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We would like to thank both, Education Caucus members who helped with the advanced preparations and those who actively worked on our behalf during the UN Climate Change Conference, for all their hard work. Our Copenhagen Team of 44 grew in numbers at the Conference through our partners and networks, governmental and non-governmental, enabling the Education Caucus to more fully participate in the various informal focal point meetings, delegation meetings, press briefings, the various partnership venues and more. We held daily Caucus meetings, and communicated often during the day into the evening. The following report highlights the results of these efforts.
The Copenhagen Conference marked the culmination of a two-year informal dialogue and negotiating processes to enhance international climate change cooperation under the Bali Roadmap, an outcome of COP 13, December 2007. The focus was on long-term issues and the negotiations resulted in the adoption of the Bali Action Plan (BAP), establishing the AWG-LCA with a mandate to focus on key elements of long-term cooperation identified during the Convention Dialogue, namely: mitigation; adaptation; finance; and technology and capacity building. The Bali Action Plan also called for articulating a “shared vision for long-term cooperative action,” including a long-term global goal for emission reductions. The two key bodies under the Bali Roadmap are the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP, which held negotiating sessions in 2008 culminating in the UN Conference on Climate Change, held in Poznan, Poland and in 2009 leading up to COP 15, marking the end of these dialogues and informal processes.
Approximately 119 world leaders attended the joint COP and COP/MOP High Level segment from December 16-19, 2009, one of the largest gatherings of world leaders outside of New York. Unprecedented attention by the media and Civil Society, where an estimated 40,000 people applied for accreditation at the conference, including government delegates, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, faith-based, media and
UN agencies, and more. The Government of Denmark over two years planned and organized what was an exceptional international conference venue to set the stage for the crafting of an international agreement many hoped would be a fair, ambitious and equitable document that would bring the world together to set a path to address climate change and climate impacts. The venue was expanded to encourage a voice for civil society in the process, recognizing they play an important role in climate change. By the time COP 15 started, the overwhelming flood of people, some delegations bringing as many as 800+ representatives, the Bella Center was near capacity. Behind the scenes, here are the numbers for the host country, Many of you have already shared your insights and experiences with what was suppose to be a smooth transition, turned into confusion and overload.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB “IISD Reporting”) reports, “… Late on Friday evening, these talks resulted in political agreement entitled the “Copenhagen Accord,” which was not based on the texts developed by either of the AWGs. Details of the agreement were widely reported by the media before the COP closing plenary. While most reports highlighted that Heads of State had been able to “seal the deal,” almost everyone participating in the negotiations openly admitted that it was “far from a perfect agreement.
Strengthen the Future Agreement – “takes note” of the Copenhagen Accord During the closing COP plenary, which lasted nearly 13 hours, discussions ensued on the transparency of the process that had led to the conclusion of the Copenhagen Accord and on whether the COP should adopt it. Most negotiating groups supported its adoption as a COP decision in order to operationalize it as a step towards “a better” future agreement. Some developing countries, however, opposed the Accord reached during what they characterized as an “un-transparent” and “undemocratic” negotiating process. During informal negotiations facilitated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon during the night and early morning, parties agreed to adopt a COP decision whereby the COP “takes note” of the Copenhagen Accord, which was negotiating text under both AWGs. Based on a note (FCCC/ AWGLCA/2009/4, Parts I and II), prepared by AWG-LCA Chair Michael Zammit Cutajar (Malta), discussions at AWG-LCA 5 focused on elaborating elements for a draft negotiating text to be prepared by Chair Zammit Cutajar for AWG-LCA 6.”
In Bali, we learned from our analysis that a 5th Building Block, the “Human Dimensions”, building a well-prepared society, was missing in the whole of the Bali Road Map and Plan of Action with the aim of producing an agreement in Copenhagen, new commitments post 2012, and beyond to 2020/2050. These became our starting points for strengthening the notion of a well-prepared society that would create an enabling environment utilizing Environmental Education and Learning for Sustainable Development. Accordingly our briefing evolved to its current form. Continuing to build upon our successes, we found further support for our briefing in Poznan, Poland COP14 and the AWG-LCA meetings leading up to
COP 15. Team members were present and actively participated in the April, August meetings in Bonn, Germany, followed by virtual input for the meeting in Bangkok, and on the ground for the Barcelona, Spain meeting in early November. Input was provided regarding the text in preparation of COP 15 during the final weeks. As it can be seen in the language of the texts, our government informal support networks, international organizations, and CSD partners helped articulate our aims. These successes can be seen in the LCA texts. (See Appendix D for Highlights of Text)
In partnership, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, served as our National Focal Point sponsor for the UN CSD Education Caucus Copenhagen Team. Acting Head of the COP 15 delegation, Dick Ballhorn played a key role in guiding the Team on the ground to produce our recommendations through briefings and background papers and media coverage. Much of the work in the Bella Center meetings involved discussions, negotiations of text, and sorting out procedural details. In Poznan, Poland CSD 14, we decided to target the work within the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA). Our interventions with government representatives were built upon our analysis of text and our efforts to identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen the needed focus on developing a well-prepared society resilient to climate impacts.
Co-Facilitator Trevor Harvey, with additional input from the COP 15 Team, guided us through the accreditation process while he prepared Team Members with briefings and background papers. Co-Facilitator Bremley Lyngdoh played a key role working with Team members regarding external affairs, building potential partnerships, being a spokesperson where needed, and recruiting additional support through representatives from other organizations to speak to our briefings and interventions regarding the LCA text. Co-Facilitator Pam Puntenney provided virtual support as needed for text analysis, recommendations, potential opportunities, keeping our list of key delegations updated and informed, and more. Most important the Team provided expertise, energy, and talent to move the agenda forward.
Working with and sharing mutual interests with other international organizations is one of our keys to building on our successes. For COP 15 we added Earthchild Institute, World Aquarium and the Conservation of Oceans Foundation, Canadian Wildlife Federation Learning Institute, various youth lead climate organizations, and UNESCO. Trade Unions, Women, Indigenous People, Local Authorities, Science and Technology, and other constituencies also provided additional support, solicited our input, and posted our announcements to their networks.
The Education Caucus organized a working Forum on climate change entitled “Engaging Stakeholders in Civil Society”. The event was co-sponsored by: World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation, and UNESCO.
The event was held on December 15th, 2009 resulting in both an informative and lively discussion. Dick Ballhorn served as Chair and Rapporteur for the Forum. Invited keynote speakers were:
Leonard Sonnenschein set the stage for the working forum with an overview on the theme of “Catastrophe Now: Tipping Points and Transformations” leaving the audience to think about these three simple messages:
Over 50 people moved in and out of the four sessions, almost filling the room to capacity, thus we met our goal of reaching a large, diverse audience by engaging people in the topic of engaging civil society. The media were present and reported on the event.
More details about the side event, including highlights of the presentations and discussion points, and links to a copy of the full text for each presenter.
(See Appendix C-a & C-b)
Taking into account all the comments and recommendations we have received, our policy briefing continues to evolve reflecting the current work on crafting an agreement now, post 2012 and 2020/2050. The COP 15 Team worked on crafting a text briefing on LCA 14, “Working for a Well-Prepared Society: Participation, Public Awareness and Education” that was circulated to government officials, UN family of organizations, international and civil society organizations. A number of
our virtual team members. CSD Education Caucus members provided feedback on the working draft, support with networking and lobbying. The results were impressive; given our briefing continues to have good currency in the global policy making arena on climate change, especially in terms of approaches and relevant terminology toward achieving the aims of Long-term Cooperative Action.
(See Appendix B)
The mediating phrase, “A Well-Prepared Society”, focusing on the work of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) has brought us to a level of awareness that what is needed now is a “hook” to capture the attention of a majority of delegates to transform their commitment into mechanisms and support spelled out in the final agreement.
(See Appendix A)
To note a few of the key impacts in Copenhagen, the COP 15 Team built working relationships while they networked and raised questions about education in their activities. Much of this work was done on the side, over coffee, attending side events in the three civil society forums, and in small meetings. We were invited to present at a Canadian Wildlife Federation breakfast regarding the education policy briefing, the UN CSD Education Caucus, and make recommendations as to where and on what points we might collaborate. These resulted in smaller meetings that led to lobbying and furthering our networks of support.
A note on Article VI on training, public awareness, and communications is a separate section of the Framework. The UN CSD Education Caucus has identified a serious gap in the whole, addressing the missing “Human Dimensions” building block that will create an enabling environment to achieve a well-prepared society through Environmental Education and Learning for Sustainable Development. With each of our interventions coupled with other advocates efforts, Article VI is both expanding in scope and garnering more support as part of implementation processes.
The COP 15 Team with our networks, utilized media opportunities to raise awareness and inform delegations. Moetia Castellani, Carolyne Okeijn, Indiana Baseden, assisted the COP 15 Education Team with publicity, communications, and outreach, during Week 1 and Week 2. The Canadian Wildlife Federation Learning Institute produced a video that includes portions of the December 15th side event that can be viewed on YouTube. A summary of these efforts is posted to the relevant web links.
(See Appendix D)
What’s new…I would like to invite you all to discover an exciting news agency of which I am a writer. As the world's first all-youth event-specific press agency, G-1 Billion represents a unique new model of real-
time media distribution. The project has united, engaged and developed young people around the issues of climate change at COP-15. We are looking to form partnerships with organisations aligned with our purpose that can help us get the word out
Please may I ask you to forward the link to your networks of young people around the world, and to anyone who is interested in youth perspectives on COP-15 and various topics related to climate change: Citizen Action, Business, Policy & Government, Translating the Science. I have just published with my colleague Tiago A. Pinto Pereira, the following relevant articles:
Our morning briefings provided a way for us to check-in and set our work program for the day. Throughout the meetings we lobbied government delegates, Civil Society Organizations, UN partners, some of the UN agencies, and more, asking people to share the briefing with their key people to be discussed in their delegation meetings. The focus on LCA, the huge gap/opportunity regarding the human dimensions component, and the three metaphors we chose resonated with delegations: 1) a well-prepared society; 2) engaging people in sustainability; and 3) learning society, learning organizations. All agree with the three aims.
Our policy briefing was well received in Bali at the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2007. Our purpose was to focus on the missing 5th Building Block, the Human Dimensions - a well-prepared society, Environmental Education and Sustainable Development situated within the context of Adaptation/Adaptation Fund and mitigating the impacts of climate. A number of delegations and government coalitions/ partnerships such as SIDS, G-77 and China, EU and others have picked up on the briefing and have been using it in their dialogues. This work has evolved and continues to have an impact as the components of the documents are discussed, negotiated, and refined.
Preparations for COP 16 to be held in Cacun, Mexico are underway. The second meeting of Ministers of the four BASIC group countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) took place in New Delhi on 24 January 2010. The Ministers underscored the centrality of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) process and the decision of the parties to carry forward the negotiations on the two tracks of Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) under the convention and the Ad hoc
Working Group on further emission reduction commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) in 2010 leading up to COP-16 and COP/MOP6 at Mexico. The Ministers reiterated that all negotiations must be conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner.
The Ministers called upon the COP President (Denmark) to convene meetings of the two negotiating groups (AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP) in March 2010 and to ensure that the AWGs meet at least five times before the Mexico conference. They emphasised that funding, logistics and other procedural issues should not be allowed to become a constraint in the convening of these meetings which are essential to make progress towards an agreed outcome at COP-16.
If you go to the UN Climate Change site you will find information about what is happening but especially the schedule of meetings. We are looking for 2-3 people to cover each of the five meetings over the next 10 months. If you are available and interested, let us know.
Also, it is important to keep abreast with what is happening in your own backyard, at the community, sub-regional, national, regional, and global levels of engagement. Brief climate change reports from you are most welcome. Climate change and climate impacts, Environmental Education and Learning for Sustainable Development leading to a well-prepared society, will play an ever-larger role in the work of the UN CSD, the UNFCCC, and the implementation of Agenda 21.
To stay updated, visit: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
All the best,
The Copenhagen Team, Virtual and On-the-Ground
Acting Head of the UN CSD Education Caucus COP 15 Delegation
UN CSD Education Caucus Co-Coordinators:
Pam Puntenney, Bremley Lyngdoh, and Trevor Harvey
COP 15 National Focal Point for the CSD Education Caucus:
Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
“… an international multi-stakeholder organisation working on sustainable development; supporting the increased involvement of stakeholders in international processes. “
For Further Information on the UN and Climate Change, updates, and scheduled meetings, visit: Gateway to the UN System's Work on Climate Change
For information on the IPCC Synthesis Report, visit The IPCC Assessment Reports site.
“Today we have taken a significant step forward, but let me be clear: the road ahead is still very long. Climate change remains the defining challenge of our time. The journey will be difficult, but it is one we must make. And it is one we must make together. The science demands it. The global economy needs it. And the lives and well-being of billions depends on it.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
COP 15 closing plenary, December 19, 2009
“… we’re now in a cooling off period that gives countries useful and needed time to resume their discussions with each other. “If countries follow up the outcomes of Copenhagen calmly, with eyes firmly on the advantage of collective action, they have every chance of completing the job….
Three key things that Copenhagen produced are: 1) It raised climate change to the highest level of government; 2) The Copenhagen Accord reflects a political consensus on the long-term, global response to climate change; 3) The negotiations brought an almost full set of decisions to implement rapid climate action near to completion.”
UNFCCC Executive Secretary,Yvo de Boer
Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009
The 1977 Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education was held to follow-up on direction from the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and has been further elaborated in the outcomes from the 1992 Earth Summit in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, desertification, and food security. It has become apparent to many in the international community and the Education Caucus of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development that there is a need to:
There is a shared concern, within the context of regional and national climate change strategies, to achieve effective integration, cooperation and coordination to act with a unity of purpose.
“Learning societies” and “learning organizations” lie at the heart of strategically addressing these global responsibilities at the local level.
These realities require a strong commitment to the following actions in a post-2012 climate regime:
UN CSD Education Caucus
Contact: Dr. P.J. Puntenney
We appreciate the efforts made by national delegations to introduce a number of references to participation, learning and education in the LCA14 text. This language goes some way to respond to points made by the Education Caucus during the negotiations. However, this language needs to be clearer and stronger, particularly as regards cross-sectoral issues and their associated impacts and the need for significant new funding for education.
The comments below recognize the progress made and are put forward in an effort to strengthen the language and possibilities in this area:
The references speak of the need to seek ‘active participation of all stakeholders’. What is missing are references to stakeholders ‘participation in decision-making’. Without access to governance and decision-making processes, participation by citizens is often only a token, with no real impact on government thinking, planning or practice.
We believe that the language in para. 11, page 23, are inadequate as currently written. It supports the business as usual approach weakening and undermining the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies, and civil society, which respect the interests of all and protects the integrity of the global environment and developmental system. It also overlooks the lessons learned and innovative strategies among local communities, the first nations and indigenous groups that have had to deal directly with climate impacts.
These realities require a strong commitment to ensure the following actions in a post-2012 climate regime:
Dick Ballhorn (Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future), Chair
Ram Boojh (National Professional Officer, Ecological Sciences, UNESCO) and
Leonard Sonnenschein(World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation)
Ram Boojh (RB) spoke about the partnership with WHO and UNESCO in developing capacity building at the grassroots level in order to help local vulnerable communities manage their climate change challenges. He provided several examples of climate change hot spots like Sundarbans, Rajhestan, Meghalia, mentioning their frequent floods and droughts, deforestation, peoples involvement, informal education and outlining different programs to highlight traditional medicines and health issues and climatic adaptability. He mentioned various issues/concerns related to climate change; biodiversity, local indigenous knowledge, health, cyclones, delayed and longer summers or monsoon, vulnerabilities, hot spots, economic drivers and stressed the importance of educational programs with dissemination of knowledge in formal and informal sectors.
Q: Where does international funding need to be provided for the work RB is engaged in?
A: RB responded that financing needs to be provided for adaptation technology and community needed indigenous responses. Education is basic for using formal and traditional based community solutions to address the local livelihood crisis.
Q: Is there an international Plan of Action on Education & climate change impacts?
A: UNESCO has an international plan including curriculum, modules, training, and climate change knowledge partnerships. UNESCO is also involved in: Oceans monitoring, Weather monitoring with UNEP & IMO and the UN Lead on the International Decade of Education for Sustainable development. It is accessing/reaching 200+ million people on formal and informal education issues
Q: What is the role of IT in assisting in transition of livelihoods & better management of environmental resources?
A: India has good IT expertise and is utilizing IT in data centres, network, facilitation etc. UNESCO has a Biodiversity plan including use of IT. IT is being used by various sectors including forest management, animal counts, biodiversity assessment etc.
Q: Should cow dung burning be encouraged to help control vector borne diseases when it causes respiratory health problems and contributes to air pollution and global warming?
A: Burning of cow dung is very effective in controlling mosquitoes not only in traditional mud houses but also villages and is a traditional method of controlling malaria. In areas where it has been abandoned malaria has become a problem again.
Q: Bremley Lyngdoh raised the issue of nuclear energy vis a vis proposed uranium mining in his home area in northern India. The proposed mining will cause 500 hectares of deforestation, creating climate refugees in the area, creating uranium enriched water pollution that will impact on Bangladesh just a few kilometres downstream. It will occur in an area that has been blessed with huge number of plant species and animal species. This area also had a military base that caused damage to the forest, community, biodiversity which uranium mining would only make worse.
A: The issue is defense related issue and not one on which RB was informed. However, the area is a biodiversity hot spot, a designated world biodiversity heritage site, with more than 100 + indigenous types of citrus fruit trees. He said the Indian government needs to prioritize the issues and responses and work on protecting and preserving the area.
Another audience member commented that although it is a priority to reduce GHG gases and climate change impacts it should not be done at the cost of a technology with high environmental, health and safety issues resulting from nuclear fuel production and fuel waste management technologies. It is a misguided notion that nuclear energy is a renewable energy. In addition nuclear power plant construction causes significant GHG emissions.
Bernard Combes (Programme Specialist for Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO)
In the spring of 2009, the Bonn World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development was held as a mid-decade review of the DESD. 22 interactive workshops and 25 best practice exhibitions was a part of the conference. The conference objectives were to highlight relevancy, exchange knowledge and develop strategies for the way ahead. It was a key area of strategic action to create synergies and to build partnerships; but to do this there is a need to firstly understand each other.
The fact that innovation and creativity is destroyed and the fact that textbooks are boring was also a debated problem. UNESCO can give guidelines, but not go out to each place in need of help and do the job for them. Therefore there was a focus on providing policy advice to countries.
Q: Noman Qadir commented that we are the most polluting and destroying society ever.
A: BC said it came down to a question of values. For negotiators, values are not the hard facts they can work with. We need to change behaviours. UN needs to uphold respect. A synergy with UNU and others is helpful with expertise.
Q: Darren Willman, who is blogging with 30 young people from around the world, asked whether web2.0 or e-learning, could be a way forward?
A: It is a challenge, especially because the IT-department at UNESCO has forbidden blogging. But it is a way to get messages across and a way to gain new knowledge. E-learning would be out of reach for many people in the world because of their lack of internet access and therefore other methods should be considered. Ram Boojh, UNESCO
office, New Delhi commented that in Bhutan the planning commission is concerned with values and happiness as issues.
Comment: Arthur Dahl — There is a need to re-energize discussions. Maintaining partnerships takes time.
Q: Bo Chung: In China the basic problem in rural areas is that working age people move into the cities.
A: There is a need to convince implementers of new strategies. In France they are trying to unpack learning systems. If the city government or regional government is green then the public tends to follow better. A basic problem is to integrate green practices to the public in cooperation with the local schools.
Q: Brian Mackey: How is climate change starting to be incorporated? COP15 is like a fever – everyone talks about it. Everything is linked and you have to balance the different components like climate and social issues.
A: Economy is often not the thing people talk about. We need to remember it, though people tend to want to simplify matters by leaving it out of the context. UNESCO has a certain image and people need time to adapt to their new approach.
Another audience member raised the issue of women in the climate discussion. Gender issues must not be forgotten, though women have smaller footprint than men. But again it is said: to unbundle things like these takes time and effort. But it is a work in progress and small steps are taken each day.
For more information: United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)
Father Paul Mayer (Theologian, Writer, and Co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition)
The time has come for a “Global Interfaith Convocation for the Earth”, called by the leaders of the world’s great religious traditions. Such a gathering would issue an inspired prophetic appeal to the planet announcing the extremity of the crisis of global warming and a call for a worldwide mobilization to reverse this danger while there is still time. This would be a message of hope, but not of easy optimism. Its hope would lie in a concrete plan of action based on the best scientific economic information and would include the input of the poor, of indigenous, young people and of women. . This message would state the dangerous consequences of non-action or of inadequate measures in a clear and honest way.
At its core there would be spiritual call for climate justice based on a demand for equity between the developing and the developed world. This would include an equitable assignment of carbon reduction between the North and the South. Such a strategy must also provide the tools to the developing world to achieve these goals.
As we accept this challenge and do our daily work for the earth, if we sometimes experience discouragement or even feel the icy breath of despair upon us, may the fire of divine grace warm our hearts. May we never forget that our God is a God of wonders and of surprise. Finally, may
we take comfort in the wisdom of the holy Rabbi Hillel: “Even if I knew that I would die tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today.”
Comment: Religious community is not coming together and mobilizing enough possibly for fear of causing mass hysteria. Do we not have the responsibility to prepare our people for that need of concrete planning?
Q: In Meghalaya, religious leaders have said “no” to uranium mining – in books, talk of stewardship. Why is the church not tougher on politicians, on the guys who have power but don’t behave in the moral way that you have been talking about? Shouldn’t the religious use the power they have and teach about their values?
A: The New Testament says. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. Religious leaders can get too involved in political interests, in the power structure, and lose focus. There is an example in the US state of New Jersey where a religious high school is about to build new athletic fields and tennis courts on land that will require them to cut down old forest areas. In spite of all opposition in the community, the school is colluding with local government to cut the trees down. We need religious leaders to identify their power. We need to encourage them to be prophetic and courageous.
Q: Right now in US, there is opposition coming from Catholics on health care reform because it could be used to provide abortions. How does the religious community establish boundaries on the political issues it deals with?
A: Personal view – the US Catholic bishops’ position is scandalous. Personal belief: Medicare for all! In my view the view they are taking is not Christian theology, not what Jesus had in mind.
Q: Fundamental problem – western material culture and consumerism dominate current society attitudes. There is a lack of spirituality and an alternative path for those communities that do not correspond with western material culture. Need transitions towards a more spiritual path.
A: “We have so much to learn from indigenous people”. When it comes to the earth, indigenous people do not make a distinction between the political and spiritual. Not just spiritual leaders, but many people. I have done a lot of work with young people and they often feel disconnected to religion, and I might add: on good grounds, and they have much more comfort in connecting with the earth on this spiritual level – we have a lot to learn from them on this perspective.
Q: The prophecies – what message do they want to get across?
A: I have done a lot of work with Native American people. Hopi people. “If the two legged don’t get their acts together, mother earth is going to move into tough love”. We keep abusing and violating our mother. Prophecies teach that if there is not some change (in minds and actions) then there will be a time of cataclysmic of people, or more general problems. Pray that as we speak, our friends in conference center will get their act together and do something significant. Cannot compromise mediocrity anymore.
Q: You have talked a lot about despair – do you want to share how to deal with the despair of, how to deal with the enormity of the problem?
A: A leader must speak with such clarity, integrity and hope. “Despair will come” unless there is radical change in human activity, we will be seeing rises of the ocean as much as 6 feet. The whole southwestern part of the U.S. will be turned into a dustbowl. We must be preparing with despair.
I was the founder of a project called “Earth Circles” – programme of having gatherings (small or big) in living rooms, churches, temples, community centres, schools – people would get together not only to plan strategy but also to create
a space for people to talk about their feelings. Founded also project called “Children of war” – stressing important of youth leadership and youth import. We gathered youth from all over the world (indigenous people, south America, Asia, etc.) - it was a youth leadership programme. These young people had witnessed many atrocities, so first process was “healing of the hearts”. The result was they opened up their leadership potential on a much deeper level. We need space for people to talk about their fears, their despair, and their pessimism. The next step: concretely what can we begin to do regarding all these issues in our communities. (Visit Earth Circles).
This should be the major role of the religious community- we are going to see a lot more despair amongst the youth. When arms race crisis was at its peak, a study showed the increasing despair and hopelessness of children and youth. “I’m not going to have children: look what is going to happen, we are going to have all these floods, etc.” – daughter to her father – freaked him out. Youth still have purity of heart. Treated as a problem by a culture rather than as a resource. They are our greatest resources in creativity, in open heartedness, to learn how to deal with their enemies, to open- mindedness. Parents need to be prepared for this: parents need not freak out and avoid the subject. The idea of a communal setting of sharing feelings, sit in that circle, and listen to each other – healing power and creates an open space and makes it permissible for them to talk about feelings.
Bremley Lyngdoh (Founder and CEO, Worldview Impact)
Began by showing an award-winning video made by pupils from Shooters Hill School in London, led by volunteering students from the organisation SIFE at Kings College, London about the Carbon Neutral Dance and Carbon Neutral Artist Karen David. This project has demonstrated that merging arts and fun with raising awareness about the issues of climate change, environmental degradation and poverty and the practical solutions incorporating social, environmental and economic aspects of development as implemented by Worldview Impact’s social enterprise model. Shooters Hill won an award for its work.
We have been able to mobilise young artists from around the world to donate their work of arts and media to involve young people worldwide. We need to shift from a “Business as usual” approach – we need a fundamental paradigm shift. This needs to start with young entrepreneurs who can make changes around the world.
Q: How do you ensure transparency that money goes to where it is supposed to go?
A: Our structure set in place, potential investors are invited/required to visit the project grounds and meet the people before they invest, and there is no exit strategy, they are with us all the way through the 30 year project life cycle. We have a partnership with auditors Ernst & Young and the law firm, Baker & McKenzie. We are trying to learn from our experience on the ground. Focus all our efforts on the ground, for the country ships to grow and eventually become
Q: What about transparency?
A: We’ve worked with the local country teams in World Bank projects and UN related events for 10 years. We have monitored them and know that they are trustworthy. They run the show, we channel investment to them.
I would like to invite you all to discover an exciting news agency of which I am a writer. As the world's first all-youth event-specific press agency, G-1 Billion represents a unique new model of real-time media distribution. The project has united, engaged and developed young people around the issues of climate change at COP-15. We are looking to form partnerships with organisations aligned with our purpose that can help us get the word out. Please may I ask you to forward the link to your networks of young people around the world, and to anyone who is interested in youth perspectives on COP-15 and various topics related to climate change: Citizen Action, Business, Policy & Government, Translating the Science. I have just published with my colleague, Tiago A. Pinto Pereira, the following relevant articles:
Daily Newsletter at COP-15 UNFCCC negotiations
Published by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
Daily Editor Stephen Mooney