WelCom December 2017: International officials met in Bonn, Germany, 6‒17 November 2017, at the UN’s 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to form a ‘just and effective path’ to achieving Paris Agreement goals of 2016. Fiji chaired the conference, aiming to bring world attention to vulnerable people and nations most seriously impacted by climate harm.
At the Caritas Internationalis (CI) side event, Climate, Land, Food: virtuous synergies for our common home, speakers shared what is happening in their regions, local communities, and among indigenous peoples. They included Mr Benson Kibiti of Caritas Kenya, Dr Dennis Garrity of the Evergreen Agricultural Partnership, and Mrs Kristen Walker Painemilla of Conservation International.
They questioned ‘what happens when intervention and prevention is too late? And how do we address loss and damage resulting from climate change?’ They discussed food security and building resilience and called on governments for stronger commitments to fund local and community-level agricultural resilience projects, and to address equitable approaches to loss and damage.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Julianne Hickey said, ‘While the Warsaw International Mechanism may look to monetary approaches to accountability for climate change, not much is done to acknowledge things that cannot be monetised, like history, culture, a sense of being and belonging.
‘There are many specific challenges across Oceania, such as an increased potential for climate-induced migration; rising sea levels; off-season cyclones; coastal erosion; climate finance that does not reach or effectively help the most in need.’ She said our own government needs to ensure support and partnership does not begin and end with climate finance, which must only be a portion of the approach to addressing climate change and loss and damage.’