Vienna, 5 November 2007 - This year, upon the initiative of the European Commission, the second "European Development Days" are taking place in Portugal. Motto: Will Climate Change Development? From 7 to 9 November, high-ranking representatives such as Louis Michel, Kofi Annan, and José M. Barroso will discuss the impact of climate change on the developing countries and developing cooperation with up to two thousand participants.
Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and Karl Georg Doutlik, the Head of the European Commission in Austria, support and welcome this initiative: "The objective is joint action in support of the poorest people in the world, who are the most severely affected by climate change", emphasized Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. "Climate change further worsens the immense problems faced by developing countries and jeopardizes previous efforts toward sustainable development and poverty reduction", said the Foreign Minister.
The European Development Days are a discussion forum which aims at seeking ways and strategies to solve the most important issues of development cooperation. More than thirty events will take place during these three days, in which representatives from states, authorities, as well as scientists and representatives of the civil society will meet to discuss and develop possible solutions.
The Austrian Development Cooperation (OEZA) is represented at the event with an information booth, and its company, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will present itself during the Practitioners' Network for European Development Cooperation.
"Only when the international community manages to coordinate its programmes and objectives well and the development policy cooperation between the European Commission and the Member States functions properly will we be able to achieve a success together. This is also true for the strategies and programmes that support adjustment to climate change and aim at contributing to climate protection and stabilization of greenhouse concentrations. The European Development Days are an important platform for dialogue, and deliver valuable impulses", said Plassnik.
For the Austrian Development Cooperation, the issues of climate change and development cooperation are of central importance. In mid-October, an information campaign under the slogan "Good Climate for Development" was initiated, aimed at informing a wider public about the problem and the corresponding solution approaches.
Austria finances projects in energy management, which focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy production. Projects aimed at optimizing water supply and providing environmentally compatible sewage disposal help the people better cope with the possible impact of climate change, especially in dry regions. In the area of agriculture, OEZA focuses on adjusted production methods, erosion protection, and modern technologies for climate-neutral production. Targeted reforestation, sustainable soil use, and the preservation of biodiversity ensure that ecosystems remain intact.
"The Austrian Development Cooperation takes climate protection very seriously. We shall give greater consideration in our projects and programmes than in the past", concluded Foreign Minister Plassnik.
For more information and accreditation for the press
Representation in Austria
Tel.: ++ 43 (1) 516 18-329
Austrian Development Agency
Information and Public Relations
Mrs. Heidi Frank
Tel: ++43 (1) 90 399 2400