OPENING REMARKS BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR METEOROLOGY DURING THE CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM (CDM) STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP, 4 - 5 JULY, 2000 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, KAMPALA It is with great pleasure that I stand here today to make a few opening remarks during this important workshop on the Clean development Mechanism (CDM). This workshop is part of the international effort that is trying to address the problem of Climate Change, which is caused by Global warming. Climate Change will result in changes in weather patterns, which will in turn lead to a decrease in rainfall in some places and an increase in other places. These changes in weather patterns will adversely affect agricultural production, availability of fresh water, forestry resources and many other sectors of the economy. As you might be already aware, Global warming is a result of accumulated greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted into the atmosphere through human activities such as emissions from vehicles, land clearing and bush burning, cooking using fire wood or fossil fuels etc. The Developed Countries, which are in a better position to adapt to Climate Change, have contributed most of the historical emissions. They should therefore take the lead in addressing the problem of Global warming. We should however note that, irrespective of our levels of contribution, Climate Change will affect both the rich and poor, the developed and Developing Countries alike. The Climate change problem therefore, needs a global solution. It is for this reason that the international community put in place the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (man - made) interference with the Climate System. Such a level should be achieved within a timeframe sufficient enough to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to Climate Change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. The implementation of the UNFCCC is reviewed annually by the Conference of the Parties (COP) and during their third meeting in Kyoto, Japan; the COP adopted the "Kyoto Protocol". The Kyoto Protocol seeks to strengthen the commitments of the Developed Countries under the UNFCCC and also provides some flexibility to enable the developed countries meet their quantified emission reduction targets. One of the flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which is our topic of discussion during this workshop. The main objectives of the CDM are: (i) To assist Annex 1 Parties (Developed Countries) meet part of their emission reduction commitments through carrying out projects in developing Countries; (ii) To assist Developing Countries achieve sustainable development; and (iii) To promote the attainment of the objectives of the Convention through greenhouse gas emission reduction. This workshop, which has been organized by the Department of Meteorology with financial assistance from the European union (EU), the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Danish International development agency (DANIDA), is part of our national effort to address this problem of Climate Change. The Department of Meteorology, as the National focal Point for Climate Change has also in the recent past, coordinated two Climate Change projects; the first was to carry out an inventory of Sources and sinks of greenhouse gases with financial assistance from GEF through UNEP and the second was to carry out a Climate Change impact assessment on several sectors of the economy with financial assistance from the United States Government. Currently the Department is coordinating another project with financial assistance from GEF through UNDP. This project is preparing Uganda's first national communications to the Conference of the Parties. The communications should detail our GHG emissions and the actions Uganda is taking or is planning to take to mitigate as well as adapt to climate Change. As always, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the Department of Meteorology also gives out regular bulletins, advisories and other customer tailored services to different sectors of the economy. I would like to urge all of the people gathered here today to take advantage of the services offered by the Department of Meteorology as a potential mitigation option to the challenges of Climate Change and Variability. As I conclude my remarks, I would like to welcome all of you to this important workshop and to wish you good and fruitful deliberations. Thank you very much.
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