Kinshasa, DRC, 13 February 2024: The Congo Basin Science Initiative has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Basin Science Initiative is now one of 127 member countries and organizations working together in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote sustainable resource management, combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
COP27 Summary report, 6–20 November 2022
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Delegates gathered against an ominous backdrop of multiple crises: energy, cost of living, indebtedness, nature loss, and geopolitical tensions among major powers. But the need to act in the face of the climate crisis has never been clearer. Global average temperature rise is already 1.1°C. People around the world are experiencing the effects of climate change, from heatwaves and droughts to floods and superstorms. Only the wealthiest countries can (so far) cope. As Sherry Rehman, Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan, implored “Vulnerability shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
The need to protect the most vulnerable led to a historic decision at the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, after a hard political bargain was struck across significant areas of climate action. For the first time, countries agreed to recognize the need for finance to respond to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, and quickly established a fund and the necessary funding arrangements, with the details to be worked out over the coming year.
Other key elements of this package were the work programmes on urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). On mitigation, developed and climate-vulnerable countries pushed for a strong outcome to ramp up efforts to reduce emissions before 2030, calling this “the critical decade.” In the end, countries agreed to a process that will explore topics, which are to be decided, and identify opportunities and gaps to reduce emissions. Several countries expressed some worry that the mitigation outcome may not be enough to “keep 1.5°C alive.”
On the GGA, countries were more pleased with the outcome. Parties agreed to a long-term, structured effort that will help countries to collectively achieve the global adaptation goal. This framework will also review progress towards its achievement. Given the context-specific nature of adaptation, that countries will have to adapt to different climate impacts, this framework will generate information that can help to enable and capture progress. It will be reviewed before the second Global Stocktake in 2028.
Parties also adopted two overarching cover decisions, together called the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Both decisions address science, energy, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, and pathways to a just transition. Some highlights include:
- retaining the call to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, as adopted in the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact (Decisions 1/CP26 and 1/CMA.3);
- urging parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) or long-term low greenhouse gas (GHG) development strategies to do so by the next meeting;
- establishing a work programme on just transition to discuss pathways to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement;
- launching the Sharm El-Sheikh dialogue to enhance understanding of the scope of Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (ensuring finance flows are consistent with low-GHG, climate-resilient development), and its complementarity with Article 9 of the Paris Agreement (climate finance);
- urging developed countries to provide enhanced support to assist developing countries to both mitigate and adapt, and encouraging other parties to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily; and
- calling for multilateral development bank reform, including in their practices and priorities and to define a new vision, operational models, channels, and instruments that are fit for adequately addressing the global climate emergency.
Other key outcomes from the meeting include:
- progress towards operationalizing the Santiago Network on loss and damage through adopting its terms of reference, agreeing on its structure, and launching the selection process for its host Secretariat;
- providing operational guidance for scaling up cooperative approaches under Paris Agreement Article 6.2;
- enabling the full operationalization of the Article 6.4 market mechanism;
- specifying modalities for the work programme under the Article 6.8 framework for non-market approaches; and
- continuing the technical dialogue under the Global Stocktake.
The meeting also featured the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Summit, where over 100 Heads of State and Government attended. By the end of the meeting, which concluded on 20 November, more than 39 hours after the scheduled close, parties had adopted 60 decisions.
The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference convened in Egypt from 6-20 November 2022. The Conference included the:
- 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27);
- 4th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 4);
- 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 17);
- 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 57); and
- 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 57)
In total, 33,449 people attended, including 16,118 delegates from parties, 13,981 observers, and 3,350 members of the media.
A Brief History of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement
The international political response to climate change began with the 1992 adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which sets out the basic legal framework and principles for international climate change cooperation with the aim of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of GHGs to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, has 198 parties.
To boost the effectiveness of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in December 1997. It commits industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve quantified emissions reduction targets for a basket of six GHGs. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and has 192 parties. Its first commitment period took place from 2008 to 2012. The 2012 Doha Amendment established the second commitment period from 2013 to 2020. To date, 148 parties have ratified the Doha Amendment.
In December 2015, parties adopted the Paris Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, all countries will submit NDCs and review the aggregate progress on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation every five years through a Global Stocktake (GST). The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, and has 194 parties.
Recent Key Turning Points
Paris: The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference convened in Paris, France, culminating with the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December. The Agreement includes the goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to increase parties’ ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-GHG emissions and climate-resilient development. The Agreement should be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.
Under the Paris Agreement, each party shall communicate, at five-year intervals, successively more ambitious NDCs. Under the common time frames decision adopted in 2021 in Glasgow, each NDC will last ten years, but will still be updated every five years. The Paris Agreement also includes a transparency framework and a process known as the GST. Beginning in 2023, parties will convene this process at five-year intervals to review collective progress on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation. The Agreement also includes provisions on adaptation, finance, technology, loss and damage, and compliance.
When adopting the Paris Agreement, parties launched the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) to develop the Agreement’s operational details. Parties also agreed on the need to mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action by all parties and non-party stakeholders to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals. Several non-party stakeholders made unilateral mitigation pledges in Paris, with more than 10,000 registered actions.
Marrakech: The UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech took place from 7-18 November 2016 and included the first meeting of the CMA. Parties adopted several decisions related to the PAWP, including: work should conclude by 2018; the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building; and initiating a process to identify the information to be provided in accordance with Paris Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante biennial finance communications by developed countries). Other decisions included approving the five-year workplan of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM), enhancing the Technology Mechanism, and continuing and enhancing the Lima work programme on gender.
Fiji/Bonn: The Fiji/Bonn Climate Change Conference convened from 6-17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, under the COP Presidency of Fiji. The COP launched the Talanoa Dialogue, a facilitative dialogue to take stock of collective progress towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. The COP also established the “Fiji Momentum for Implementation,” a decision giving prominence to pre-2020 implementation and ambition. Parties also provided guidance on the completion of the PAWP and decided that the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement, subject to decisions to be taken by CMA 1-3. Parties also further developed, or gave guidance to, the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, the WIM Executive Committee (ExCom), the Standing Committee on Finance, and the Adaptation Fund.
Katowice: The Katowice Climate Change Conference convened from 2-14 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland, concluding a busy year that featured an additional negotiation session to advance work on the PAWP. Parties adopted the Katowice Climate Package, which finalized nearly all of the PAWP, including decisions to facilitate common interpretation and implementation of the Paris Agreement on the mitigation section of NDCs, adaptation communications, transparency framework, GST, and financial transparency, among others. Work on cooperative implementation, under Article 6 of the Agreement, was not concluded, and parties agreed to conclude this work in 2019. The COP was unable to agree on whether to “welcome” or “note” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming.
Chile/Madrid: The Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference convened from 2-17 December 2019 in Madrid, under the COP Presidency of Chile. Decisions were adopted on the review of the WIM and some finance-related issues, such as guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF). Parties also adopted the Chile/Madrid Time for Action. On many other issues, notably Article 6 and long-term finance, countries could not reach an agreement.
Intersessional Meetings: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal meeting cycle in 2020. Online sessions were held in June and November 2020 to hear updates from the constituted bodies and hold mandated events. The Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020 served as a platform for countries to put forward new NDCs and net zero pledges. In June 2021, the Subsidiary Bodies met online for informal consultations. No decisions were taken during this period due to concerns about inclusivity. Views were captured in informal notes prepared by the Chairs.
Glasgow: The Glasgow Climate Change Conference convened from 31 October – 12 November 2021 and marked the return to formal negotiations after the COVID-19 pandemic-related interruption. Parties finalized the Paris Agreement rulebook, adopting guidelines, rules, and a work programme on Article 6, and agreeing on the format of reporting under the enhanced transparency framework. Parties adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, a series of three overarching cover decisions which, for the first time, included a reference to phasing down unabated coal power and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. They also agreed to work programmes on a global goal for adaptation, and on urgently scaling up mitigation; created the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage; established a process towards defining a new collective quantified goal on climate finance; and launched an annual dialogue on ocean-based climate action.
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UNEA6 side event – Joint Action Against Nature Crime: A Pathway to Achieving Biodiversity, Climate and Sustainable Development Goals
Ministers and representatives from governments, international organisations, and civil society will explore how multi-sector collaboration in the fight against nature crime can inform wider efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis during an official side event at the upcoming UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi.
Southern Africa Dialogue aims to improve detection and disruption of financial flows linked to nature crime – Nature Crime Alliance
Financial crime analysts, industry experts and law enforcement officers from across Southern Africa assembled in Cape Town last week for the first in a new series of regional meetings aimed at tackling illicit financial flows associated with nature crime.
Second ministerial conference on ‘Transhumance-Protected Areas-Security’ in Central Africa: progress and perspectives
This article by Paul Scholte and Matthew Luizza in Conservation News looks at the progress and prospects for work on transhumance in Central Africa since the second international conference of ministers on transboundary transhumance of July 2023 in Yaoundé.
This is the question posed by Development Advocates (GDA) in its new publication: Deforestation-free cocoa in Cameroon: questions, concerns and priorities from smallholder farmers. The document sets out the challenges Cameroon faces in doubling its domestic cocoa production, retaining access to its biggest market (the EU) and reducing the pressure on its forests. Please download the GDA publication...
Pollution is widespread – and often fatal.Dirty air alone is responsible for 6.7 million deaths globally every year, while conservative estimates suggest that in 2019, 5.5 million people died from heart disease linked to lead exposure. To stem the pollution crisis, countries agreed in 2022 to establish a new body that would provide policymakers with robust, independent information on chemicals, waste and pollution.
Press release - Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia summit adaptation to climate change, nature-based solutions and resilience
The Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit "Adaption to climate change, Nature-based Solutions and Resilience" was held at the Palais des Congrès in Liège on 8 and 9 February 2024. Over two days, the Summit brought together nearly 1,000 participants of more than 20 nationalities, from numerous European networks and organisations of non-state actors such as businesses, researchers, civil society and local governments.
Towards UNEA-6: Multilateral solutions to triple planetary crisis - UNEP Speech delivered by Inger Andersen
As the world’s top decision-making body on the environment, UNEA-6 will bring together ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the broader UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community and private sector to shape global environmental policy. This year, we’re expecting more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates to join us in Nairobi. We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss. Ms. Ochalik will share more on this. I will talk about the wider context of UNEA-6, and what it means.
Look closely at this interactive map of the world and squiggly pink lines are visible in almost every major saltwater body, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal. The lines represent the movement of boats captured via a network of satellites and ground monitoring stations.
RELEASE: Landscape Restoration Champions Across Africa Receive USD 17.8 Million in Financing from TerraFund for AFR100 - WRI
This second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, is restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya. These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.
To bolster its work in the region, Tenure Facility has joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), a strategic alliance of countries and organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable practices, improving living conditions, and preserving the rich biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.Tenure Facility will bring its longstanding collaboration with several stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, organisations, and governments – to CBFP as it works toward finding inclusive and equitable solutions to forest-related challenges.
When it comes to climate, we do have something new to build on. Yes, the Dubai Consensus that emerged from COP28 was not everything everyone had hoped for. But it did signal a global decision to move away from fossil fuels, which is critical, as we all know. And, of course, the Loss & Damage Fund was put into operation. This was an important show of solidarity with vulnerable nations, although there is a long way to go to capitalize the fund. The positives did not stop there. We saw new commitments on sustainable cooling and reducing methane emissions. A tripling of renewable energy targets. Nature breakthroughs. Crucially, there was agreement on the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Strengthening land rights for women and young people supports fair conflict resolution -Tenure Facility
Cicin Juarsim, 52, smiled with joy when the land she has been cultivating officially became hers. “Now I am holding a private ownership certificate in my land. This is not only important for me. This land is important for my children,” said Cicin Juarsim who lives in Muktisari village, Ciamis District, in Indonesia’s western province of Java.
PRESS RELEASE: CBFP Side Event at the 14th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday 24 January 2024, 17:00 - 18:30, Virtual.
Under the aegis of the Co-Facilitator of France, Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is taking part in the GFMD and is organising a side event on Wednesday 24 January 2024, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (virtual), on the theme: Meeting between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.
For months last year, Florida’s beachgoers were plagued by rotting tangles of decaying seaweed that had washed ashore. Known technically as sargassum, the thick clumps were part of a record-setting 8,000-kilometre-long seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum blooms cause a range of environmental problems, including coastal “dead zones” bereft of aquatic life. Past sargassum outbreaks have been linked to the excessive release of phosphorus and other chemical substances known as nutrients.
SAVE THE DATE - GEF Technical BBL Series: Taking the lessons from Integrated Approach Pilots to the GEF8 Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biome Integrated Program. Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 12:30 - 14:00 pm EST (hybrid event, in English)
Location: Gustavo Fonseca Meeting room (N 8 – 180) and virtually on Zoom. 3. Speakers: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Ana Maria Gonzalez Velosa, Senior Environmental Specialist, Coordinator of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, World Bank Group, Latin America Region; Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lead of the CFB IP, GEF Secretariat; Charity Nalyanya, Director, Project Management and Technical Oversight, Conservation International (CI); George Akwah Neba, Team Leader of UNEP’s Congo Basin Team; Yawo Jonky Tenou...
Seated by a crackling fire burning during an inky night, community elder Cosmas Murunga shares some advice to his audience of young listeners. “As you grow up, women might get married outside of the community. But they shouldn’t forget where they came from,” he says. “And you young men, as you grow, know that you will inherit the ways of your fathers, grandfathers and those of your ancestors.”
Second International Conference of Ministers on Cross-Border Transhumance - Compendium of Country Investment Plans
In the case of Cameroon, the government established an inter sectoral committee chaired by the prime minister office to facilitate development of the country’s PIP. The methodology adopted for writing of this document, followed a participatory approach. After validation of the draft logical framework by the Expert Committee in Douala, the national Steering Committee which brings together various sectoral ministries met in May 2023 to work on priority sectoral activities of the seven strategic axes of the logical framework. A consultant was hired to technically assist the national steering committee in development process of the PIP. The main tasks of the consultant included further consultation of sectoral ministries to discuss priorities, consultation of strategic partners, desktop review of technical reports and other related documents on transhumance, budgeting and development of 5years investment plan.
Paris, 10 January 2024: The Tenure Facility has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Tenure Facility is now one of 126 member countries and organizations who work together to promote sustainable resource management, to combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The report, prepared by a consortium led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and supported by Agence Française de Développement and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide professionals and policymakers working at the intersections of water, the environment, health, energy, agriculture, spatial planning, and land use with a global cooperative and cross-sectoral reference on the current situation and developments in sanitation and wastewater and fecal sludge management in cities and human settlements.
The 2023 edition of the Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) World Population Data Sheet explores the role of population data in helping countries prepare for and adapt to climate change. It finds that “[b]y examining the association between population vulnerability and risk of exposure to climate shocks, decisionmakers can allocate resources to areas of greatest need and prepare essential systems to respond effectively to climate change.”
In recent years, climate crises such as floods, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat have disrupted ecosystems and negatively impacted human health. The Global South is often the hardest hit by climate change. Amid these crises, digital health emerges as a beacon of hope given its ability to provide accessible, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare services, which are increasingly necessary in the face of the growing challenges posed by climate change, particularly in hard-to-reach regions.
The Nigeria Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security is set to collaborate with IITA to scale technologies as part of measures to implement the government’s 8-point agenda. During a recent visit to the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, IITA Director General and Regional Director for CGIAR in Africa, Dr Simeon Ehui, said the Institute values the strong support of the Nigerian government and would like to align with the national programs.
Last September, 193 UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a shared roadmap, as well as to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. At the same time, countries gathered at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) SDG Summit acknowledged that achieving the Global Goals on time is “in peril” due to major setbacks related to multiple global crises.
The 2023 Dubai Climate Change Conference began on a high note. During the opening plenary, parties adopted a decision operationalizing the new loss and damage fund that was established the previous year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and a number of parties announced pledges for its initial capitalization. This success was made possible by an agreement reached in the Transitional Committee that was tasked and met throughout 2023 to make a recommendation on the institutional arrangements for the fund.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched an online platform gathering existing knowledge and resources on biodiversity in agriculture to improve countries’ knowledge and capacity to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), deliver on the SDGs, and achieve food security for all.
Ambassador Dr. Aurélie Flore Koumba Pambo and Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, Co-Facilitators of the CBFP, wish you the very best for 2024!
Having just completed the 12th meeting of the Governing Council of the CBFP, we would like to thank you once again for the warm reception you gave the Franco-Gabonese Co-Facilitation, which was set up in July 2023. Six months after the start of our Co-Facilitation, we have spoken out on behalf of the Congo Basin at international meetings including...
At the outset of 2023, the voluntary carbon trade seemed poised to expand its reach, boosting the amount of carbon it sought to offset along with the trade’s value. Figures from 2022 suggested the market’s value had reached $2 billion, and current projections suggest it could grow to $10 billion or even $100 billion by 2030 — and into the trillions by 2050.
IQUITOS, Peru — On the Peruvian side of the Yavarí River, overlooking the lush Brazilian shore, a weary Matsés man deletes the latest anonymous threat he received on his cellphone. He thought he and his people had seen it all: invasive logging and oil giants; the marauding cowboys of the first carbon credit rush; the quiet encroachment of illegal fishing and drug-trafficking rings into the Amazon. But then came a new disappointment.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued the 2024 edition of its flagship World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, which projects global economic growth to further slow down from an estimated 2.7% in 2023 to 2.4% in 2024, continuing to trend below the pre-pandemic growth rate of 3%. The report calls for stronger international cooperation to stimulate growth and promote green transition.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes that “air, water, and soil pollution are responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths and cost the world trillions of dollars every year.” While “[t]his is about three times the death burden from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis combined,” “chemicals and waste issues receive less policy and public attention than disease, climate change or biodiversity loss,” it notes.
Research shows positive changes for women and men, increased household income. Ensuring women have fair and equal access to land and resource benefits through Gender Transformative Approaches (GTAs) can yield real benefits such as greater income that impacts the entire family, according to new findings by Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR-ICRAF) scientists.
Bonn/Dubai, 9 December 2023 – Germany will host the next Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June 2024, which will also mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), one of the three Rio Conventions alongside climate and biodiversity.
Although knowledge gaps concerning integrated landscape approaches (ILA) are closing, there are still as many questions as there are possible solutions around the popular concept, say researchers investigating ILAs.Diverse landscapes across Ghana, Zambia, and Indonesia, where ILAs are being researched, trigger many of the same questions about the impacts on human and environmental well-being, COLANDS team members said during the Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) Network conference in October 2023.
Call for contributions Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit - Share your climate initiatives and innovations in the EU!
European actors committed to adapting to climate change in the European Union, submit your project and contribute to the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8-9 February in Liège! For the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8 and 9 February 2024 in Liège, Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit has launching a call for contributions in the European Union! The climate actions selected will be presented by their promoters at the Pitch Corner, a space at the heart of the event. They will also be published on the Cartography for Action, which lists best practices and innovative climate initiatives that can be replicated on a larger scale.