By Cristina Sánchez
Servindi, July 07, 2016.- In June the Ministry of Environment presented the Third National Communication, which puts forward extensive information on the progress made in the country during the 2010-2015 period, to achieve a low-carbon and climate resilient development. This is one of the Peruvian State commitments as established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992.
The Third National Communication reaffirms Peru’s compliance with the commitments and obligations as part of the UNFCCC, and reflects the work of the Ministry of Environment, in conjunction with various national actors regarding the generation of policies, plans and tools for climate change management.
Peru, a Country of Forests
Peru has a land extension of more than one million km2 crossed by the Andes mountain range and divided into three major regions: the coast, the highlands and the jungle. Each region has its own characteristics and ecosystems, but among the main ones we find tropical forests, dry forests, wetlands and one of the world's richest marine ecosystems.
Peru Forest Coverage Table
One could say that Peru is a country of forests because its 74.2 million hectares make it the ninth country with the largest forest area in the world (MINAM, 2014a). Therefore, a regulatory framework (Law 29763 and its regulations) was developed, to promote sustainable use of other non-timber products, as well as various goods and forest services; orienting management to increase the value of standing forest.
Forest Loss Per Year
Because of this, Peru has been participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 1992. This involvement officially confirmed the country's commitment to contribute to the objective of "stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and avoid reaching a level of dangerous anthropogenic interference”.
Years later, in 2002, this commitment was ratified when Peru joined the Kyoto Protocol. It was under these commitments last June 02nd, when the Ministry of Environment presented the Third National Communication.
It is estimated that 23.3% of the 31.1 million inhabitants in Peru, are in a rural setting (according to INEI); being more vulnerable to the effects of climate change since they live in poverty and extreme poverty.
This information is key to understanding that Peru's main concern is facing possible impacts of climate change in an organic and efficient manner. Thus, preventing losses and damages that affect the general population and their livelihoods.
Third National Communication
The Third National Communication broadcasts the fulfillment of commitments and obligations of Peru as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the national and international community.
The above communication was conducted in 2010 and since then, great strides have made in regards to climate change management in Peru. Both the State and the population have taken greater awareness of the potential impacts of climate change.
The Third National Communication on Climate Change elaboration has been conducted under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment, from the Vice Ministry of Strategic Development of Natural Resources as focal point to the UNFCCC.
Likewise, it should also be noted that this work gained further momentum during 2014, thanks to financial support from various institutions that collaborated with the development and updating of national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, among others.
The Global Environment Facility contributions have provided reliable information, based on verifiable sources and has been presented in a friendly manner to both political and technical decision makers.
Therefore, this communication has also been a way for the Ministry of Environment to express an acknowledgment to all persons and institutions that have contributed to the preparation of this document, and to call for strong continued collaboration and joint efforts to meet the challenges posed by climate change.
The compliance with international commitments and the updating and approval of the new National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) are among the main goals achieved and presented by the Third Communication.
The environmental and climate change issues have clearly earned a place on the national agenda. Documents such as these show it, and this trend will increase, while there is more information and knowledge about the negative effects of climate change on Peru and the world.
In December 2014 the COP20 was held in Lima, introducing and positioning the need to manage climate change on the national agenda. One of the major developments is the adoption of the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) and the presentation on National Contributions to the UNFCCC.
Currently, the country’s main challenge related to climate change is its integration into the national agenda, which aims to achieve sustainable and low carbon development, not only looking to curb climate change but to reverse the damage done.
Targets on climate policy have been defined in the NCCS, and the priority goals have been set out in the National Contribution. All this will allow the State to obtain long-term strategic objectives aligned with the international commitments.
Thus, it is necessary to take the next step in the implementation of this strategy to achieve the goals set in the National Contribution, in addition to monitoring and elaborating the pertinent reports to evaluate progress and make the necessary adjustments.
While there have been several advances regarding the generation of policies, plans and tools for managing climate change in recent years, there is still much work to be done.
It is necessary to create a political and regulatory framework to integrate climate change policies with planning processes at national and subnational levels. This policy framework should not only consider the specific objectives, but also the variety of actors and their roles and responsibilities, both from the public and private sector.
To review the document, click on the following link: http://www.minam.gob.pe/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Tercera-Comunicaci%C3%B3n.pdf