Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Climate change assistance so near and yet so far

Isolda Agazzi in Africa Files, via IPS: Technology transfer and aid for trade could assist least developed countries (LDCs) suffering the effects of climate change. But negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are not helping to make this a reality, while aid for trade lands up at the wrong institutions, such as the World Bank. "Fisherpersons in Lake Victoria have three elements at their disposal: fishing gear, fish in the lake and access to markets. "They are affected both by trade and climate change. To help them adapt to climate change, one can give them other possibilities to earn their livelihood and that’s where trade could help," said Rashid Kaukab, deputy director of the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).

"The effect of trade can be positive if they have access to international markets and use their earnings to buy a bigger boat, or negative, if the EU imposes a new standard that makes them lose their market access," argued Kaukab. CUTS is an Indian-based nongovernmental organisation (NGO) working on international trade and other issues. The problem is that climate change and trade are rarely analysed in relation to each other. For example, Uganda has a national adaptation plan of action to fight climate change and a national export strategy but the latter barely mentions climate change, added Kaukab. Kaukab was speaking at a roundtable discussion organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) on May 28 in Geneva. ICTSD is a Geneva-based NGO using dialogue on trade policies to promote sustainable development….

A fishing boat on Lake Victoria in Uganda, shot by Damiano Luchetti, who has released the image into the public domain

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