Ban Ki-moon opens Climate Vulnerable Forum in Dhaka, BangladeshShortly before the COP17 climate change talks open in Durban (Nov 28- Dec. 9), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued an urgent appeal nations to commit to a Green Climate Fund to prevent a collapse of the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

Ban Ki-moon raised his concerns about the possibility of failing to reach an agreement in Durban at the Climate Vulnerable Forum in Dhaka, Bangladesh (Nov. 13-14). The Secretary-General reminded that "’There was a 30 billion dollar promise in Copenhagen. We have identified only 27 billion dollars. We have to make it happen and we have to have clear understanding and agreement on how the developed world will generate 100 billion dollars per year by 2020".

The departing UN leader said the current global economic crisis is no excuse for inaction.  "The Fund needs to be launched in Durban. An empty shell cannot be unanswered. We must fill this shell. Governments must find ways now to provide financial and technological support to the developing world who do not have any capacity at this time.’’

The Dhaka Forum gathered 33 countries including from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific, considered the most vulnerable to environmental degredation.  18 of them adopted a Dhaka Declaration at the Forum, calling for presenting a united stand prior to the Durban COP17 talks. ‘’By 2030, over 130 countries will reach an overall vulnerability Factor of High compared with around 90 today. The number of countries suffering acute effects due to climate change will more than triple" the Forum concluded it its report.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum has become a relevant forum for nations vulnerable to climate change including developing countries and small island developing states to position themselves within the climate change talks.  The Ministerial Forum is organized with the support of DARA, an international NGO, Climate & Development Knowledge Network and UNDP. Last year,  the Forum published with DARA the  2010 Climate Vulnerability Monitor report on the consequences of climate change and the increasing vulnerability of countries to climate change. 

(Photo © DR)