CLIMATE NETWORK AFRICA
Proceedings of the workshop on
Dialogue with East African legislators on climate change and sustainable development issues
23-24 April 2004, Nairobi Safari Park Hotel, Kenya
Rapporteurs: Ms Betty Rabar, Ms Rose Antipa, Edited by: Ms Grace Akumu
Posted with permission of Ms Grace Akumu of Climate Network Africa.
Ms Akumu can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Economic obligations on industrialized countries to ensure fair trade and reduction of Least
Developed Countries’ (LDC) debt burden as well as environmental measures to control
pollutants and ensure more equitable and appropriate use of natural resources were the subject
of the workshop organized by Climate Network Africa entitled “Dialogue with East African
Legislators on Climate Change and Sustainable Development” held at the Safari Park Hotel
on 23rd and 24th April 2004.
GHG emissions have so far been closely correlated with economic performance. To date, the
growth of economies and emissions has occurred mostly in the industrialized countries.
“Emissions is wealth”, has been the thinking of many. The workshop discussed the impacts of
these emissions and what actions the legislators in East African region should take. A number
of recommendations were made.
The workshop sought to galvanize urgent international support and action for the concept of
Contraction and Convergence policy framework proposed to the United Nations Convention
on Climate Change by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) since 1990. The African Group of
Nations had proposed during the UNFCCC – COP 3 that a “globally agreed ceiling of GHG
emissions can only be achieved by adopting the principle of per capita emissions rights that
fully take into account the reality of population growth and the principle of differentiation”.
The way forward for East African legislators was envisaged as calling for the UNFCCC
secretariat to study, evaluate and assess the concept of Contraction and Convergence, and at
the same time set the stage for building a global community to support the concept as it added
value to the Kyoto Protocol and also encompassed the major principles in the Climate Change
Convention such as the Precautionary principle, Polluter Pay principle and the Equity
Out of the workshop emerged:
It was not an easy workshop to put together. The discussions did not necessarily focus on
climate change. One felt that the Members of Parliament had yearned for such a forum, and
therefore took advantage of the occasion to discuss other problems facing the East African
region. The organizers did not deny them this heartfelt need to network.
the need to work at being committed East Africans and to work on the barriers that tend to prevent this;
build the capacity of the legislators on environmental matters, this will enhance debate in the house which will add value to environmental policy formulation and development of legislation;
link science and research to parliamentarians;
lastly repackage environmental information appropriately for different interest groups.
However, as ably put by one resource person, “all things happen in the context of climate”.
All the subjects discussed were therefore relevant to the workshop’s intentions: a dialogue
with East African legislators. Kenya Government committed to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol
within three months from the date of the workshop (by end of August 2004). Countries that
had not established Designated National Authorities said that they would do so as a matter of
urgency, thus facilitating project implementation under Kyoto mechanisms such as the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM).
Other topics discussed at the workshop are diligently recorded in this document and will be