Today, November 28th, marks the first day of COP17, the 17th annual United Nations Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC entered into force in 1995 and meets annually “to assess progress in dealing with climate change.” COP17 runs from Monday, November 28-Friday December 9, 2011 and is being held in Durban, South Africa. The theme of this year’s conference is “Working Together: Saving Tomorrow Today” and discussions will include high-level government officials from all over the world, as well as representatives from international organizations and civil society.
According to the official website, the COP adopts decisions and resolutions, which are published in reports . Decisions taken by this group make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of outcomes from the Convention.
If you are interested in learning how South Africa is committed to mitigating event related carbon emissions, check out this section of the website dedicated to that topic. One particularly useful document is this PDF called the “Green Event Guideline: Hosting Green Events in Durban 2011/2012.” “This guideline provides an in-depth look into green event case studies, the history of greening, greening principles and much more…[and] has been produced to encourage the incorporation of greening practices and principles into events taking place in Durban.” These principles are easily adapted to cover any large event supporting a high number of participants over several days.
In addition to COP, for the past 7 years, there has been a short event organized by youth from all over the world called the Conference of Youth (COY). This year’s three day event will be held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College from November 25-27. At last year’s COY6 in Cancun, Mexico, over 400 youth from over 40 countries attended.
According to AllAfrica.com, “The COY7unites passionate youth to exchanges ideas about environmental issues and form partnerships to help deal with climate change. The youth will learn new skills and have the opportunity to network with their peers from around the world. It is also hoped that collaborative efforts by the youth across the world will reduce the carbon footprint and even influence policy change and legislature in reducing hazardous industrial and domestic waste.”
Check back frequently on the blog, our Facebook page (link) and Twitter feed (link) for more information about COP17 and COY7, including guest blogs from youth delegates from SustainUS and the Rainforest Partnership! We will be streaming exciting discussions by climate change experts in Durban on a variety of topics including sustainable agriculture and advancements in REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).