Friday, December 4, 2009

Climate Change Conference Preparations in Copenhagen

I am now in Copenhagen! I wrote a collaborative blog entry with the other two American WAAAGS delegates today that is posted below.

"Hi! We are the Girl Scouts of the USA delegates at COP15, aka the UN Climate Change Conference. We are: Emily Rodriguez (NY), Maria Panaccione (WV), Sarah Kelty (KY).

Today was our first day of action in Copenhagen, Denmark with the World Association of Girl Guide and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). We spent the day in an orientation/training at the Danish Scout headquarters--the Holmen Center--here in Copenhagen.

We are part of a delegation of 19 young women ages 18-25 who represent the 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries. The other delegates come from 12 other countries, including Brazil, Australia, France, Sweden, Bolivia, Hungary, Kenya, Madagascar, Egypt, Denmark, Lebanon, Germany.

Today, we discussed the key messages we will promote at the Youth Conference (Dec. 5-6) and at COP15, which are:

1. Girls and young women have to be empowered because climate change disproportionately affects them.

2. Youth and civil society need to be a part of the solution to climate change.

3. Governments must strengthen their climate change commitments

We also reviewed our schedule for the next two weeks, which includes youth meetings, seminars, side events, and a special event with the other WAGGGS delegates to meet the Princess of Denmark!

Later, we formed working groups to tackle the different delegation areas: Communications/Blogging, Policy, Nonformal Education, Exhibition Stand, and Side Event/Action. Emily is a part of the Communications group, Maria joined the Policy group, and Sarah is helping out with the Action group.

Tonight we will be sharing our posters of projects within our own countries, such as GSUSA's Forever Green Community Action Project. We are excited to share Girl Scouts' contribution to the climate change movement and to hear about what other Scouts and Guides are doing in the rest of world.

We look forward to the start of the Conference of Youth tomorrow, and hope to keep everyone updated with daily blog entries!

Yours in Guiding and Scouting,
Sarah, Maria, and Emily"

I am looking forward to the start of the Conference of Youth tomorrow. It was exciting to present my poster about the GSUSA Forever Green Community Action Project and to learn the stories of the other young women from around the world. We received our WAGGGS scarves this evening from Linden (Deputy Chair of the World Board) and Bernadette (Advocacy Coordinator at WAGGGS headquarters in London). We are now official delegates of WAGGGS at this world conference which is an honor! Good night. I will try to post photos tomorrow after the conference.

Yours in Guiding and Scouting,

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