East Africa reviews Talanoa Dialogue as prelude to COP 24

04Aug 2018
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
East Africa reviews Talanoa Dialogue as prelude to COP 24

THE Paris Agreement set clear goals to reduce emissions and keep global temperature under 2 degrees Celsius, and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD) Programme Manager Richard Kimbowa presents his inputs to the Tanaloa Dialogue in Dar e Salaam recently. PHOTO: Gerald Kitabu

Globally, the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are likely to realize only one-third of emission reductions required by 2030 to reach the Paris long-term goal. At COP23 in Bonn, a major step was taken towards this aim in form of the Fiji Momentum for Implementation.


Furthermore, the COP23 decision officially launched the Talanoa Dialogue (previously known as the Facilitative Dialogue). This refers to an inclusive process of dialogue where all participants, regardless of power or influence, are peers.


As a follow-up to the Fiji Momentum for Implementation, COP 24 will take place from 3-14 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. It is expected to be a new strong push to move forward the global climate agenda.


The Presidencies of COP 23 and COP 24 will throughout 2018 socialize and discuss the dialogue with Party and Non-Party stakeholders via a range of avenues, including workshops, webinars, forums, and relevant meetings.


At the same time, Party and non-Party stakeholders are encouraged to have their own meetings on the Talanoa Dialogue to organize, strategize and consolidate their inputs.


This will climax in a high level political discussion that will focus around assessing the collective efforts to meet the Paris Agreement goals and informing the review of the NDCs.


Advancement on the Talanoa Dialogue is key to turning the overall negotiation process (via Bangkok in September 2018), into political goodwill to scale up ambitions of the Parties at the COP 24 in Katowice.


Recently, Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organization (TaTEDO), Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD) and SusWatch Kenya organised the East Africa Civil Society Talanoa meeting and to galvanize and further amplify the voice calling for climate action.


The workshop aimed at making civil society organizations (CSOs) in the east Africa region to be aware of the Talanoa Dialogue process and be able to make a joint contribution via the Talanoa Dialogue Portal.


It also aimed at asking three question and coming up with answers on where are we, where do we want to go and how do we get there?


The EA CSOs intended to make submission on question three: How do we get there?  This is because, as part of the project on promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement in East Africa, these three East African CSO partners made a submission to the Talanoa Dialogue on Question 2 - Where do we want to go?


This is based on the vision: Development where poverty reduction focus is part of local, national and regional climate and development strategies including NDCs and LEDS. This meeting principally centred on the regional (East Africa) aspect of this vision.


How do we get there?


Based on the guidance noted from the Fijian and Polish Presidencies, the following questions guided the discussions and contribution of views by the participants on the question three: How do we get there. What fundamental changes are required for the vision described under “where do we want to go?” to be realized, and what factors would enable the realization of this vision, what legal, policy and fiscal frameworks are required to achieve this vision, what technological advancement or development (by sector) is needed to achieve this vision and what level of investment and what should the sources be in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals.


What external and internal reforms and incentives would accelerate the flow of capital towards a more sustainable sector, what new engagements and or  partnerships between Parties and non-Party stakeholders can be promoted for increasing ambition and achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.


Others were which actions could be taken by leaders from national and local governments, regional development banks, private financial Institutions, companies and associations and others in order to contribute to the realization of this vision and what would be the role of the UNFCCC and what actions should be taken?

Presenting the Talanoa Dialogue, Richard Kimbowa from Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD) said the Talanoa Dialogue aims to encourage countries to enhance the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), seeing that collective mitigation pledges still fall short of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of keeping average global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

Everyone is welcome to submit their proposals responding to one of the three central questions through several mandated events and interactive processes until October 29, 2018, the deadline for inputs submission to the UNFCCC secretariat.

He emphasized that the Talanoa Dialogue is a good entry point for CSOs to contribute to the UNFCCC negotiation process so as to influence and inform global climate change negotiations and policy process at all levels.  

“I therefore urged all CSOs to encourage each other to contribute through the space,” he said.

The participants recommended that the fundamental changes required for realization of  the vision include use of alternative sources of energy such as biogas, solar, briquettes from bio-waste, instead of charcoal,

The EAC should engage CSOs in implementation of climate actions, Agriculture sector development strategies should be enhanced to reduce food insecurity and there should be effective mechanism to ensure funds trickle down to the grass roots level.

They also sad that the policy reinforcement is vital,  embrace bottom up development approach in all sectors,  need for a political will to integrate poverty reduction components in regional development strategies,  focus on practical solutions (affordable, executable and sustainable) for improving local livelihoods and  gender and youth mainstreaming at all levels.

Also on the list were to review regional climate actions after every five years, empower rural community to be able to demand for appropriate actions, CSOs should walk the talk in implementation of climate strategies and actions and media engagement which is very critical.


Mobilization and proper management of resources including finance, effective coordination of stakeholders for climate action,  generation, use and sharing of scientific data, exposure to the available climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in the East African region and ensure wide stakeholder engagement including media, youth and marginalized groups.

They also said organizing action-oriented forums,  political will for climate actions, ensure good governance including accountability and self-commitment in addressing climate change would help.

Commenting on legal, policy and fiscal frameworks required to achieve the vision, they said that there should be tracking climate change financing across sectors, organizational structure that ensure accountability, develop joint regional climate change actions over the shared natural resources, development of appropriate policies and their reinforcement, good governance include proper management of funds, monitoring and evaluation.

Capacity building for all stakeholders, ensure reliable funding for NDCs, LEDS, NAMAs, NAPs and fiscal policies and acts supporting climate change and poverty reduction in East Africa including trade.

On technological advancement or development (by sector) to achieve the vision, they said there s a need to undertake research and development in agriculture sector focusing on climate smart, irrigation and value addition, focus on sand dams construction technologies and water harvesting storages, embrace clean energy technologies such as solar, biogas, efficient cook stoves and promote clean technologies in industrial economy.

Use appropriate and affordable environmental friendly machinery,  apply appropriate and environmentally friendly technologies and practices in the mining sector, undertake sector wise technology need assessment and develop affordable technologies for adoption, address drivers of deforestation in forest sector, promote mass transport such as the Bus Rapid Transport, and reuse, recycle and generate energy from waste materials.

On what level of investment and what should the sources be in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals, they recommended that investment should cover all levels including local, national and regional, source should be private sector, domestic and external support.

Level of investment should base on environmental impact assessment (EIA) and affordability. National budgets, international funds, regional funds (financial institution) and private sector invest in sustainable sources of energy.


The project manager from TaTEDO, Mary Swai, explained that the CSOs Talanoa dialogue was the first to be held at the regional level in East Africa.

The approach used to facilitate the dialogue during the workshop was very interactive and clear to the audience, allowing them to generate ideas based on the questions set out.

Most of the participants found the Talanoa Dialogue a very useful way to facilitate wide engagement of Non-Party Stakeholders in the UNFCCC negotiation processes, with the hope that their inputs will be considered. Participants were also encouraged to continue with the Talanoa dialogue at all levels and scales in their respective countries.

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