Wisdom and progress: East meets West

December 7, 2015

Paris - The REC organised a side event at COP21 in partnership with the Central Asian REC (CAREC) on Innovative decision-making tools for low carbon development and climate resilience in Europe and Central Asia.

 The opening address was delivered by Leyla Aliyeva, Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and founder of IDEA, Republic of Azerbaijan. Aliyeva emphasised the opportunities for cooperation between regions, and also outlined such efforts in Azerbaijan -- for example, the planting of 4 million trees in the country since 2012.

Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director of the REC, mentioned that "expert institutions will be needed to catalyse this process -- institutions that are neutral, not-for profit, capable of facilitating multi-stakeholder cooperation, and experienced in bringing about transformative change;  institutions that raise awareness, build capacities, knit together networks and spread good practices and solutions."

Szigeti Bonifert also introduced the Austrian Development Cooperation-funded 'Support for Low Emission Development Strategies is South Eastern Europe', the US-funded 'Local Environmental and Energy-Related Action Plans -- Ukraine' and the Norway-funded 'Local Initiatives for a Sustainable Ukraine -- LINK'.

During the side event, the REC introduced two major programmes. First, the results of Japan-funded adaptation-related challenges in agriculture in Ukraine were presented, followed by a ground-breaking and innovative tool, the National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS), which supports adaptation-related decision making in Hungary. EEA Grants has funded a five-year programme that twill also involve a health sector application.

During the side event's Central Asian session, moderated by CAREC Executive Director Iskandar Abdullaev, countries outlined their ambitions for low-carbon development and a climate-resilient future.