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Cancún: Armed with only a flyer in the midst of protests, tense negotiations and boycotts

07 Dec 2010

Civil society protesting in Cancun, wwww.tcktcktck.orgYesterday I was at Forest Day which featured the President of Mexico.

Even though the speech was rather formal it was good to hear him talk about the need to recover local knowledge and respect the land and customs of the people.

Land rights need to be clearer

As I have already mentioned, the mechanisms of UN-REDD (UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) have a lot of support, but there is agreement that some things need to change.

Specifically, there is a need to implement social safeguards for these mechanisms. This is because, in least developed countries, land-ownership and property rights are not at all clear, which leads to stand-offs, evictions and abuse especially directed at indigenous people and small farmers.

Armed with only a flyer

Today the process of agreeing on conclusions has started, which is leading to activist groups initiating protests. It's quite an interesting process as it brings them a lot of media attention.

I would have liked to have done something similar, but sadly I am all alone and I couldn't do so much only armed with my flyer! It is just the beginning - a grain of sand - but at least we can say were there in Cancún.

Tense negotiations and boycotts starting

Government negotiations have started, with many people at the conference looking tense and stressed. We can hear them frantically explaining their positions and making deals as we walk along corridors.

The side events have also been very interesting - groups of young people and activists have taken it upon themselves to boycott some events in a very imaginative way. I've learned a lot from this experience and met many people from different countries.

It really is a new world with many possibilities to learn about different cultures and points of view from so many places.

Find out more about HelpAge's work on climate change

Your comments

Sarah Marzouk

Hi Jorge, Even armed with a flyer you can do a lot! Thanks so much for the all the blog posts. It's been great reading them. Nice to know that there is someone in Cancun talking about older people in relation to the climate change debate! Keep up the good work. Sarah.

jorge espinoza

thanks sarah, armed with flyer, but with the strength of conviction toward our goal

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Author profile

Jorge Espinoza
Country: Bolivia
Job title: Disaster Risk Reduction Manager

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.