The Jakarta Globe: Saturday 20 June 2009
Despite attempts to have oceans and coastal areas placed on the agenda for the UN Framework Climate Change Convention, the impact of the recent Manado Ocean Declaration is likely to be negligible as it has no legal basis, an activist has said.
The declaration was adopted on May 14 by 76 countries at the World Ocean Conference in Manado, North Sulawesi, with the purpose of addressing the impact of climate change on oceans and coastal areas.
"We need to make this clear - the MOD was not included in the normal agenda
and negotiations, it was the one event outside of the negotiations," Riza Damanik, secretary general of the Fisheries Justice Coalition (Kiara), said on Friday.
He said the declaration was not enough to direct action on climate change.
"We [Indonesia] do not even have a specific agenda to implement the document into action," he said.
"So, it is still too early to try to have it included in international negotiations."
Riza said it was impossible to compare the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the MOD because the former was established by 183 parties to reduce emissions and was legally binding.
In comparison, the MOD represented a consensus by 76 countries and was not legally binding.
Separately, Indroyono Soesilo, a member of the Indonesian delegation to the Manado conference, said the declaration was significant for Indonesia because it had achieved its goal of having the issue included on the UNFCCC agenda.
"I think this a good achievement because we aimed to have these issues included at the convention and, within a month, we made our first step," Indroyono said.
At the climate change meeting this month in Bonn, Germany, five paragraphs of the MOD were included in documents for the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, one of the meetings under the UNFCCC, including sections on an adaptation fund, monitoring, marine and coastal management, and the sharing of information.
Delegates from 182 countries met in Bonn from June 1 to 12 to discuss key
negotiating texts that would serve as the basis for the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, which is expected to result in the Copenhagen Protocol.
This will replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012, which was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries to 5 percent below 1990 levels.
Indroyono denied that the MOD would distract Indonesia's attention from the climate change negotiations, which have long been dominated by problems with forests and cutting emissions.
"It will bring us much more strength because now we have two advantages, forests and oceans," he said, adding that Indonesia has been referred to as the oceanic equivalent of the Amazon.
"The next step, of course, is that we need to secure this issue in Copenhagen."