Wednesday 30 November

Esther at COP17 The official third day was really exciting with lots of side events from different NGOs. Esther (Ghana), Elaine (USA), Nicole (Switzerland) and Tiffany (South Africa) collaborated with UNICEF to facilitate a session for children between the ages of 13 and 17, to act like various countries negotiating at COP and also educate them about the environment. We divided the students into eight groups representing different countries and had a mini-COP session where they debated different issues and explained why certain issues were important to their country group.

Many delegations have NGO briefings every day to keep their NGO's updated on what is happening in the negotiations. This is a great opportunity for WAGGGS delegates to ask questions to the negotiators, and also to the network with them and other environmental NGO's in their country. Today, the Danish NGO briefing was focused on the European policy. This meant we were able to bring a bit of insight into the European youth, when we met with them later during the day. It seems that in Durban, more attention will soon be paid to the EU's position in the negotiations. I (Mia) personally hope so. Here is why:

As a leader for Girl Scouts or Girl Guides, we are always very aware that we must lead by example. I know that to be a good leader for my Guides, I must not preach to them what they should do, if I am not an example that they can look to. If I ask for them to recycle their waste, I cannot then put everything in the same bin. We must lead by example and actually do even more than we ask from other people. I should not only be recycling, but also reducing my waste.

The European Union indicates that it wants to be a leader in the climate change negotiations. But I feel they forget to lead by example. We need them to be much more ambitious! In the next days, the European youth will further consider if we can make our leaders live up to their promises and really lead by example.

Other delegates attended the South African Development Community (SADC) meeting with the South African minister in charge of water and environmental affairs, Hon. Edna Molewa. 

Mia Rix (Denmark) and Esther Amakye (Ghana)

Read all about COP17 and the delegates' blogs and daily updates here.


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