Without the constant source of emails and reports from the press and others who have access to the high level debates it is always difficult, as an Observer organisation, to get a handle as to what is really going on at the talks. Climate Action Network’s (CAN) daily ECO report from the negotiations is a great help in this respect. In their 4th ECO I was encouraged to read about some of the Parties’ visions for the new agreement that it is hoped will be reached by the end of the COP.
They highlighted the need for an agreement that supports human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples and who said that a Paris agreement will only be successful if it’s rooted in gender equality and intergenerational equity, delivering food security, ecosystem integrity and a just transition with decent jobs. ECO calls this Environmental Integrity and suggests that it be included in the text of the agreement.
It is just a pity that they don’t use the phrase ‘Cultural Integrity’ instead for, as Simon Molesworth so succinctly put it in the Victoria Declaration, « The destruction of a culture is a fundamental breach of the principle of intergenerational equity, in that a culture destroyed or diminished within the time of the current generation will deprive members of future generations their right to their cultural inheritance …the protection of cultural integrity is therefore a fundamental human right »
The Declaration goes on to say : « One remedy and necessary reform of the UN processes is to more effectively incorporate in the ‘language’ of climate change, in particular the UNFCCC, a recognition that the integrity of the cultures of all the peoples and nations are threatened by climate change »
Maybe the outcomes from our side event and the follow up presentations tomorrow to UNESCO will have an effect in this respect.
We have had a good number of visitors to the stand in the last few days including a number of Ugandans. Constance Okollet, an old friend from previous COPs who is Chair of a United Women Network of farmers in Osukuru, Uganda ; the CEO of the Ugandan Environmental Education Foundation ; and the Executive Coordinator of Youthplus who is keen to be in touch with CCFU. Hashim and his daughter also called by this afternoon but unfortunately I was at a Greenpeace side event that was promoting 100% renewables. They are planning to return on Monday.
Another caller on Thursday was Susanna Kari from the African Unit of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO, who had arranged my meeting next week with the Chief of that Unit, and who wanted a briefing for Mechtild Rossler who wishes to speak at the feedback session to UNESCO.
I have made contact with Nanette Woonton from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, to whose regular News I receive. She has put me in touch with Ana Tiraa, the IUCN Regional Councillor for Oceania, who is also present at the COP. She is the partner of Kevin Passfield who works for an NGO, Te Ipukerea, that Robin Yarrow and Elizabeth Erasito from the Fiji NT believe might be persuaded to join INTO. I am meeting with Ana to discuss this later today. Watch this space !