An encouraging start to what is going to be a busy programme. The only downside was the rain which had come down in torrents all night and continued through the first half of the morning ruining my ambition to do the walk each day and forcing me to take a taxi to the Centre instead. It was the first substantial rain for months and the irony was not lost on those attending the Climate Change Conference!
I went straight to the UNFCCC Secretariat office on arrival to see if we could have a stand for the first week. I was told there was a long waiting list for any no-shows. I left my card and by the end of the afternoon received an email saying we had been allocated one. I then returned to the riad, collected the display material and returned to ‘decorate’ the booth
During the morning I attended an ‘impromptu’ side event held in one of the main corridors in the Green Zone. It was about climate change and cultures so when asked what I did, I was given a platform to speak about INTO and our work.
On from there to an excellent stand by INDH, the National Initiative for Human Development, a Moroccan based organisation concerned with sustainable livelihoods as a form of mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It included many agricultural, health and handicraft projects.
On the way out I was stopped by a reporter/journalist who asked me what I did and said, on discovering, that he would like an inspirational filmed statement to motivate the kids in Morocco about the need to protect the planet. I tried to oblige as best I could!
After a rather grim lunch (the catering facilities leave a lot to be desired!) Andrew Potts and I attended an excellent side event about preserving the cultural and natural heritage of the Draa Valley in the Sahara desert through education and conservation. The organisation which is very small, deserve the chance to take advantage of the best practices amongst the membership so I left them with the thought that they might wish to join INTO! Watch this space. But how refreshing to hear others talking about these issues at a climate change conference.
Just after completing the booth a woman next door said “ I know you!” It was the organiser of the Climate Change TV interviews who I had spoken to on a number of occasions in Paris at COP 21. The upshot was that she has arranged for me to be interviewed tomorrow afternoon and will almost certainly have space to interview both Cathy and Chloe once they are here
And now back at the riad I am preparing for the first of the side events at which Andrew and I will be speaking – at the UNESCO Pavilion tomorrow morning!
Oliver Maurice 7 Nov 2016