İklim Değişikliği Raporu Konferansı

23.Mar.2007

Opening remarks by

Mahmood Ayub

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

 

Honorable Minister Osman Pepe, Ambassador Baird, Distinguished Guests:

It is a great pleasure for me to participate in this important conference on Turkey’s Climate Change Report. We in the UNDP Office in Turkey are proud to present the results of this report, jointly with the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

This comprehensive report, which includes scientific studies on the impact of global warming on Turkey, also outlines the measures taken so far by Turkey to implement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dozens of academics, NGOs, research institutions and related government organs have contributed to the preparation of this rich report. Our sincere thanks go to the contributors of this report.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As human societies adopt increasingly sophisticated and automated lifestyles, there is an increase in the demand for energy sources such as petroleum, natural gas and other sources of energy. This increased demand translates into enhanced warming capability of the natural greenhouse effect, which, in turn, results in changes in many aspects of climate. The report presents convincing evidence for this.

This is a global tragedy affecting everyone. But unfortunately those most affected by it are the poorest people in the poorest countries. So the threat of climate change directly hinders the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. As you know, these goals are the time-bound targets for reducing poverty and improving human development that world leaders agreed on at the Millennium Summit in September 2000.

Rapid climate change accelerates the loss of environmental resources, making the achievement of three of these Millennium Development Goals much more difficult. These three goals are:  the first goal of poverty alleviation; the sixth goal for combating vector-borne diseases; and  the seventh goal for environmental sustainability.

Deterioration in quality of potable water, frequent droughts and extreme or catastrophic weather events aaffect agriculture, water and other natural resources, thereby leading to negative impact on human health. In countries such as Turkey, global climate change leads to increased land erosion and degradation, which leads to deterioration of agricultural systems and local food supply for the poorer and remote communities.

As the lead agency in the UN system for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, UNDP is active across the globe to help developing countries build the needed capacity to adapt to the impact of climate change, and to make available improved and affordable energy sources to some 2 billion people who currently lack such access.

At the global level, UNDP programmes related to energy between 1991 and early 2005 amounted to US$ 1.2 billion. If you add to this amount the parallel financing provided to UNDP by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for sustainable energy and climate change activities, and by host governments and partners, the total amount increases to almost US $ 4 billion, for about 4,000 projects.

These funds have been used to:

 

·        Promote energy conservation

 

·        Adopt renewable energy technologies

 

·        Develop sustainable transport systems

 

·        Make available low-carbon energy technology

 

·        Support national greenhouse inventories and emission reduction strategies.

In Turkey, UNDP has worked as a close partner to numerous national and international institutions to find practical solutions to Turkey’s development challenges. Within the scope of developing Local Strategies for Environment and Sustainable Development, we are supporting local communities and grassroots organizations for their conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. The Local Agenda 21 Program of Turkey has been catalytic to engage local communities; participation in development processes to respond to local development needs, including sustainable environmental management.

UNDP Turkey is also promoting the use of Sustainable Energy resources as an alternative to conventional heating methods particularly in farming practices. For example, a project piloted in Eastern Turkey, where the climate conditions are extremely harsh, has demonstrated the use of geothermal energy as a source for heating greenhouses.

UNDP has been managing the GEF- Small Grants Programme in Turkey since 1993. Through this programme, some 135 projects have received funding for conservation of biodiversity, international waters, and renewable energy. I am pleased to mention that after Turkey’s ratification of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on 24 May 2004,  the country has been much more actively involved in global efforts for preserving the global environment and providing a substantial input to the ongoing efforts related to the EU accession.

In that sense, the Turkey Climate Report is a definite and significant result of the successful collaboration between the UNDP and the Turkish stakeholders, with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry being the lead partner in terms of the preparation of Turkey’s First National Communication. This collaboration also resulted in the identification of priority areas of Turkey’s Climate Change Action Plan on which future national communications may build upon.

I am, therefore, delighted to confirm that UNDP will continue to provide its expertise and to share its experience from other countries—both in technical and analytical aspects such as the preparation of the Second National Communication as well as in new partnership projects focusing on mitigating emissions and adapting to adverse effects of global warming and climate change.

Let me conclude by expressing my sincere hope that this fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Environemnt and Forestry will serve as another stepping stone for future partnerships.

Thank you very much.

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