Global Environment

The Thirteenth Asia Pacific Seminar on Climate Change

[Chairperson's Summary]

2 - 5 September 2003, Miyazaki, Japan

  1. Attendance
  2. Objectives
  3. Conduct of the Seminar
  4. Keynote Session
  5. Substantive Sessions
  6. Other Matters

1. The Thirteenth Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change was held in Miyazaki, Japan from 2 -5 September 2003. The Seminar was organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ), Miyazaki Prefectural Government, Miyazaki City Government, and the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center (OECC), Japan, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Since its commencement in 1991, the Seminar has become well recognized as a major regional effort to address climate change and acted as a progressive vehicle for information exchange and mutual understanding among the countries through providing a useful framework for international cooperation in the region.

I. Attendance

2. The Seminar was attended by experts / climate change focal points from eighteen (18) countries and representatives of thirteen (13) UN and other international and regional organizations. A number of resource persons from research institutes, universities and private companies also attended the Seminar.

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II. Objectives

3. The objectives of the Seminar included: 1) exchanging current updates of international dialogue on the Climate Change Convention and regional cooperation addressing Climate Change, 2) sharing information on concrete efforts being made to address climate change at international, regional and national levels, 3) reviewing the current status and discussing further possibilities of international cooperation, including capacity building, 4) deepening understanding of the Kyoto Mechanisms, especially Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), by reviewing technical issues and practical experiences, and 5) enhancing the awareness on the latest scientific assessment and other actions for adaptation as well as international cooperation.

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III. Conduct of the Seminar

4.The Seminar commenced with opening address by Mr. Kazuhiko TAKEMOTO, Deputy Director-General, Global Environmental Bureau, MOEJ. Welcome speeches were delivered by Mr Tadahiro ANDO, Governor, Miyazaki Prefectural Government, and Mr Shigemitu TSUMURA, Mayor of Miyazaki City.

5. The Seminar elected Professor Nobuo MIMURA, Ibaraki University as the Chairperson. Dr. Shuzo NISHIOKA, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Mr. Ferda GELEGEN, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Ms. Bridget BRILL, Australian Greenhouse Office, and Dr. Ancha SRINIVASAN, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies chaired various sessions of the Seminar. Mr. Masami TSUJI, Asian Development Bank served as Rapporteur.

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IV. Keynote Session

6.Mr. Mukul SANWAL, Special Adviser, UNFCCC Secretariat, updated the Seminar of the latest global dialogue on the Climate Change Convention. He outlined a series of current hot issues being discussed inside and outside the Convention dialogue, such as development of procedures for CDM, transfer of energy technology, roles of different stakeholders, and mainstreaming of climate change issues in sustainable development agenda of countries.

7.Mr. Kuniaki MAKIYA, Director, Office of International Climate Change, MOEJ provided a comprehensive review of Japan's climate change policy covering both domestic and international policy measures currently undertaken by the Government of Japan. Domestic policy measures, implemented in a step-by-step approach, included policies for GHG reduction through provision of economic incentives, deepening of stakeholder involvement, and development of new technologies. At international level, measures were aimed at the early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol and facilitation of the effective use of the Kyoto Mechanisms. He also outlined various Japan's assistance programmes, among which the Kyoto Initiative was brought to particular attention of the participants.

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V. Substantive Sessions

8.In Session II - Response to Address Climate Change Issues at International, National and Local Level - the participants identified several basic issues in deliberating further climate change actions, e.g., balancing of national needs and international initiatives, prioritization of measures while ensuring comprehensiveness, compatibility with national sustainable development concerns, and roles of different stakeholders. Other points of view included utilization of capacity building as a basis of action in all issues and CDM as one vehicle for sustainable development, strengthening of activities to address vulnerability and adaptation issues, and dissemination of information on the best practices in relation to their replicability after suitable adjustments. The possibility to discuss post-Kyoto framework in the future Seminars was also noted.

9.In Session III - Capacity Building to Address Climate Change Issues - five priorities were put forward for further discussion: balance between internally- and externally-driven approaches; identification of regional- and country-specific priorities; focus on exchange of experiences, lessons learned and good practices; capacity building methodologies (networking of experts, training, workshops, etc.); and evaluation of their effectiveness through concrete follow-up activities. Based on the discussion, the following ideas and suggestions among others were put forward:

  • - Synergies among existing international capacity building initiatives on climate change should be built;
  • - Capacity building programmes should be designed by considering perspectives of both developed and developing countries, focusing on not only mitigation but also vulnerability and adaptation;
  • - Country-driven priorities, once properly set, can help in meeting the targeted capacity building needs, and in fostering a suitable enabling environment that facilitates the transfer of information and methodologies among countries.

10.In Session IV - Preparation for CDM / JI - the participants were informed of the current status of the international CDM arena proceeding from scheme design to implementation phase. Discussion also focused on the effective realization of CDM projects in host countries through resolving critical issues in preparation of the project design document, such as additionality and baseline methodology. Prospects for facilitation of small-scale/community-based CDM projects were also discussed. The participants underlined further needs of capacity building and information dissemination regarding CDM both in the developing and developed countries. Capacity building of financial institutions and addressing legal aspects of CDM were also considered important.

11.Since many activities are ongoing in relation to the preparation of CDM projects in the region, the participants recognized the importance of (a) creation of a "one stop shop" for all CDM activities in each host country, (b) development of a CDM information platform to benefit both potential investors and host country institutions, and (c) preparation of information digests based on existing resources.

12.The Session V - International Cooperation for Adaptation Strategies - the participants shared information on key concepts including vulnerability and adaptation, synergies among adaptation and mitigation strategies, and linkages between climate change and development. Among others, the participants recognized that research programmes on climate change, vulnerability assessment, and possible coping mechanisms should constitute a basis for developing the National Action Plan for Adaptation. Attention was also drawn to the benefits of combining conventional top-down and community-based bottom-up approaches.

13.In Session VI - Follow-up of Type II Partnership Project: Regional Cooperation addressing Climate Change - two specific initiatives, namely "Asia-Pacific Network on Climate Change (AP-Net)" and " Scientific Capacity Building/Enhancement for Sustainable Development (CAPaBLE) programme", were discussed. The discussion focused on the need for promoting synergies among ongoing initiatives of regional cooperation and pooling scarce resources including finance and technologies in Asia and the Pacific, to ensure that developing countries in the region could be fully involved and work together through the Type II Initiatives.

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VI.Other Matters

14.In the Wrap-up Session, the participants discussed on the possible structure, focus and agenda of the next year's seminar. It was emphasized that the Seminar's new effort to encourage and facilitate discussions and interactions among participants should be continued. The participants suggested a number of areas for priority discussion topics and requested that the planning of next year's seminar should involve a close consultation process with participating countries and organizations. The participants welcomed a proposal by the Australian Greenhouse Office to host the Fourteenth Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change in 2004 in cooperation of MOEJ.

15. The participants expressed their appreciation to MOEJ, Miyazaki Prefectural Government, Miyazaki City Government and OECC for organizing the Seminar.

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Miyazaki, Japan, 5 September 2003,

Chairperson The Thirteenth Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change

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