human activity and the destruction of the planet

The Climate Vulnerable Forum of 48 countries

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There are currently 48 countries which are members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a body set up in 2009 to include those countries which are especially vulnerable to climate change.

In 2009, the following countries adopted its first declaration: Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Two years later, the following countries adopted its second declaration: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

At the Third High Level Meeting of the CVF held during the United Nation’s COP21 conference, the membership of the Forum expanded to 43, to include the following 23 new members: Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen.

At the Marrakesh COP22 meeting, the following countries were added: The Gambia, Columbia, Lebanon, Palestine and Samoa.

The Forum first met in 2009 at Male, Maldives and has since met in Kiribati, Bangladesh,  Costa Rica, Philippines and Ethiopia, each of these countries assuming the Chair of the Forum for a period of one year each.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum has been a progressive voice throughout the UN COP negotiations and was instrumental in getting the crucial 1.5oC limit included in the Paris Agreement.


The 48 developing country members demonstrated much needed ambition and leadership at COP22 (Marrakesh). They agreed to making their energy production 100% renewable “as rapidly as possible”, and by between 2030 and 2050 at the latest. This commitment is set out in the CVF’s leadership vision statement for 2016-2018, called the The Marrakech Vision’, the outcome document of the CVF High Level Meeting held on Friday 18 November 2016. The vulnerable countries also outlined a number of other ambitious commitments:

  • To lead processes and to help trigger increased commitments from all countries for urgent progress towards the 1.5°C limit set out in the Paris Agreement
  • To commit to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as early as possible before 2020
  • To prepare mid-century, long-term low GHG development strategies as early as possible before 2020

Mattlan Zackhras, Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands, represented the Marshall Islands at the preparatory CVF meeting in Addis Ababa on 24-25th October 2016, which helped come up with the draft documents for the CVF announcements at COP22. The Marshall Islands was confirmed in the CVF Marrakesh meetings as the future Chair of the CVF, to take over in August 2018 after the term of office of the current Ethiopian Chair expires. Speaking at the CVF’s High Level Meeting, Minister Zackhras emphasised that we have to “make sure that global emissions peak in the next few years and we turn the corner to a cleaner and safer 1.5 world.”


Further details of the work of the forum and the decisions made by them can be found at:

See also an earlier blog on the effects of rising seas on island nations.

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