Thursday, November 5, 2015

9th UNESCO Youth Forum

Following up to the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum, we are contacting youth to find out who would like to get involved in presenting the recommended actions compiled at the Forum relative to climate change, in the run-up to, and during, COP21!

As announced, the discussion on climate change during the Youth Forum will feed directly into the UN and civil-society space at the forthcoming COP 21 which will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. UNESCO has ensured several slots where the Forum’s global recommended actions and commitments in the area of climate change can be presented, followed by discussions and exchanges with the audiences.  These are:

• Participation at the “Intergenerational inquiry” session during the “Young and Future Generations Day of the COP 21, organized by UNFCCC (3 December)
• Presentation and exchanges at the UNESCO Pavillion (3 December)
• Participation in the side event round table “Climate Innovators: Empowering a Global Generation of Young People", organized by UNFPA and ILO (8 December)

This event will feature the work of young innovators and the investments needed to ensure the entire generation is empowered to contribute to a sustainable, healthy and resilient future. The objective is to demonstrate that youth have the full potential to bring innovations, solutions and possess entrepreneurial skills for adaptation and resilience to climate change. By sharing their ideas and accomplishments (often against all odds), the presenters will project the wisdom of building on enthusiasm, ingenuity and resourcefulness of youth in order to address the climate change and improve the quality of life for all generations. The presenters should be from the realms of both engineering/technological applications and behavioral change/social policy.

• Presentation and exchanges at the UN Youth booth, coordinated by UNFCCC (date to be determined)

In addition, UNESCO has secured a booth space on 28 November, during COY 11<>, the conference of youth that will precede COP 21.

For all these opportunities, we are looking for two young Forum participants who:

-          Participated in the Forum’s working sessions on climate change,
-          Are available to come to Paris in the period from 27 November to 9 December.
-          Can tangibly demonstrate that they have taken innovative local action and provided solutions to address climate change.

In addition to COP21 in Paris, two young participants will be invited to present all the Forum’s recommended actions and commitments on climate change during the Commonwealth Youth Forum<> (21-25 November 2015, Malta), as well as to build synergies for their implementation. For this occasion, we are looking for two young Forum participants who:

-          Come from a Commonwealth Member State
-          Are available to travel to Malta on the indicated dates.

All costs related to travel and accommodation in Paris and in Malta respectively for these occasions will be covered by UNESCO.

If you are interested in one of these opportunities, please send us your CV and motivation letter (including  a short description of your
involvement in climate change issues) by Thursday 5 November 2015 at the latest. Please send us a message with the following event you are applying for in the subject line:

-          COP 21 and COY 11
-          Commonwealth Youth Forum

Tothis email address:

Best regards,

The Youth Forum Team

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-19), Montreal, CANADA

UNITED NATIONS meeting on BIODIVERSITY issues in Montreal (SBSTTA-19).  I brought three Grade 7 students from St-Laurent Academy School to participate at the YOUTH table at the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice.  These youth really inspired the crowd, to the point that even the chair came over later and shook their hands.  A special thank you to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to the Global Youth Biodiversity Network.

Monday, November 2, 2015


LONDON/JAKARTA: The last-minute exemption of 15 product groups from Indonesia’s timber legality verification system threatens to block EU market access for these products, to delay or sabotage a long-negotiated EU-Indonesia timber trade agreement and undermine Indonesia’s forest industry reputation, NGOs have warned.
The alert from Indonesia’s Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) followings the October 19 passage of Trade Minister Regulation No 89/M-DAG/PER/10/2015, which substantially weakens the SVLK.
Under Indonesia’s Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), all wood products exporters’ operations must be audited for compliance against a legality standard covering raw material inputs and factory or trade practices. Positive audit results are rewarded with so-called VLK certificates enabling them to acquire a “V-Legal document”, an export license legally required to export wood products.
While this system applies to exports to all markets, it is also the foundation of a long-negotiated Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Indonesia and the EU. Once the VPA is activated, timber products without associated V-Legal documents will be rejected at EU ports, and cannot be sold on the EU market. Similarly, products accompanies by V-Legal documents will also be exempted from the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits illegal wood in the EU and requires EU companies to conduct due diligence on wood products purchases. As such, V-Legal documents are the crucial key for Indonesian exporters seeking to unlock EU market access.
The new regulation permanently exempts all exporters of 15 wood product customs codes (HS Codes) from the requirement to undergo SVLK audits, while maintaining their ability to export. Exempted companies – many of which have multi-million dollar exports – must still use SVLK certified wood but no checks that they do so will be required, providing significant opportunities for laundering uncertified or illegal wood into supply chains. 
The Ministry of Trade exemptions have been vociferously opposed by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry and have similarly prompted the EU’s Ambassador to Indonesia to raised concerns in an October 23 letter to the Trade Minister.
“The Trade Minister Regulation introduces structural inconsistencies in Indonesia’s long-term efforts to improve forest governance through implementation of the SVLK and threatens the proposed scope and timeframe for the implementation of the Indonesia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA),” stated Zainuri Hasyim, JPIK National Coordinator.
Faith Doherty, EIA Forest Campaign Team Leader agreed, saying: “The Trade Ministry Regulation introduces an eleventh-hour back door exemption for an elite group of companies with friends in high places. It violates the aims and mechanisms underpinning both the SVLK and the VPA. The consequence is that either the VPA must be re-negotiated, the SVLK licensing system must be re-designed or the exempted companies are structurally blocked from accessing the EU market. This bad regulation – ironically produced to hasten de-regulation needs to be ammended immediately.”
The Indonesian Government is planning to announce VPA implementation as a headline offering at the UN climate change talks in Paris in December at a time when major forest fires in Indonesia have produced more carbon emissions than Japan does in a year and which have on occasion surpassed the daily emissions output of the entire US.  

Friday, October 30, 2015


Forestry and Royal Botanical park services department has come up with a mobile application, where information on wildlife crime could be securely and easily accessible to frontline staff in Bhutan. This contains information about diverse regional species relevant to Bhutan, general description and distribution of the animals, commonly traded animal and animal’s parts in international market, photographs of the animals and its body parts, and visual clues for more accurate identification of wildlife contraband.
October 03


Crimes related to forest and wildlife has increased even after the frequent patrolling and active watch during the nights. Smuggling of animal products rose from six cases to 19, poaching from 13 to 35, collection of sand and stones increased to 138 from 119 cases, illegal fishing from 123 to 138, and illegal felling of trees from 228 to 232 incidents in this year.
September 29


There first natural science museum and the biggest museum in the southwestern autonomous region of Tibet, China has been opened. The 30,000 square-meter museum was financed by investment of more than USD 63 million. Interactive devices have been installed so visitors can experience Tibet's natural wonders. This is expected to facilitate innovative spirit among local youth and increase interest in science and technology in the wider community.
October 02


The 27th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol will convene from November 1-5, 2015 to discuss pressing issues related to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
Prior to the MoP, a resumed two-day Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Parties is expected to conclude discussions on a mandate for a contact group to discuss the HFC amendment proposals.
In preparation for the meeting, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has produced the new briefing Solving the Global Climate Crisis: Taking the First Step with a Dubai Amendment on HFCs.
Our expert climate campaigners are available for interviews, comment and background briefings.

WHO:           Attending from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA):
·         Clare Perry – Climate Campaign Team Leader
·         Tim Grabiel – Senior Lawyer
·         Peter Grabiel – Senior Lawyer
·         Adela Putinelu – Climate Campaigner
WHEN:         October 29-30: Resumed OEWG meeting
November 1-5: Montreal Protocol Meeting of Parties
WHERE:         The Conrad Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates      
WHY:           The occasion is of utmost importance as Parties will discuss proposals to reduce the consumption and production of HFCs, super greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. A global agreement under the Montreal Protocol to address HFCs could prevent the consumption of more than 100 billion tonnes of CO2e HFCs by 2050. This would achieve significant near-term climate change mitigation and potentially catalyse far-reaching action at the Paris Climate Conference. EIA is calling on Parties to agree an amendment at the 27th MoP in Dubai which mandates concrete, ambitious reductions in HFC production and consumption in developed countries and incentivises early action by developing countries to curtail HFC growth.
Follow the event live on Twitter via @EIAinvestigator