— COP21 – Paris 2015 (@COP21) December 3, 2015
I had one of those stop in my tracks moment today. I popped into the Indigenous People’s pavilion which was packed to the rafters with people listening. In front of me was the President Anote Tong and Enele Sopoaga prime-minister of Kiribati and Tuvalu. I already knew that these and other island nations are right at the pointy end of climate change; last year they had their first ever cyclone which has torn into the islands, drinking water has turned saline, year on year flooding, outlying islands disappearing. When you hear a president stating that they are resigned to the fact that even with only a 1.5C temperature rise their country will mostly disappear and that they are now working on a dignified migration of their nation. (what would you feel like?) He was fighting the fight for other nations now already knowing the country is doomed. Inspiring …. He did not want our pity. He wanted our action!The huddling is intense here as it’s the full on communication phase of negotiation. Grouping, conversing, plotting, scenario setting and other such huddling terms. We had our own huddle at the INTO stand with ICOMOS and UNESCO to look at the ‘what’s next’ in getting greater exposure to heritage and culture in the next IPPC climate change report AR6. I don’t believe it! I am now fluent in jargon and acronyms. It’s only been a week! We’ve been invited to present the issue and discuss the process of developing a climate change assessment publicly on the UNESCO stand on Saturday.
Meeting Senegal people, Indonesians, Congolese and so on today. Sharing my culture and Welsh language. All had approached to talk of the International National Trusts Organisations ethos and the value of heritage and culture not only as something to be conserved but also as a tool to tackle climate change. Some traditional farming practices can help in changing conditions, some historic approaches to land management likewise and so on. Plenty of interest from around the world