Monday, December 7, 2009

COP15: Day 1

Our first day at COP15 was awesome!

This morning, there was so much energy outside the Bella Center with activists distributing pins and pamphlets. We showed our passes several times before making it to the exhibition hall where we setup our WAGGGS exhibit. We are sharing our WAGGGS exhibit with the World Association of the Scout Movement (WOSM).

At 10:30, the WAGGS delegation was a special guest at the UNICEF press conference. We listened to a panel with eight youth climate ambassadors, age 14-17, who attended the Children’s Climate Forum last week. The Children’s Climate Forum was a seven-day event with 164 participants from 44 countries. The youth formulated a Climate Declaration document where they promise to commit to personal lifestyle changes for the “common good” and engage with their governments to combat climate change.

It was very inspiring to hear the voices of the eight teenagers from developing nations speak. As part of the communications working group, Nellie, Margrethe, Julie, and I drafted several questions, of which our WAGGGS delegation asked two during the panel session! We asked questions about how girls and young women are affected by climate change in their countries. Angelique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and musician and Anggun, FAO Goodwill Ambassador and musician moderated the panel. Jacques Diouf, FAO Director General, introduced the session. Our WAGGGS delegation photographer Paul took photos of our delegation with the panel afterwards.

After lunch, I attended a session on women and the environment. Three women from different nations presented their stories about how women in their countries are impacted by climate change. There is a lack of gender equality in the climate change policy, and these women stressed the importance of gender in the text. It is also important to use the resources of women’s organizations and women’s networks to empower women to contribute to their communities (for example, WAGGGS!).

Next, the YOUNGO performed an action outside of the main plenary hall. We sang and danced to a climate song. There were so many cameras focused on the youth, and it was a fun action to perform as a unified group working toward climate justice and change.

Then, we all chased Linden through the corridor to listen to the Danish Prime Minister speak. It was very exciting.

Later in the afternoon, I spoke with many people who visited the Guides and Scouts stand in the exhibition area. It was nice to meet Guides, Scouts, and volunteers from other nations who were so excited to meet us and learn about what girls and young women are doing around the world to combat climate change.

In the early evening I attended a screening of “The Age of Stupid.” The screening was in a dome outside, and the movie was filled with facts about global warming. The film painted a picture of a bleak future for humanity if the temperature is not stabilized NOW.

This evening, Miriam, Gabi, and I attended the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYC). We represented WAGGGS at this meeting. On our way to the meeting we went on an adventure around Copenhagen in the dark before finding our destination with the help of our map. At the meeting, we discussed the potential and the importance of the international youth organizations to work together to get youth in the text of the policy. This group will meet every other day over the course of the next two weeks.

It was a long and busy day! I am looking forward to some sleep and the many more meetings at COP15 tomorrow. My patrol is responsible for making dinner tomorrow, and Miriam is going to teach us how to make a Kenyan rice dish.

Yours Truly in Guiding and Scouting,


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