Being at our Stand in Cancun Messe . . . .is an interesting experience as many passers by, on seeing the words “spiritual university” are amazed and want to know more about the relationship between spirituality and climate change and are also interested in our presence here.
Some are representatives of Parties, (Governments) some are delegates from NGOs, and others are students and volunteers—many of whom are Mexicans and so we were able to connect them with local BK centers. We also spend time visiting the stands of others with whom we feel related; because of nationality, or related interests (renewable energies, diet, religion, etc.). Connecting to others in this way is also an open door for building relationships with other organizations and sharing our vision on the negotiations, and eventually solutions.
In one of the breakout meeting rooms . . . . there was a side event on
Gender and climate change finance: Empowering women to lead in the new green economy. The voice was given to seven women from many countries, including both Ministers of Environment from Mexico and Finland, the Director of UN Development Program and the Executive Director of the UN World Food Program. There was an opportunity to speak with the two ladies from the UN organizations and introduce the Brahma Kumaris as a women organization.
They invited us to contact them after the COP for further cooperation. The event was to showcase gains in women’s empowerment in climate change finance and the green economy. The hall was absolutely packed, to the extent that security was required to prevent more people entering. Inside, not one seat was available and more than a hundred were sitting on the floor or standing wherever they could fit. There is great possibility for future cooperation in women’s’ initiatives, as one of the main speakers is from South Africa, the venue for next years COP conference.
In the plenary room . . . . were vice presidents and environment ministers speaking of the need for an agreement and co-operation. In the walkway . . . to the plenary there was a “UN Climate Wall” with seven screens with headphones. We stopped to find out what was happening. The sales person from Hewllet Packard explained that these screens with headphones can be used for conference calls of up to hundred people with nine people appearing on the screen at the same time.
As all international organizations have a problem with their ecological footprint because of too much travel, this is one quality solution for meetings – a high quality conference call. The salesperson went on to demonstrate this solution and hooked Valeriane up.
At the very time she looked into the screen she saw images of people from the Climate Change Village at the other end of the town, and by incredible coincidence, the person looking into the screen at the same time at the other end of town, was a person from Hawaii, who works with Humans Rights in Geneva, where Valeriane is stationed and she knows him well – they were both amazed and everyone thought this a good story to promote visual conference calls - two people from different parts of the world meet by chance via the screen from two different locations in Mexico and can easily decide whether to meet in person.
Friday 10th December.
We had a good last day packing up all the things from our stand, attending strategy meetings for Durban next year and walking around COP16 exhibition halls, speaking with other delegates, getting good ideas, sharing both possibilities and concerns, and saying goodbye.