Katarzyna Snyder – Closing Keynote: From here to Paris

8 December 2014

Head of Delegation to UNFCCC COP20 and State Forests, Poland, Katarzyna Snyder, delivers a keynote speech at the closing plenary on the second day of the Global Landscapes Forum 2014, in Lima, Peru, during COP20.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Global Landscapes Forum, Lima, Peru

#COP20GLF #ThinkLandscape

Katarzyna Snyder – Closing Keynote- From here to Paris (Transcript)

KS:                      [0:15] Thank you very much, Minister Pulgar-Vidal, President of COP20 CMP10, honorable ministers, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. To be honest with you, when I first learned that the former Deputy Minister for Environment, Mr Zaleski, whose name who have the in the programs, was not able to make it and I was to participate in this panel in his place, I felt overwhelmed. Firstly because it’s such an honor for me to be here with you. As I could hear, right now, wonderful experts who deal with the issue on a daily basis and have so many wise words to convey. And secondly because, not being intimate with the issue, I felt the challenge on my shoulders to address your interests in this topic properly and thoroughly.

[1:21] Having been the head of the Polish team of exceptional negotiators, I need to keep a general overview over matters, and I tend to dig into issues that are directly touching the Polish interest. REDD+ was followed by us, but on the more general level. But then you say, well, you were the COP19 presidency. Shouldn’t that put focus on some other areas? Yes, it should, and it did. The priorities of the Polish presidency for the Warsaw COP were identified well in advance. ADP decision, loss and damage, finance and adaptation fund, transparency and decision making process, involvement of private sector and cities. We also had the first Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw last year, on the side.

[2:21] As time went by, we looked into issues that spilled over from the first week of the COP. Little did we expect that it would be REDD+ negotiators that would offer the Warsaw COP one of the most significant outcomes last year. It was a beautiful surprise and from the emotional reactions of the negotiators that I know, I would think that it was also an amazing achievement for them. Of course, the issue of forest management is one of the key areas for the Polish government. Not only do we have the last remaining European primordial, pristine, natural forest in the eastern part of the country – and the photographs of that you could have also seen in Poland at COP19 in the corridors of the stadium. But also, the level of forested area in Poland is one third and has been consistently growing even though Poland is a country in Europe which has the highest share of GDP coming from the industry sector.

[3:37] This is good news for climate and shows that these two aspects in the case of Poland can be harmonized. Secondly, I’d like to highlight another development. This year our government introduced a new tax. This tax is to be paid by the state owned company, the National Forests, directly to the local budgets. And this is where the nugget is. This enables the local governments to invest in infrastructure and directly respond to their communities’ needs. Managing our forests in harmony with human development of one of the key challenges – along with urban development, with sustainable feeding of the population – and we need to ensure that the convention provides the right tools and the right rules to help us build a future that combines development opportunities for everyone with low carbon and resilient future.

[4:46] Education is very important. And, to that end, Minister Marcin Korolec at the opening of COP undertook this Ministerial Declaration of Education and Awareness raising so kindly picked up by the President of COP20, on which we are still working and we hope to finalize it next week. Back to REDD+ and its Warsaw Framework. In Warsaw, we arrived at a set of decisions that are the result of seven years work, and their adoption marks a breakthrough for action on climate change. They bolster forest preservation and its sustainable use. They constitute a foundation for transparency and integrity of actions and clarity of support. They finally unlock the way forward for results based payments with initial pledges of $280 million. This year has marked a tremendous amount of positive meetings via GCF, SCF, UNFCCC ADP meetings and initial announcements regarding mitigation targets from the European Union, who went first, US, and China.

[6:04] We also had the Ban Ki-moon Summit with a development important for the issue at hand that was already mentioned many times, which is the New York Declaration on Forests. Minister Pulgar-Vidal, the Polish presidency of COP19 leaves in your hands the process and the issue of REDD+ in good shape. Please do take forward with care the concerns of all parties. Right now we have crystallized the system and it’s time to move to implementation. And even though we have no [Unclear 6:41] decision as of yesterday, we learned, I think we can move forward taking all complementary approaches on board. And we should keep on being open to each other’s rationales. As Minister Korolec said at the beginning of the COP, we – including me and my team – we stand ready to help you, should such help be needed, at any point. Thank you very much.

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