Delegate daily updates
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Watch this space as the COP 19 WAGGGS delegates update you on their daily progress.
This page is managed and updated by WAGGGS delegates. The content does not necessarily reflect or represent the views of WAGGGS.
Week 2 at COP19 - ministers arrives
I'm happy that most of the girls left Warsaw on Sunday, still feeling hopeful and inspired after a week of hard work but also a lot of fun. Week 2 has not only been very different from week 1, but also very difficult. Our girls have therefore avoided most of the angry and depressed feelings growing during this week.
After some sleep and time to relax on Sunday, we went back to the conference feeling alright, even if we were only 2 girls now and both of us were having a bad cold. Our focus this week would be gender policy and we organized a meeting with many other young people who also wanted to work on this issue. We attended meetings with the Womens constituency and made contacts with a lot of people. We also participated actively in several side events on gender, youth, public participation and public awareness.
However, on Tuesday morning, Amy had to go back to UK due to an emergency, which meant that I was left as the only WAGGGS delegate for the second week. I tried to do as much as I could on my own and I've had good support from people at the office, the scouts in Poland, my own organization at home as well as from all the amazing youth here at COP.
After sorting out some practical details, I continued working on gender for a while, together with other youth representatives. Tuesday was Gender Day at COP19 and I attended many interesting side events. On Wednesday, I gave 2 media interviews and participated in my second expert panel about communication and awareness raising. I also followed the High Level Segment - where all ministers came together and gave statements on behalf of their country. Another important question that other amazing youth representatives have been working hard with is Intergenerational Equity and I've tried to help this group too.
It's a different feeling here in the Stadium this week. You can noticed that many important people have arrived and more meetings are being organized behind closed doors. In some way it is a bit more exciting, but also a lot more frustrating. More actions have also been organized by different organizations this week. Yesterday, 800 people from the civil society waked out from the venue, because they are tired of waiting for climate justice and will instead focus on building the climate movement stronger from the outside. I sympathize with them, but I chose to stay so I can keep follow the negotiations, try to influence and report back to all of you girls out there! Today, 100 people screamed inside the Stadium: - "stop this madness, our voice, our future, our power! We want, we want action!"
It's been an overwhelming week, but I am extremely grateful that I get to represent an organization like WAGGGS at COP19. We have definitely showed that we care about the environment and we are already working on the solutions back home in our communities. That's real power! Thank you to all of you out there for doing your best in Saving the Planet!
All the Best,
Day Four at COP 19 - WAGGGS Capacity Building Action
As Kathleen mentioned in Day Two's blog, we believe that it's not possible to successfully implement any policy without including capacity building. We've run workshops to demonstrate this, have headed up a working group to ensure others are considering this and have encouraged other youth to get involved, however we still felt a fun and interactive action was called for.
We made signs explaining that capacity building underpins everything and also highlighting the different 'bricks' that make it up, and wore these around our necks. We then approached negotiators and civil society, with our key messages, as they walked through the plenary hall from one meeting to the next. If they agreed with us about capacity building then they were awarded a yellow ribbon to wear as a demonstration of how effective and important capacity building is.
We even had other members of YOUNGO joining in, spreading our message and tweeting about it afterwards!
Check out these photos from the action:
Day Two at COP 19 - Our message
By Kathleen Coulter
So some of our readers may be wondering what exactly it is we’re doing here. The WAGGGS delegation attends COP to deliver two key messages: the necessity of capacity building and gender balance within any solution to climate change. We believe that in order to implement policy; communities and individuals must be given the required skills and knowledge to properly address the problem. This is especially true with regard to young women and girls. Climate change brings out existing inequalities towards young women and girls, resulting in a disproportionate effect on this population. But young women and girls have a unique perspective to bring to the table, as they are often directly affected by climate change. Whether they rely on natural resources to make handicrafts, sustain agriculture, or support their families, women have the experience and ability to contribute greatly as leaders within the climate change movement.
This week, as key negotiators discuss plans for this COP, we have been working as a team to put capacity building, gender sensitivity, intergenerational equity, and monitoring on the agenda. We’ve already met with several negotiators to promote the importance of these objectives. We have also been sharing our objectives with the youth constituency and other delegates, in the hopes that everyone here will realize how capacity building ties in and is essential to all objectives. As the week goes on, we may use interventions to persuade negotiators, and we are in the midst of planning actions to demonstrate. We encourage all of our readers to participate in a key action, Postcards from the Frontlines. We are sending a message to Ban Ki-Moon that everyone deserves a home safe from climate change. You can read more about this campaign at our Call to Action!
Day One at COP 19!
Day Four at COY 9 - Standing in solidarity
By Gina Belle
In a show of solidarity for the people of the Philippines as they cope with the aftermath of the monster typhoon Haiyan, all of the participants of the COY came to together to form a human heart. We strongly felt the need to let them know that we are thinking of them as we continue to fight for climate justice whilst they are suffering from the devastation caused by the changing climate.
Alongside this solidarity action, the final day of COY/PSCEE, was focused on informing participants on how to effectively transfer the knowledge gained over the last three days into the COP 19 negotiations. WAGGGS facilitated another workshop on capacity building during which we explained the best practices for successfully spreading the message on the importance of capacity building to key negotiators. We also participated in the ‘marketplace’ where delegates were able to share information on their respective organizations.
We have had a really great time at COY, meeting lots of interesting people and sharing our message. Some of the key words that came to mind as we reflected on the last four days were: informative, inspiring, global, connecting, networking, interesting, empowering and fun. We were sorry to see the last day of COY approach, but are sure looking forward to the beginning of COP19 as we strive to share our message and leave a lasting impression!
Day Three at COY 9 - Action Day!
By Kathleen Coulter
It’s been a great three days now for the WAGGGS delegation at COY9 (Conference of Youth). For the past nine years, the days immediately preceding the climate change conference are spent in preparation with YOUNGO, the youth constituency, at the Conference of Youth. Members of youth-oriented non-governmental organizations meet to discuss strategy and objectives, working together to promote young people as leaders. The conference encourages solidarity and camaraderie in providing a forum for like-minded individuals to come together.
This year, the conference was organized a bit differently. In an effort to include youth not attending COP, the youth conference was rebranded as Power Shift Central & Eastern Europe. Power Shifts are annual youth summits focused on climate change policy. Furthermore, because of the location in Poland and a usual underrepresentation of Central and Eastern Europeans, there’s been an emphasis this year on bringing in youth from the region. We’ve been excited to meet with delegates from all over the world though. Many of us participated in an action today with Climate Youth Japan, using video interviews and photos to encourage Japanese youth to fight climate change. I think it’s pretty special that our message will be spread that far.
Today, we took part in a YOUNGO action. Hundreds of youth were filmed in “A race for energy independence”. Youth took on parts of the coal industry (the bad guys) and environmentalists (the good guys). The black coal team were running to win, but fought dirty and moved slowly. The green environmental runners worked together and easily ran around the others. Who do you think won? The green team, of course! A green future will always win. The film will be used to inspire Polish youth. It was a lot of fun to perform with other youth and running was an excellent way to stay warm on a cold day!
So far, we’ve been having a really good time, meeting lots of interesting people and sharing our message. I’m sorry to see the last day of COY approach, but I’m sure looking forward to the beginning of COP19, the climate change conference!
Day Two at COY 9 - Capacity building workshop
On the second day the WAGGGS delegates held a capacity building workshop. Here are some photos!
Capacity building ice breaker!
So how do the delegates think the workshop went?
"I really liked our flexibility when we were changing things. People power!"
Day One at COY 9 - The adventure begins!