Presentation of Albania Third National Communication to UNFCCC

Oct 19, 2016

Statement by Brian Williams United Nations Resident Coordinator

UNDP Resident Representative

Dear Excellency Minister Koka,

Dear colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A year ago in September the world leaders adopted the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What is so interesting about the 2030 agenda is that after years of stagnation, world leaders, acting under the aegis of the United Nations, agreed on a common vision and roadmap for global affairs. Together with the decisions from the climate change conference in Paris, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals address the key global challenges of our time. They will determine the global course of action to end poverty, promote prosperity and wellbeing for all, protect the environment and combat climate change, paving the way to an economic development that leaves no one behind.

At its core, this global agenda is about equity and fairness; it is about how we share our economic and natural resources fairly in a world with a growing population and limited natural resources. In order to realize Agenda 2030 and achieve the SDGs, risks must be better managed and resilience must be built to prevent today’s investments in people and economies be lost by tomorrow’s disasters. The Sendai Framework and Paris Agreement should be central to all of our work in this regard.

Less than a month at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference nations of the world will continue their work on strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change. Over 70 countries accounting in total for approximately 60 per cent of the total global emissions passed the threshold required for the landmark Paris Agreement to enter into force and I am happy that Albania is one of them.

Albania National Determined Contribution part of Paris Agreement has built upon strong knowledge base and scientific information generated by the Third National Communication document we are launching today. UNDP has been privileged to work with Ministry of Environment and other partners to ensure climate action commitments built on local and national development objectives, plans, and strategies. Thus, maintaining the low emission content of the electricity generation and decoupling growth from increase of emissions in other sectors.

Allow me to highlight that the National Communication Preparation Process in Albania has been extremely important for mainstreaming and integrating findings into sectorial strategies and policies. Since the First National Communication to the Third they have been the main tools for mobilizing funds and projects in the area of climate change. Besides the National Determined Contribution- NDC, the Third National Communication has enabled development of the National Appropriate Mitigation Actions-NAMAS, National Climate Change Adaptation Planning, National Climate Change Strategy and the climate change related legislation. The entire process of Third National Communication development serves to build the institutional capacity and raise public awareness on climate change issues in Albania.

When we talk about Climate Change we can’t afford focusing only on the mitigation side, climate change adaptation is vital too and this is why an important part of Albania Third National Communication is dedicated to vulnerability and climate change adaptation of the Albania coastal area providing for future climate scenarios and responsive measures through a Disaster Risk Reduction Approach.

As experience with both Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation grows, there is an increasing recognition that these two areas share a common focus: reducing the vulnerability of communities and contributing to sustainable development.

Another important document that we are launching today for the Western Balkans is the Human Development Report 2016 on Risk-Proofing the Western Balkans –Empowering People to prevent disasters. This report looks at the steps that must be taken to reduce the risks that disasters pose to people, especially those on the margins of society. As you’ll see in the report science tells us that many hazards will not become disasters if proper risk management is applied. Therefore, investment in Disaster Risk Reduction and prevention is not only more effective but also makes more economic sense than simply dealing with the aftermath of disasters. This requires a mind-shift for practitioners: moving away from disaster response and recovery to the prevention and mitigation of disaster risks

At UNDP, we look forward to working together with you all on new initiatives to support Albania to provide adequate protection, including for the most vulnerable people, and to leave no one behind in the effort to achieve sustainable, risk informed, climate-smart, and people-centered development.

UNDP is partnering with the Ministry of Environment and the Albanian government as they strive to realize the potential of Paris. Already, our teams are working to identify priority areas of work and to support efforts to expedite implementation. Let us commit the same resolve with Albanian contribution which produced the agreement to achieving the goals and promise which Paris has laid out.

Thank you!

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