Environment Ministers Meetings
Development Ministers Meetings

G8 Environment and Development Ministers Meeting
Derby, March 17-18, 2005


Agenda

Thursday 17th March
Afternoon: Environment Ministers' session
Evening: Reception and dinner for all Ministers

Friday 18th March
Morning: Civil society outreach session to all Ministers
Then concurrently:
Development Ministers' session
Environment Ministers' visit
Afternoon: Joint Environment and Development Ministers' session
Press Briefing for all Ministers

Source: Defra

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Themes

Three main meetings will take place; separate Environment and Development Ministers' meetings, and a joint session to bring together the ideas of both groups.

The main focus of the joint meeting will be on illegal logging and on the links between climate change and Africa.

Illegal logging has a damaging impact on developing countries, from both development and environment perspectives, and action by G8 countries to tackle illegal timber would contribute to poverty reduction, conflict prevention and biodiversity.

Discussions on climate change and Africa will include consideration of the conclusions of a Defra/DFID-commissioned UK study of what is known about the impact of climate change in Africa. Ministers will discuss how to take forward the conclusions of the study.

Source: Defra

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Outreach

In parallel with the meeting of Environment and Development Ministers on 17th March 2005, an Outreach meeting will be held for civil society and stakeholders, also on 17th March in Derby. The event will be attended by representatives from industry, academia, non-Governmental organisations and other stakeholders in G8 countries.

This will give civil society representatives the opportunity to inform the Ministerial debate on illegal logging and climate change & Africa: outcomes from the meeting will be presented to the G8 Environment and Development Ministers on 18th March, by representatives chosen at the meeting.

This event will be independently co-ordinated.

In addition, for UK based stakeholders UK Ministers hosted an event in London on 22nd February.

There is also an on-line consultation on illegal logging. Civil society representatives can respond directly at www.illegal-logging.info

Source: Defra

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Carbon Offsetting

The Secretary of State has said that she would like the UK's G8 Presidency to be carbon-neutral. This will be achieved through two area of work.

Source: Defra

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Illegal Logging

Illegal logging:

Illegal logging has been considered by the G8 before. In May 1998, G8 foreign Ministers meeting in London launched their Action Plan For Forests, which featured illegal logging as one of five areas for action. The purpose of the Ministerial is to build on the Action Plan and support international processes including those on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in East Asia, Africa and Europe and North Asia.

Combating illegal logging requires timber producing and timber consuming countries to work together. As timber producing and exporting countries implement domestic reforms it is vital that G8 members support them. This can be done through continued development assistance but it is also important that as consumers and importers of timber, G8 policies support good practice in exporting countries. Ministers will discuss the best ways of doing this.

Source: Defra

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Africa and Climate Change

In December 2004, the UK's Department's of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) International Development (DFID) published a joint report on climate change and Africa.

The report was commissioned to review what information was available on climate science in Africa and to evaluate the adequacy of existing data. The work was carried out by a research team led by Professor Richard Washington from Oxford University, with the involvement of 8 other UK academics. The study also had the involvement of African scientists, including several National Met Services and African Universities.

The report provides comprehensive analysis of current weather monitoring, weather forecasting, monthly and seasonal forecasts and climate change modelling in Africa. The overall picture that emerges is that there are gaps in the basic understanding required to plan for the immediate effects of climate variability. The understanding of African climate system as a whole is low and much more need to be done to improve the level of technical expertise in Africa. The report also puts forward a range of possible options to begin a process to fill these gaps.

The report recommends that major improvements are needed in climate monitoring and interpretation for Africa. These include strengthening Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF) in Africa and funding for improved climate observing networks and data management and interpretation, to be channelled through the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

At the Ministerial meeting Ministers will be presented with a summary of the UK study and asked to consider the outcomes of the study and its recommendations for action alongside the relevant recommendations of the Commission for Africa report.

Source: Defra

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Action to Tackle Climate Change
Results of the Joint Defra/DfID Study on Climate Change in Africa

Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development today published a report on the impact of climate change on Africa.

The study was announced on 8 June 2004. It was commissioned by Defra and DfID to review what information was available on climate science in Africa and to evaluate the adequacy of existing data. The work has been carried out by a research team led by Professor Richard Washington from Oxford University, with the involvement of 8 other UK academics. The study has also had the involvement of African scientists, including several National Met Services and few African Universities.

The report provides comprehensive analysis of current weather monitoring, weather forecasting, monthly and seasonal forecasts and climate change modelling in Africa. The overall picture that emerges is that there are gaps in the basic understanding required to plan for the immediate effects of climate variability. The understanding of African climate system as a whole is low and much more need to be done to improve the level of technical expertise in Africa. The report also puts forward a range of possible options to begin a process to fill these gaps.

Africa already struggles to cope with existing climate variability and continuing climate change will impact Africa's key drivers of development. Climate change and Africa are the two priorities for the UK G8 Presidency. The report provides a scientific basis for informing subsequent discussions on how the governments and G8 partners can respond to the needs identified by the study drive forward this agenda.

Source: Defra


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