Thursday, 3 December 2009

Cold feet, warm hearts

Workshop ideas at the UNICEF Children's Climate Forum.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase
On Tuesday, we returned to our host school and went on a field trip to the Experimentarium - Copenhagen's interactive science museum. It was a really fun break from all the recent hard work, and the local students were really welcoming and enthusiastic.

After lunch, we returned to the town hall and presented our mitigation groups in a market stall format, which was so much more effective than the presentations that the adaptation groups carried out yesterday. The facilitators have been really responsive to our feedback, including issues surrounding food and the length of the plenary sessions. All the ambassadors shared what they had learned and discussed in the main hall, whilst I was given the difficult (yet fulfilling) task of explaining the Cap and Trade system. Some of the ideas that came out of the discussion included; a community bike scheme for African school children and a cultural exchange between developed and developing countries, where schools can transfer skills and resources for climate change projects.

The day ended on a real high note with a tour of the city. It was a really beautiful way to spend the evening, after which Cressie was interviewed for a UNICEF Education 4 Development video. We have been bombarded with media opportunities during and after the forum, and I am just off to record an interview for Radio 5's breakfast show for tomorrow.

Planting trees at a field trip at the UNICEF Children's Climate Forum 2009 in Copenhagen.UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

Wednesday morning was spent in the freezing cold forest, where we did tree planting and pancake making over a camp fire. Whilst Luke couldn't feel his feet by the end of the morning, I accidently set my shoes alight, and lots of pancakes landed either on the ground or on somebody's lap, it was great to get some fresh air and contribute to Denmark's huge reforestation scheme - they hope to increase tree cover by 25% in the next 50 years.

Climate Ambassadors at a field trip at the UNICEF Children's Climate Forum 2009 in Copenhagen.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

The rest of the afternoon was packed with Climate Ambassador Programme skills training, where I took part in the Solar Power workshop, where we made our own solar panels that eventually powered a radio, and the Communication Advocacy workshop, where we focused on lobbying.

The COP message group also presented their ideas to us. They hope to write a declaration, a booklet and create a video and power point. Eight climate ambassadors from developing countries have also been selected to represent the world's children at the UN Conference, which shows what amazing progress we have made in terms of children's rights.

Climate Ambassadors at the UNICEF Children's Climate Forum 2009 in Copenhagen.
UNICEF UK/2009/Rowan Boase

Finally, we got into our interest groups again and my group - the Climate Ambassador Programme group - made real progress, forming a detailed action plan on producing certain outputs from the forum. These include, collating a contact list of all the delegates, organising an international day of youth climate action and developing a list of community action ideas.

As you can tell, we have all been rather busy but are having amazing times. We cannot believe we only have two days left of the forum - the experience has certainly exceeded all my expectations.

Katie x


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