ICA at the 23rd UNFCCC talk in Bonn, Germany
(Outside the main entrance of the Bonn Centre)
Good lunchtime I think? The time difference is about 7 hours from Bonn to Central time aka Regina or Winnipeg time zone. So, I have one very short update for you. Its more about the UNFCCC itself.
For this meeting, we are being hosted by Fiji but physically in Bonn, Germany. It was important for #COP23 to be hosted by a small island state. Since we know small island states will be drowned if we cannot meet 1.5degree threshold. In other words, we can’t let the planet warm past 1.5 degrees Celsius as this would flood small island states leaving their people climate refugees, their homelands, ancestral lands gone forever. So, if you see the signs and branding in #COP23 they have palm trees. This is why.
(Sponsors of the 23rd UNFCCC)
This means that the President of #COP23 is from Fiji. This has been so helpful in elevating Indigenous Peoples issues since Fijians are Indigenous, just like us (minus the Canadian title).
Anyhow, I wanted to try and show you around the World Conference Center here in Bonn. Apparently, this meeting is a big deal for Bonn considering that city has never had a conference this size. The World Conference Center is too small to host the 25-50 000 people in attendance. There is two areas for the UNFCCC, physically I mean. Bonn and Bula zones that are about a 20 minute walk between them.
They created two zones. One is the Bula zone where the states/parties/countries are negotiating and the Bonn zone is where country pavilions are, organizational booths, and civil society meets. We talked accreditation before. But here’s the thing, if you aren’t a party member aka on an official delegation with one of the states/countries, then there are spaces that you can’t go. In order to get accredited you need to go through an official request process that takes approximately about a year. You can’t be accredited as an individual either. For the Bula zone you can get in if you if have an accredited pass under a recognized organization. The Bonn zone parties, NGO’s can get in. But if you weren’t accredited by the UN you could register to get inside by a certain date. So there is a lot of people in the Bonn zone from universities, organizations, and other groups. It’s a busy place.
In between the two zones there are art installations, a theatre inside a giant globe, the US space sponsored by Bloomberg, and a few other things. I took the time today to walk between the venues, as you can take a shuttle, ride a loaner bike, or take the train. The World Conference Center is located along the Rhein river and there are cobblestone paths to walk. It’s really a beautiful area surrounded by trees and hills, reminds me of home as I live in the Qu’Appelle valley.
(A walk through the Countries pavilions space in the Bonn Zone)
(Indigenous Peoples have a pavilion in the Bonn Zone too here is a short vid on what that looks like, people host meetings, and side events in this somewhat small space!)
(Signage on how to get betweens the two zones in the subway system, which was free for delegates)
(Outside the main entrance for the Bula zone, is an official "protest" zone that folks from Hambacher Forest and Ende Gelande use everyday, they are so committed to getting their message out! Rain or shine they are handing out flyers and talking to delegates as they come into the UNFCCC)
(Just inside the main entrance of the Bula Zone where all the states/parties/countries negotiate on the implementation of the Paris Agreement)
(Art installations between the Bonn and Bula zones)
(Another art installation along the river between the two zones!!)
(A giant globe that is an inflatable theatre!)
(Another art piece between the two zones)
(Installation on forests between the two zones!)
(I got lost while doing a print run and literally walked into people taking pictures of a building and remember that Beethoven is from here, this is his house apparently!)
(Reclaim Power led mass mobilizations at the COP in Denmark! Here a smaller group outside the main entrance to the Bula zone!)
(You can borrow a bike at this place outside the Bula zone, with the use of an app on your phone. Bonus, you can keep it the whole time!)