As the debilitating results of climate change sweep the globe, China has launched a host of South-South initiatives to share its climate adaptation experience with other developing countries and facilitate dialogue and resource sharing.
The collaboration is being implemented under the aegis of Adapting to Climate Change in China (ACCC) - a unique and innovative UK-Chinese-Swiss initiative linking climate change research to policy making and development. Now in its fourth and final year, ACCC has facilitated unprecedented progress in China's response to climate change. Among the initiative's funders is the Department for International Development (DFID) China, an aid office linked to the UK Government.
The initiative was reinvigorated at the 2011 United Nations Conference of Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, when National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Minister and head of the Chinese delegation, Xie Zhenhua, announced the formation of the China and South-South Scoping Assessment for Learning and Development (CASSALD) to address climate adaptation needs and potential in developing countries.
CASSALD allows China to share its experiences dealing with climate change with other developing countries. The implementing institution is NDRC.
CASSALD also identifies opportunities and avenues for South-South learning and resource sharing, and facilitates dialogue between China and other developing countries concerning best practices in integrating climate adaptation into their development processes. During the current 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), China has established climate change assistance programs in participating countries by strengthening human resources, skills and knowledge to advance green, low-emission and climate-resilient development.
The collaboration was fine-tuned at the 15th BRICS meeting on Climate Change in Cape Town, South Africa, from June 26-28, 2013, and recommendations will be represented at the January 2014 GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit, Washington DC. The collaborations will contribute to the successful implementation of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other climate change mitigation and financing mechanisms in Africa.
To solidify the project, a milestone three-day climate change conference held in Beijing in July this year endorsed a landmark guide for future policy, legislation, implementation and cooperation on climate change adaptation within the global South.
CASSALD offers 10 countries across three world regions environment and climate finance advisory services, including access to carbon markets. In Africa, selected implementing countries are Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda. Each chosen country faces numerous individual and specific challenges in response to current and future climate change challenges. By successfully analyzing, sharing and learning from China's adaptation experience, China's plans will be replicated in selected countries.
One country keenly embracing this protocol is Kenya, which has fast tracked itself toward achieving a middle-income status with a high quality of life through its ambitious Vision 2030 development plan. To achieve this vision, President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration has made climate change mitigation and adaptation a key concern. China's experience, as it grapples with these issues on its own path to development, has become an important example for Kenya.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Professor Judy Wakhungu, said that through CASSALD, Kenya has strengthened its human resources capabilities and skills to advance green, low-emission and climate-resilient development. This, she argues, ensures that people, especially youths, have the right knowledge and skills to build a climate-smart future.
In Angola, UNFCCC country coordinator Abias Huongo said that, through the South–South partnership, Angola has achieved the necessary technological know-how and human capacity to develop reliable climate resilience for a country with one of the world's most diverse marine habitats and one of the globe's most productive fishing stocks.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has joined the ranks of African countries showing concern for the environment by producing a national strategy for climate change and low carbon development. Increasingly, it is turning to China for help implementing and adapting to these protocols.
"There is significant potential for further assistance from China in climate change adaptation. Both countries face similar challenges from climate change and China has gained experience in building adaptive capacity in a number of Rwanda's priority sectors," said Rwanda's Environment and Lands Minister Stanislas Kamanzi.
In South Africa, CASSALD has helped form strategies to battle against perennial temperature increases, floods and drought which usually affect the country's most vulnerable sectors like health, agriculture and water supply. CA
(Reporting from Kenya)