September 30, 2011 - 09:00AM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning. Can we start the meeting? So good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Cristina Bueti. I'm programme coordinator on ICT environment and climate change for the telecommunications standardization bureau of the International Telecommunication Union.
Welcome to this meeting. This is the fourth meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and climate change. I'm very pleased and on behalf of ITU to welcome you to this meeting to Nairobi. I would like to thank the IGF Secretariat for giving us the opportunity to be here today and to discuss with you this important theme.
The opening remarks, very timely, I would say, very timely will be delivered by my colleague, Ali Drissa Badiel. Come here. I'll give you the floor at least for this moment. It is your time to give the opening remarks.
>> ALI DRISSA BADIEL: Honourable Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee for Coalition on Internet and telecommunication, People's Republic of Bangladesh, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, I'm pleased to welcome you to the fourth meeting on the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change.
And it's a great honour for us to be joined at our opening by excellency, His Excellency Hasanul Haq Inu, member of parliament, Chairman, parliamentary standing committee for Ministry of Telecommunication, People's Republic of Bangladesh.
In addition to the people in the room I welcome the people from around the world that are participating with us via Web conference, a perfect example of how ICT can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Today, a world without ICT is unthinkable. ICTs are integrated into almost all parts of the world's economy, and society.
Yet, while the increasing widespread use of ICT has changed people's life dramatically and boosted economic growth, ICT themselves due to this success are growing contributor to greenhouse gas emission.
On the other end, they provide the most specific opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the major high issuance industry of generation, waste disposal, building and transport.
ICTs provide means for future meetings to replace traveling, smart electricity grids to avoid overgeneration of and more efficient distribution, eco balance, support system to reduce emission, pollution and congestion, dematerialization, for instance, electronic publications rather than paper, downloading video, instead of buying DVDs, as well as providing for early warning and disaster relief communications.
As part of the Internet Forum was launched the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change, DCICC in 2007, as an open body committee to moderate, moderating the part of the Internet to seeking new ways to embrace the power of ICTs, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and to enable transformation with the objective set and to be set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC.
The ICT is an open organisation, whose members may include Governments, private sectors, standard development organisation, NonGovernmental Organisations, international organisations, researchers, vendors, network operators, academia, and other bodies.
So far we have over 40 members. And I would like to take the opportunity to thank all members for their contributions, and I would like to encourage all interested parties to join the coalition.
Ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this site event is timely and important as it takes place a day before the opening of the negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference that will take place in Panama from the 1st to the 7th of October, 2011, and about two months before the USF travel tri-policy conference of the parties which will take place from the 28th of November to the 9 of December, 2011 in Durban, South Africa. So it is opportune that this meeting is taking place in Africa just weeks before the COP 17. It is an opportunity to bring to the attention of COP 17 delegates the very significant role ICTs can play in both mitigating and adapting to climate change, a role that unfortunately still is not been given the attention I believe it deserves.
As we, ICT-U is attempting to raise the profile of importance of ICT in climate change, my colleague, Miss Cristina Bueti will present to you the latest activities on ICTs, the environment, and climate change during the workshop on green ICTs and innovation.
Without further ado, I invite his excellency Hasanul Haq Inu, member of Parliament, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry and Telecommunication, public, People's Republic of Bangladesh, to give us his address.
>> HASANUL HAQ INU: Thank you. Good morning to everybody.
Mr. Ali, and the officers from ITU, and distinguished guests from across the world, I welcome you to this meeting. Mr. Ali was very correct that the subject is not taken very seriously by the participants and the IGF facilities here, but the subject is so important that we need to address it more comprehensively, and with a more participatory role.
So, I am from Bangladesh, I come from Bangladesh, a developing country, disaster prone country, with a long low-lying coastal built, where 22 million people lives. As in other developing countries, we are also handicapped with illiteracy, language literacy, ICT, information illiteracy. But we think we can overcome, because we have decided to apply ICTs in all sectors of our social and economic life. Our Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina's vision, Bangladesh, to 2021, that is the 50th year of our independence, and she has from our side has put to the international community, environment and climate change on the high agenda.
This is our position, but as you know, that from 1980 to 2005, this 25 years, 7,000 natural disasters happened, weather related or water related. Because of possible global warming, areas settle or at creeks are low lying coastal areas, small islands, Deltas, SubSaharan Africa, at least for certification, pressure on sources of fresh water will mount, pressure on vulnerable ecosystems like coral reefs, coastal wetlands, huge numbers of environmental refugees, relief for migration, developing countries are often at most risks of national disasters, and that will impair development in developing country.
Well, 2012, the summit is going to be organised in Brazil, Rio, it will be Rio+20, and the focus will be green economy, in relation to private irrigation and sustainable development. As you know, that 1992, 20 years back, our summit was there in Rio, and in 21 was incorporated, sustainable paradigm came to the forefront.
Well, environment and climate change issues came to the limelight, and sustainable economy paradigm became the major policy concern. But in late 1990s became the age of ICT evolution, with dramatic changes in technology and economics of communications, including the advent of Internet.
ICTs have important role in production exchange, in social organisations and individual behavior. ICTs are applied in all sectors, and became the general purpose technology of the present day world, the great leveler. Sustainable economic paradigm needed to be interacted with ICTs and Internets; ICTs and Internets penetrate in all sectors, but they are developed a paradigm gap. Policymakers or persons related to sustainable development, and persons related to Internet and ICTs are not interacting regularly. So the paradigm gap is there.
Sustainable economic paradigm with an application of ICTs and Internets became sustainable digital economy, so a new thing develop there from sustainable development economy to digital economy.
But as you know, the present challenge of the millennium is Bavarti, economic social divide, climate change effects we need to mitigate and adapt protection of environment, high level of growth and employment, but with a low carbon economy. There is also a big challenge, and another challenge is harness the ever evolving highly innovative or innovation driven ICTs.
These four challenges we need to, for that we need sustainable local economy and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
So again, a paradigm shift. We need now green growth. Does ICTs, Internets, helps green growth? Yes, we say yes. ICTs offer potential for structural shifts, so now we need a new paradigm, and from 2008 and 2009, a new policy construct by applying ICTs for green growth started to develop.
And UNEP in 2008 launched green economy initiative, and they came up with a green economy report. In 2012, in Brazil, we are going to meet the whole world community. So we will have to declare in that conference unitedly that world needs green economy, sustainable detail green economy, so we need to develop treating cages between the sustainable economy, between digital economy, between green economy.
ICTs have impact on climate change. It has positive impact and negative impact.
Well, ICTs do contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but also helps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas in major industries, major emitters like energy emitters, but we can reduce it by smart grids, waste disposal, building construction, intelligent transport. These are the major areas of gas, greenhouse gas emitters. ICTs can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, after management, by warning system, super computers, and to develop contingency plans, and ICTs can help to develop climate change adaptation plan and preparedness to cope changes.
So another side, ICTs have negative impact and ICTs emit greenhouse gases. But ITU is already aware of this attrition, and they have come up with a resolution to limit greenhouse gas emission for ICT coupons and with technological standards are set which will limit power use of ICT equipments; for example, global standard for energy efficience, mobile charger batteries. I don't go into details. ICTs greenhouse gas can be reduced, mitigated by designing energy efficient devices. Correct electronic equipment, waste disposal and management is a very important issue which are to be taken very seriously.
And apart from that, as Mr. Ali has already said about dematerialization, I don't want to repeat, but provide the means for virtual meetings that will reduce travel, and beyond that, we need to come up with remote monitoring of art by satellite and sensors on ground and oceans. But funding is a great question. Europe do have geostationary or personal environmental satellites, but Asia and Africa do not have those satellites.
Well, we need to remodel agriculture with the application of ICT to reduce nitrous oxide emissions; that is also a major polluter. We need to take care of management of environmental refugees. ICT can play great role in tracking down this migration or environmental refugees. We are already in a transition from IPv4 to IPv6. That is the object, identifying the source, that is very important, development of Internet of things, that is very important, because that will be applied in many sectors, industrial sectors, that will reduce emissions.
Empower individuals to help them reduce their own carbon footprint. For this, we need to develop a national programme ICT strategy. ICT is a key developer for new economic model to combat climate change. So from the remote satellite we get deforestation, crop pattern, water shortage, soil, etcetera, etcetera.
With these works, I want to say that, well, ICT has come to stay, and for the next years to come, ICT will be the great enabler and will help us to go for a green growth, the policy meccas, parliamentarians, governments of the day and industries, industries stakeholders like Microsoft. And everybody needs to invest on research, and needs to develop such policies, which will be, have a linkage to sustainable development and digital economy.
So, with this words, I will come to these participants in this session. I hope they will come up with ideas, and I will take back to my country. And I hope Bangladesh will be back to 2021 with other developing nations, will cast the international highway of highway development. Thank you very much. (Applause).
>> After his excellency Inu, member of parliament, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Telecommunications, People's Republic of Bangladesh, I'll ask all the participants to maybe take the floor, and tell us about the country's experience in fighting greenhouse gas emission, and their experience in relationship with Dynamic Coalition on climate change. Let's start from my left. At the high end of the table there, please. Introduce yourself first, and then tell about the experience of your country. Thank you.
>> SATISH BABU: Thank you. My name is Satish Babu, I come from India from the International Centre for Free and Open Software.
My interest in this Dynamic Coalition meeting is basically to learn. I'm very new to the whole area of climate change, and I think the linkage is there. I found both the opening statements extremely useful, especially from his excellency. The perspective put forth was revealing to me.
I do not have anything to say with regard to what we are doing for the points mentioned, in terms of action items. I'd rather be listening to the conversation here, and take back with me the points from here.
One request that I have is currently there is a paper, there is a statement that is there on the Web site. I see it has been prepared in 2009. Perhaps if it can be updated, it will be of use to all of us. Thank you.
>> RIZWAN TUFAIL: Good morning. My name is Rizwan Tufail. I represent Microsoft here. My role is the regional technology officer for Africa. I will be speaking in the latter sessions, so I'll keep my remarks very brief.
We are excited to be part of this effort. We strongly believe, as the honourable Chairman has also said, we strongly believe in the transformative power of ICT in helping mitigate some of the effects, in helping us rethink a new economy with the use of ICT to reduce the kind of negative effects that we all foresee as the demands on this continent of ours, on this planet of ours increase.
>> My name is Henrietta Feriay from Ghana. I work with the regulator, the national communication authority. That is my first time of participating in such a meeting on climate change. And I hope to learn more from the discussion that will be going on now, and hope to implement it in my country. But I have representative who are already part of the group, and I hope that we will have a great effect on our country. Thank you.
>> Hello, I'm Sama with Ghana Environmental Protection Agency. And last year, we started a project on how to integrate climate change into Telecom using Vodafone, one Telecom operator. But now we are planning to add all of them to get a bigger project for Ghana. So us we are here, we are here to learn and know what to do.
>> Good morning. James Kasigwa is my name. I'm the acting commissioner, broadcasting infrastructure minister of ICT, Uganda.
On the fight against climate change, we are really starting, but we appreciate the catalystic nature of ICTs in every sector, and now in particular in climate change environment, we have in the ministry, we have come up with a EUS management policy, and I know it's, we are still debating it. But key that we have appreciated is the fact that EUS is not the problem. But managing it is the problem. Managing the west is the biggest problem.
And of course, there are many players who actually even want to come and invest in EUS management, but you find that west is not there; yet, it's a problem. And I will talk about it maybe at another time.
Secondly, we have realigned our Telecom policy. We are trying to encourage, I mean sharing of infrastructure. You find that because our Telecom industry is liberalized, every player puts up their own infrastructure.
So the whole place is really being polluted by infrastructure. So we have, we are encouraging co-location of infrastructure.
Then there is also the convergence of technologies, the analog to digital migration. We are encouraging Teleco to do triple play whereby they use existing structure to give Internet, voice and later on TV. With digital, analog to digital migration, I want to call it a green technology, because it spans. I have a presentation later. Let me not preempt what I'm going to present. Thank you.
>> Good morning. My name is Issah Yahaya. I'm the director of policy and minister of communications in Ghana, the programme of the national communications authority, and in that area of ICTs, the environment and climate change, we in Ghana look up to this Dynamic Coalition to strengthen the voice, carry on the advocacy, and bring to the whole world the potential of ICT in helping to protect the environment.
In the area of ICT, the policies that we have put together in Ghana in 2004 did not specifically address the issue of climate change and the environment.
So, in May this year, a national exercise to review the national policy and specifically include a chapter on ICTs, the climate change environment, involving all the stakeholders, aligned to the diplomat of the broadband in the country, and see just how far Ghana can position itself within the threats of climate change, and then also to our development.
We have in the past pursued certain actions, including the development of guidelines for the siting of base stations, that require the cooperation of the ICT industry. We are also working on the present migration from analog to digital transmission. And we now want to institute measures that will make the mitigation exercise a daily and continuing part of our culture.
So as we gather here, we are joining forces with the coalition in this petition with the guidance of the relationship of the telecommunication union, the whole agenda of ICTs, emerging environment will reach its expected years. Thank you for now.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Good morning again. Cristina Bueti, ITU.
I will present to you more detailed overview of ITU's activity in the area later on during the workshop. But just to mention that ITU has been working through its three sectors, development, communication and standardization bureau on ICT environment and climate change activities. We work closely with the private sectors, with Governments, but also with academia. It's very important for us to share the best practices and experiences of the different countries. We do believe that certainly forging partnership is one of the solutions.
We are working towards that. Of course, as a UN agency, we work also with other UN agencies. As you will see from my presentation very soon, we will be launching a global survey on e-waste, together with UNEP convention, United Nation university, solving the waste problem initiative in Sub-Sahara. In addition as part of our work, ITU is also a standardization organisation, and as it was previously mentioned by His Excellency, we developed a technical recommendation, one of which is the universal mobile phone charger. And very recently, actually I'm just coming from where the study group 5 meeting concluded with the approval of 12 new recommendations actually on ICTs and climate change. Specifically, ITU approved the recommendation dedicated to the development actually of methodologies and guidelines actually to assess the environmental impact of the ICT sectors.
And these are two important recommendations, because ITU is the first and only organisation in the world that approved an international standard on the issue. So far, no other organisation have done anything like that. And we are very very proud about this result, because it's thanks to our membership, to the support of our Government, and the sector members. ITU works through contributions, so it's not the Secretariat, but this is a success of the ITU membership. Thank you.
>> Good morning, everybody. My name is John Smiciklas. I'm the director of corporate responsibility programmes at research in motion, better known as Blackberry. I'll be presenting today on a programme we are working with at the ITU to develop a technical specification standard for essentially how ICT companies can become more green.
Some of the issues that we are dealing with within our own company is, we are trying to look at applications, where people can use our smart phones. For instance, right now, the United States weather service uses our smart phones to do a complete damage assessment with tornadoes. So to assist governments with how they can adapt to climate change. Thank you.
>> Good morning, everyone. My name is Yomma from Ministry of Communications and Technology in Egypt. Actually I'm representing the green ICT team today. I'm not from the green ICT, I'm just on behalf of them. I'll tell you a short statement about our activities in Egypt.
The Egyptian ICT sector recognizes its responsibilities in adapting and mitigating to climate change threats and effects as well as in decreasing negative environmental impacts of ICT. In this regard the Egyptian ICT sector identified and considered the issue of ICT and sustainable environment in three main areas, ICT applications for adapting to climate change effects, ICT applications for mitigating to climate change effects, and waste sustainable ICT sector. In each area a lot of activities in form of initiatives, programmes, and projects have been developed; for example, in e-waste, recycling green citizenship and smart transportation, smart and green buildings, and other, or other similar examples. Thank you.
>> Good morning, everybody. Edith Adera. I'm actually supposed to be here for the 11:00 session. But I decided to just join this session which I hope is not a problem.
I work with the International Development Centre, IDRC; it's a Canadian agency. And later at 11 I'll be talking about what we are doing in integrating ICTs into the climate change area, which will be, we have been working in since 2005.
>> Good morning. This is Faheem Hussain, part of the Bangladesh delegation. I teach at the university for women in Bangladesh. Later in the day I'll talk about what is happening in Bangladesh in terms of green ICT practices, and ICT integration to combat climate change. As we all know, Bangladesh is one of the potentially worst affected countries due to climate change.
So I hope that you guys will be there to share our experience.
Thanks to ITU, we can see so many people with common interests; that's very good. But what I have seen in last couple of years in this Dynamic Coalition, we need more active interaction and collaboration, to share our commonalities, at the same time to explore what can be done in future or immediately.
In terms of green ICT, it has a green field in tying up ICT and climate change. We need to go beyond the pilot projects. We need to look into the scaleability issues. And more importantly, what I have seen in interacting with the public policy domain and with academia, is that you show sustainability.
So many feel good projects are there, but at the same time, how feasible are those, when we talk about building ICT infrastructure to the common infrastructure based on green practices.
Or, if we do that, does it also affect our leapfrogging, our potential of growth in telecommunication.
So these are the things to look into, and I'm looking for a very lively conversation, thank you.
>> Good morning, everybody. Giacomo Mazzone from European Broadcasting Union. We represent here the world broadcasting union that gathers eight unions in the world to that group, all the broadcasters of the five continents; in Africa is AUB, African Uni Broadcasting.
We are involved in the ITU working groups that Cristina mentioned before, about trying to set up standards for reducing carbon gas, carbon emission. And we are now in the middle in Europe at least near to the end of the transition phase from analog to digital. That is one major step in order to reduce and to make more sustainable broadcasting industry.
>> Good morning. This is Misani Roman. Bangladesh already introduced the use of green ICT in the Telecom sector and the communications to our teleministry to set up a meeting for observing this subject.
So we hope that ITU will provide us technical support in the upcoming test. Thank you.
>> Good morning, everybody. My name is Mohammad Abdul Haque, member of the Bangladesh delegation. I'm working Bangladesh Forum, Secretary-General, and thank you, ITU organise this session, allowing this process. Thank you.
>> ALI DRISSA BADIEL: Thank you, everybody. I leave the floor to my colleague Cristina who is going to take over.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you, everyone, for this round table.
As you know, every year, we meet at IGF. They give us a home for the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change. This year, actually, the IGF Secretariat is actually, has asked us to provide them with a quick summary of what are main actions or suggested steps that we think that should be taken to improve the work of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet climate change.
Let me just spend a few words saying that as it was mentioned before by my colleague, Ali Drissa Badiel, the Dynamic Coalition is an open body.
Everyone can become a member. ITU provides the Secretariat, and of course we are happy to help in any way we can.
But the idea is that to mobilize as many entities as possible around the world to raise awareness about this issue, and that help forging partnerships and as it was mentioned by Fahad to improve cooperation as much as possible. Therefore, if there is anyone in this room that would like to join the Dynamic Coalition, please to let us know.
The ITU maintains a list of all members, as of today, we have 42 members. And one of the suggestions that it was mentioned by some of the members that unfortunately could not join us physically for this meeting, is that perhaps we should try to have at least if not physical meetings during the year, but at least e-meetings, so that we can touch base and report on our activities, and see how good progress can be made in these areas.
I would also like to encourage all of you to share with us the initiatives that are being carried out by your organisations, or by your country.
We have in ITU a resource Web site, where we will post all the resources, and it is very useful, especially for those that are deciding to design new policies. I must say that in this room, there are three countries that have been living in ITU, Bangladesh was actually, I would say one of the few countries to start with green ICTs, and the Secretary-General went to visit Bangladesh to open and together with the President, it was for us a great honour, which I remember very well.
Ghana and Egypt, have been leading in this area. Egypt hosted a symposium in 2010 which concluded with a roadmap on ICT environment and sustainability. This roadmap is being implemented in different countries, and for the first time ever in the world, Ghana is the first country in the world that is actually implementing or will be implementing very soon a new green ICT strategy which will take into consideration the UNFCCC guidelines.
Ghana has been leading in this area, because it's not easy for, as you well know, to have ICT included in environmental policies. Usually the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Communication do not take into consideration ICTs and their respective policies, or of course the Ministry of Communication is very much focused on ICT, not that much on environment, and vice versa. But Ghana, I think in this respect, took the leadership. So we have good projects that is an ITU UNFCCC project. The Ministry of Communications is really helping us to bridge this gap together with EPA, together with also the Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology. And I think I can say that the commitment is really at the IS level.
We had a symposium in Accra which concluded with a call to action. Later on he said we will tell you more. But this meeting was open by the Vice President of Ghana. So as you can imagine, this is the IS level of commitment of a country and which we're thankful for. So in that respect the meeting of today is very important, because for ITU we would like to bring home a few tasks that we will be happy to fulfill with your help.
We would like also to help the IGF Secretariat as much as we can, of course, to improve the work of this coalition and see how we can serve your needs at best. So maybe if I, in that respect, if we can identify a few suggestions that you would like us to reflect in the brief summary that I will send at the end of the workshop on green ICTs and innovation, I'll be very very pleased. We have been recommended not to exceed the ten lines. Sorry, I know it has to be really a few bullet points. (Chuckles).
Otherwise, they will never display our summaries. I intend to fulfill this task. But if at least we can get some good guidance from all of you, I would be very much pleased to report what are the conclusion of this meeting. And then I suggest that also we start with then the workshop that will focus on green ICTs and innovation and will present different activities. Is there anyone that would like to share some insights on what should be the next steps?
>> Thank you, Cristina. Well, this next session, if we are to make contribution to the outcome of the IGF, we should draw especially from the action IC 7 that in 2005, identified e-environment as one of the commitments of the IGF.
Now, what this should entail, requires that our voice is carried loud and clear to the conference of parties, expected there in Durban and coming from the ICT industry, and especially from the UN specialized body does ITU. That says the standards, frequencies and all technology required to help us protect the environment with activities, we need to position the issue of this ICTs and climate change in a very strategic area that doesn't require prioritization. If they fail to prioritize ICT at that global meeting, then the whole issue of technology and development has been something revised for DCICC. Thank you.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much, Issah. Is there anyone else that would like to take the floor? Any other suggestions? Anything that you think we should suggest?
>> EDITH ADERA: Thank you very much. I think the previous speaker has touched on an important thing, especially when you are looking at the area of mitigation. But I think in addition to mitigation, we also need to look at the area of adaptation.
And to what extent can ICTs actually help in enhancing adaptive capacity? And I think there are various areas in which ICTs can make a difference.
Because if you look at adaptation, it's, and with the changing climate, it's really about what to do outside the box, to be able to address the challenge that you face. So information is, and knowledge becomes very central to that process.
And I think ICT has shown that it can help connect people. It can help bring knowledge. It can help improve the way people do their practices by the fact that they have the information on what to do to adapt to the situation.
So I think bringing ICT within that context is very critical, that it does play a role in adaptation.
And if you look at the negotiations, especially within the African continent, it's to do with adaptation, as much as we are to address mitigation.
So I think that is how we can position ICT as well. And of course, it plays many other roles, both technological role in terms of it as a technology, but also an enabler in terms of connecting people and providing knowledge.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much, Edith. Is there anyone else that would like to make other suggestions?
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: As I said before, I think that what we are experiencing now in Europe, and in other regions of the world about the transition of digital broadcasting, could be an important phase in the ICT world, I mean for reducing and make more sustainable this industry.
So I will say later, when I will have the presentation, but we have already some cooperation with the ITU through the memorandum of understanding that has been signed last year in trying to expand and make available the competences and the know-how that we have achieved during this three years transition that is now nearly to be over, because as you know, in at least within the European Union next year it will be the next, the last year of the analog transmission.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much, Giacomo. Anyone else that would like to have the few words? Anyone from the industry? You have been very silent this morning, with my great surprise. (Chuckles).
>> Hi, let me just add something, and again, I was -- apologies, I was holding back because I thought we would go into that in more detail during the workshop.
We are extremely excited by some of the technology advances over the last four or five years, in particular, the potential that cloud computing provides, for us to take advantage of technologies, but still do that in a very responsible manner. As part of that, or in parallel to that, we also see huge advances in terms of software and hardware, which make the footprint, the environmental footprint very very thin. In fact, I will, during the presentation, I will speak about a project that we have undertaken at the UNEP building right across the door in terms of helping that building be the first carbon neutral building in Africa.
I'd be very keen to talk about that as well.
>> Thank you.
>> We have to build on some recommendations in Accra. I want us to look at the issue of e-waste, and also to, at the conference in Durban, to be definite in the direction that would allow greater investment by industry in this area of endeavor, and this would also have improved the economies.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much, Issah. Can I ask also my colleague from UNF, as we are here, to say a few words.
>> MICK WILSON: Hi, good morning. My name is Mick Wilson.
Yes, I'm with the UN environment programme and welcome all of you to our beautiful surroundings here in Nairobi. I've just been eavesdropping on your proceedings. I'm actually here to do a workshop presentation later on, on green ICT and its potential on an organisation like UNEP.
It's been very interesting to hear comments, and without preempting what I'll be saying later in the workshop, I think many of you will be interested in an upcoming opportunity that UNEP is engaged in called Eye on Earth, which will hopefully see a convergence of many of the issues you have been talking about over the last hour or so, the role of ICT in issues like carbon mitigation, carbon reduction, climate change responses and adaptation, its role in monitoring the environment, identification of policy options for future management and so on. I'll leave it at that for the moment. I do welcome your participation in the workshop later on. I'll be interested to see what comments you may be able to provide. Thanks.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: That brings us more or less to the closing of the first part. Let me briefly summarize what I've captured so at least you can correct me if I'm wrong, and I'll be happy to possibly tie the knots before we end the second part of this morning session.
So some of these figures I like to position the issue of ICT and climate change in a very strategic manner. The areas of adaptation and mediations are key in tackling climate change; especially adaptation is particularly important for African countries.
Information is knowledge. It can help to connect people, and also information and communication technologies are seen as an enabler. The example of the transition from analog to digital could significantly reduce GHG emissions, and that can be taken as an example that the ICT industry as a whole should follow.
In addition, the potential of cloud computing was acknowledged. An example is, for example, the carbon neutral building at UNEP in Nairobi.
And the issue of e-waste should be more looked into in future sessions of the dynamic coalition on Internet climate change. Last but not least, very important message to be sent to the conference of the parties of the UNFCCC to highlight the role of ICTs in both mitigation and adaptation, and also to look for an investments from industry, and to look also in the adaptation from and technology mechanism funds that have actually been set up by the convention, and should start working hopefully after Durban in order to bridge the divide in climate change.
Is there anything else I should capture in my notes?
>> The issue of capacity building, that did not come out strongly.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you. Very good.
>> Awareness, there has been a new kind of line of thinking, so that should be also on the agenda.
>> Technology transfer from one country to the other.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Technology transfer, especially green ICT technology.
>> Can I, I'd like to, in continuation with what has been mentioned about awareness and so on, I think there are both macro and micro aspects of the response. And documentation of this through the resource portal would also be helpful, especially because small communities don't know how to respond, what kind of ICT initiatives they can take up. There is a gap there. If you can highlight these case studies from across the world of smaller communities, there is also available the macro level thing which is very clear. Thank you.
>> Something that may actually come on regulatory divides, found that developing countries actually, there is an opening statement that Mr. Ali said and it called my ears, that the world without ICTs is unthinkable.
Now, we find that most developing economies actually are being given enough a part, we have actually gone from portable PCs, personal PCs, going to networking, now we are going to cloud computing.
Now I'm feeling yes, this is a good and green technologies, but where are they? You find that most of the developing economies, the majority live in the rural areas. And now, the Telecos, actually business are profit driven. They actually don't look at the rural communities as potential business persons. So ICTs actually don't reach there.
But there is one fact that climate change or environment actually has no borders. If any poor activities are being done in any part rural or evolve, the effects are global. The effects actually, so in an effort to cloud climate change, we should actually look at the wholistic approach to addressing it.
Much as everyone is saying, ICTs have a solution, we should take cognizance of the fact that the rural communities, the rural especially in the developing economies, it's a dream. It's actually even unthinkable. So I think we need to highlight that, when we are talking about the digital divide.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: We can now maybe phrase something like that special attention should be given also to rural communities.
>> ALI DRISSA BADIEL: If I may comment just a little comment, one minute comment on what -- I don't remember the name again. Okay, about Mr. James' comment. You know, ICT had a programme to, how do you call, to strengthen and to encourage universal access for the developing world. It was in that framework that the connector free summit was organised clearly in Rwanda from the 29 to 30 of October 2007. One of the major goals of the connector committees is connect all the villages, African villages to ICTs by 2015.
This is one of the goals that African countries are pursuing. But still ICTs following up with all the African countries to follow up, is following up to see how this goal is being achieved. Thank you.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: My suggestion, I'm another James, so I follow my James (chuckles) is that in certain rural areas, I think there is general problem; we need to have in this picture the general interest at the first place. General interest means rural areas, means as the people, means a lot of other things that need to be taken in account, because the risk is that if you don't put in the picture, you think that only through economic parameters, you could set up everything. This is not true in my opinion, and need to be included in the picture, that the general interest has to be the prism through which you find the solution.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much, Giacomo. Is there anyone else that would like to add final words before we close this first session? Edith, please.
>> EDITH ADERA: I think the speaker from UNEP mentioned I think some very critical things that would resonate with COP 17 in the terms of the role of ICTs in climate change, of course responses, in monitoring the environment, in climate diagnosis, as well as in decision support for policy options. I think that is really what they are looking at; how can diagnosis be done very easily for want to know what are the impacts, what then do we need to do? And what are the various options in terms of how to even spend the climate funds?
I think framing ICT's role within some of those critical issues gives it a very strategic position.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Thank you very much for this very useful comment. If there are no other additional comments, let me thank all the participants of this session. We will have I would say half an hour break, and we will start again at 11. A bit more, actually a bit less than half an hour, as we started with a bit of delay, so allow me to bring you back to this room at 11. And we will start with the workshop on green ICTs and innovation, which will be moderated by Issah Yahaya from the Ministry of Communications of Ghana. Thank you so much.
(Session ends at 10:40.)