Monday, 7 December 2009

Cloud nine: On track

The team travelling home from the Forum, but only beginning their new journeys as Climate Ambassadors.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

The children’s Climate Forum has been an apex of passion, commitment and inspiration. Sitting here on the train from Copenhagen to Cologne I feel so enormously privileged. Despite my tiredness I feel high on the euphoria of being part of something so fantastic that has given the world’s children an opportunity to voice their concerns about an issue that all too often jeopardises our basic rights. To hear my newfound friends at the Forum saying, ‘we can’t go to school when the rain is very heavy', has further motivated me and has exemplified how climate change induced disasters deny our fellow citizens the right to education, health and happiness. It has been reassuring to know that I am not alone in my quest to 'right' these wrongs and together, as one, we can be a tide of change, with today being the day of the wave march in London.

Some of the delegates at the Forum after a brilliant week of working together.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

The last two days of the Forum have been greater than ever with yet more fantastic workshops, where I created my very own silicon solar panel! And even used it to power a cutting edge cardboard buggy. Understanding such technology will play a key role in the Primary School workshops I will continue to run. Within my political and advocacy group the incredible opportunity of hosting a question and answer session with both the Chinese and Moldavian negotiators arose, for which I was elected co-chairperson. Unfortunately, the Chinese pulled out at the last minute and we were left with a redundant script and pre-prepared questions, compounded by the fact that the Moldivian negotiator was over twenty minutes late. Improvisation was the order to the day and in the true spirit of the Forum we rose up in the face of adversity and unanimously gained a greater understanding of how the negotiations will run at COP 15.

Cressie and others listen intently to the negotiator from the Maldives, as he discusses the reality of sealing a deal at the UN Climate Summit.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

The closing ceremony was as marvellous as the rest of the forum with our song ‘ It’s my world’ and the wondrous Alien Beat Club and the climax of handing over our manifesto to the Chair of the COP 15 negotiations. The highlight of the forum for me was when I was asked to attend the press conference, after the closing ceremony. I was nervous but determined to do justice to so many articulate participants and to communicate how Climate Change is as much of a moral issue as an ecological one.

Climate Ambassadors hand over a copy of the declaration to Connie Hedegaard, President of the COP15, at the closing ceremony of the Children's Climate Forum. UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

The closing party was a great opportunity to let our hair down and for me learn to dance the American way- more lessons are definitely required though! Regardless of language, everyone can communicate through dance and I strongly advocate the world leaders try it!

A delegate from Kirabati shows off some spectacular dance moves at the party!
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

On the last day we were also given our buddy Country, for which ours was Vietnam, a country that has been hard hit by global warming. I am determined to capitalise on such international links to launch an education programme and my, ‘Don’t Bake the Planet’ Campaign.

The Vietnamese and British Climate Ambassadors discuss how they can work together going into the future.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

Finally, our trip to Tivoli gardens was an array of festivity as fairy lights danced in the trees, making the skyline a wonder wall of colour and creating a truly magical experience. It was all FAB; my only hope is that COP15 shall be equally fabulous with a fair, ambitious and binding deal being reached.

The British and American Climate Ambassadors enjoy an incredibly Christmassy trip to Tivoli Gardens on their last day in Copenhagen.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

This is but the beginning…



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