An Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: A Challenge for Global Ports will be held on 29-30 September 2011 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday 29 September.
Background and purpose of the meeting
The meeting follows and builds on earlier related activities carried out by the UNCTAD secretariat, including in particular the first session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation, held on 16-18 February 2009 with a focus on "Maritime Transport and the Climate Change Challenge", and a Joint UNECE-UNCTAD Workshop on "Climate Change Impacts on International Transport Networks", held on 8 September 2010.
With over 80 per cent of the volume of world trade carried by sea, international shipping and ports provide crucial linkages in global supply-chains and are essential for the ability of all countries, including those that are landlocked, to access global markets. Ports are likely to be affected directly and indirectly by climatic changes, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and rising temperatures, with broader implications for international trade and for the development prospects of the most vulnerable nations, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Given their strategic role as part of the globalized trading system, adapting ports in different parts of the world to the impacts of climate change is of considerable importance. A good understanding of risks and vulnerabilities is a pre-condition to well-designed and effective adaptation response measures that enhance the resilience of port systems, structures and processes and minimize the adverse effects of climatic factors.
Against this background and to help advance the important debate on how best to move forward, the ad hoc expert meeting provides a platform for discussion as well as an opportunity to share information, experiences and practices.
The meeting aims to bring together a wide range of interested parties from the public and private sectors, including policy makers and planning authorities, port industry representatives and operators, port users, relevant international organizations, as well as scientists and engineers, to share their insights and discuss relevant issues with a view to identifying:
- Vulnerabilities and risks
- Associated adaptation requirements
- Existing best practices, information and data sources
- Issues requiring further study, including data requirements
- Partners and mechanisms for effective collaboration
Member States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives at an early date and no later than 15 September 2011. Representatives of the private sector, academia and relevant organizations dealing with issues related to the topic of the meeting will also be invited.
All experts are encouraged to prepare and submit papers and contributions dealing with issues relevant to the topic of the meeting, including in relation to their country´s experiences. These contributions will be made available to the meeting on the UNCTAD website in the form and language in which they are received.
The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Upon arrival and before entering the Palais des Nations, participants are requested to collect their badge at the United Nations Security Service at Pregny Gate. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete the procedures and reach the meeting in good time. Participants are requested to bring a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gate. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.
Further information and contact details
Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: 41 22 917 0214; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributed papers should be submitted by 19 September and addressed to Ms. Wendy Juan, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, fax +41 22 9170050; e-mail: email@example.com.
Enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to Ms. Regina Asariotis, Chief, Policy and Legislation Section, Trade Logistics Branch, Division on Technology and Logistics, tel: 41 22 917 5641; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ms. Hassiba.Benamara, tel: 41 22 917 2038; fax: 41 22 917 0050; e-mail: email@example.com.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
12 August 2011