blog.

16 November 2011 | If you’re having trouble deciding which COP 17 side events to attend, and are already feeling lost in a frenzy of panels, speakers and workshops – fear not!

To make your life just a little easier in the run-up to COP17, Ecosystem Marketplace offers up this list of the COP 17 side events we’ll be attending/covering/watching (ahem, NGO party!) through our news coverage and blog. We think you’ll like them, too – click on each day to see full event details.

This brief synopsis of some of the many outstanding events will take you to our Events calendar. There, we will update you daily with the “must attends” as we find them during the conference. Feel free to contact us with any additional events you think would be of interest to EM readers.

Day 1 – 11/28/11
We’ll just be hitting the Durban scene (and recovering from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s righteous climate rally the night before!) but may drop by the official Q&A with the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee to pick their brains before the conference hits full swing.

Day 2 – 11/29/11
We will formally kick off our time in Durban by attending two UNFCCC Official Side Events (OSE). Today, you can explore enforcement, anti-corruption, monitoring tools, and Japanese bi-lateral cooperation on mitigation in developing countries – just maybe attendees can catch the latest on Japan’s Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanism?

Day 3 – 11/30/11
Our lively hand-picked events for Day 3 focus on REDD+ from an ‘on-the-ground’ perspective. Events cover social and political issues, sub-national strategies, and social and environmental safeguards. The four side events we picked are all OSE, with one co-hosted by yours truly – our parent organization Forest Trends.

Day 4 – 12/1/11
Day 4 features a wealth of side events for fellow Durban-goers. Official side events revolve around the role of the private sector, while a workshop (Forest Trends again!) will get participants talking about community involvement.

Day 5 – 12/2/11
Day 5 is another busy day with many choices to burden the indecisive. We highlight a half-day conference on REDD+ in the Amazon (by CIFOR and Amazonas). Several OSE and IETA events covering Australia, social standards, trading systems, and professionalization are our other top picks.

Day 6 – 12/3/11
On this supremely busy Saturday in Durban, our choice events will be Agriculture and Rural Development Day (addressing climate change challenges by way of sustainable agriculture), followed by a stop by the World Climate Summit to hear what business leaders envision for the Future of the Carbon Markets. And Forest Trends hopes to entice you away from the ICC for an afternoon of South-South dialog on REDD+ and PES between Ecuador, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Day 7 – 12/4/11
On Day 7, CIFOR’s Forest Day is jam-packed with forums on safeguards, Africa, and MRV, and a panel of influential leaders speaking on forests and climate change updates from a variety of perspectives. This day-long event will be punctuated by networking opportunities for the social butterflies among us.

Day 8 – 12/5/11
On Day 8, we get down to ‘business,’ by exploring private-sector opportunities, carbon market outlook and strategies, PoAs to NAMAs, and green investment schemes (all hosted by IETA). The biggest event on the books? An intergovernmental dialog between national governments and voluntary carbon market movers and shakers. We’ll be there – will you?

Day 9 – 12/6/11
As (maybe?) the real “work” of the COP starts taking shape, Day 8 is a shorter day of side-events hosted by IETA. On this day, we will immerse ourselves in market linkages (EU ETS, RGGI, California, AU, NZ), the exciting world of nested REDD jurisdictional approaches and then later dive into the crystal-blue waters of the sub-national strategy in Mexico.

Day 10 – 12/7/11
Our selection of Day 10 OSEs includes discussions on SADC opportunities, the UN system for implementation, sustainable forest management, and sub-national approaches. Also, we have highlighted two IETA events on bilateral strategies and post-Kyoto protocol.

Day 11 – 12/8/11
On Day 11, the four OSE’s we’re looking at force audiences to ask themselves the tough questions: what have we accomplished with emissions reductions and what are the legal hurdles ahead? Also, we will take a close look at international carbon finance, from NAMAs to China and beyond.

Day 12 – 12/9/11
On the last day of the COP, as decisions or derision are in full swing in the official proceedings, we will wind down with three events and scale up our coverage of the final plenary. If you’re not into the last minute flurry of negotiating, check out these events: one on the jurisdictional approach in Brazil, one on post-kyoto MRV approaches, and one on REDD+ safeguards and the Green Climate Fund.

Like all good things, our time enjoying Durban (including our time enjoying views of the Indian Ocean from the windows of our conference rooms) must come to an end.

We sincerely hope that this synopsis of our favorite COP 17 side events will help you plan your time in Durban! Best wishes for your last-minute pre-Durban preparations, and we look forward to seeing you at the conference.

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