On March 25th and 26th, fifteen members of the Civil Society Committee for COP17 (C17) met in Durban to strategise, plan and develop its working plan for 2011. Included in the discussion was the role of C17, its functionality, and what it will undertake to do during and in the lead- up to the UNFCCC COP17. Decisions taken at the meeting and a whole lot more details from the committee are recorded in this document (PDF).
Objectives of the C17 committee
• Facilitate the development of an informed civil society that is mobilised, active and can articulate and advocate for climate justice
• Minimise climate change through education and mobilisation, using COP 17 as a catalyst
• Encourage lifestyle change, awareness and understanding of climate change in climate justice groups and broader civil society
• Develop and strengthen the environmental justice movement
C17 Actions will include:
1. Coordinate Global Day of Action (GDA) on December 3rd
2. Facilitate international engagement with GDA and climate justice summits
3. Create and facilitate a physical civil society space during COP17
4. Create and facilitate a virtual civil society space prior to COP17
5. Facilitate and organise a series of actions leading up to COP17 including advocacy, pressure and mobilisation for climate justice; and raising awareness of COP17 and climate change through media and general public outreach
Please distribute freely
Contact : C17SouthAfrica *at* gmail.com
Climate change negotiations have not delivered what is needed to stop climate change. Following on from the outcomes of the past two years, the Durban hosted COP17 could be a defining moment for climate activists.
At a January meeting of South African environmental, social, trade union, faith community and climate justice organisations, the Civil Society Committee for COP17 (C17) was mandated to facilitate civil society engagement in COP17. The C17 will work towards coordinating joint actions at and in the lead-up to COP17. Continue reading
Extract from President Jacob Zuma’s recent State of the Nation address:
Honourable Members referred to the important United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change or COP 17 that we will host from the 28th of November to the 9th of December 2011 in Durban.
We agree with Honourable Holomisa that the conference should be used as a rallying point to inform and mobilise our communities around issues of the environment. We are humbled by the confidence shown by the UNFCC in Africa`s ability to host this meeting again after Kenya successfully hosted it in 2006.
This presents another opportunity for Africa to rise to the occasion, just like we did when the world gave us an opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup last year. Continue reading
On 27/28 January 2011, organisations and individuals from South African civil society who wish to mobilise together around COP17, the December UN climate conference in Durban, met in that city at the very pleasant Diakonia Centre to discuss shared positions and shared strategies. The conference was funded and supported by HBS and the Global Campaign for Climate Action.
This is a personal perspective on the meeting from someone Continue reading
If you wish to attend COP17, but the organisation you are associated with is not registered with the UNFCCC secretariat, you need to move quite fast to register.
For those organizations that are interested in attending COP17 in South Africa that have not yet been admitted as an Observer organization with the UNFCCC (meaning an organization that can accredit individuals to participate in UNFCCC meetings), the deadline is approaching quickly (Tuesday, March 1, 2011).
Information on how to get your application in to the UNFCCC Secretariat (well before March 1, 2011 is safer) can be found at:http://unfccc.int/parties_and_observers/ngo/items/3667.php . Look on the webpage under Standard admission process (pdf).
Questions about this can be directed to the UNFCCC Secretariat Observer Liaison Officer (Megumi Endo, <MEndo@unfccc.int>).
Note that UN registration is of course not required to attend NGO events that will be organised outside of the official UN spaces.
The UNFCCC also usually organises a “climate village”, which is open to the general public, but if Cancun was anything to go by, most used by business and tourism interests.
NOVEMBER UPDATE: Please note, registration for the UN COP and side-events (all events at the International Convention Centre and Durban Exhibition Centre) closed at the end of September. There is no way to get in now. However, you can still attend many other related events that are being organised outside the official COP at the same time.
Today I met with several South African civil society colleagues, from a range of organisations and sectors, here in Cancun – we are members of an interim planning committee established by a COP17 civil society preparation conference hosted by Earthlife Africa in Johannesburg in early November.
Earlier in the year, in July and October, the Heinrich Boell Foundation/Stiftung also hosted two similar, though smaller meetings in Cape Town. They served as briefings on the UNFCCC process and as tentative strategy sessions.
We are working towards another, broader civil society conference to be held in Durban, the COP17 host city, on 27/28 January.
Personally, I believe that SA civil society has two responsibilities during the COP (assuming that one believes in engaging with it, a legitimate debate of course):
- To ensure that the COP is democratic, transparent and accessible to both “insiders” (UN accredited parties and NGO observers) and “outsiders” (non-accredited parties who nonetheless have every right to express themselves on the issues the COP represents). Practically this means resisting any pressures to separate parties, observers and outsiders, excuses which will be made, if they are, on the basis of logistics and/or security. The SA government has promised a “People’s COP”: if they are serious, then we share a responsibility for ensuring that SA civil society and global civil society are very well represented in Durban.
- To settle on and fight for a clear set of principled and effective positions, and manage our own differences well enough so that those differences do not have the effect of shutting down some views.