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Cancún: First impressions, indigenous activists and weak negotiations

03 Dec 2010

Our man in Cancún, Jorge Espinoza, is reporting back from COP16, the climate change conference in Mexico. He is there to speak out about how older people in Bolivia experience climate change and how their traditional knowledge could be used for climate change mitigation and adaptation:

tcktcktck pyramid of hope, visit www.tcktcktck.orgThe most exciting occurrence of the day was the arrival of indigenous people in the city and their protests all around the event.

The voice of indigenous people

Representatives of indigenous people of Bolivia also turned up. They are trying to create an alternative summit of indigenous groups. There was real tension on the site. It was the talk of the day.

Indigenous movements have not been accredited to the formal meetings but they seem to be the topic of many of the presentations and studies given in the sessions. I think they should have a voice in the summit.Some of the side events saw tempers flaring and some heated debate - there are many activists and lots of protest.

Weak negotiations

It seems to me that the negotiations are weak and are not dealing properly with central problems. For example, the main emphasis is on mitigation but the real issue is adaptation and good agricultural practice, which is not discussed.

Rachel (Berger of Practical Action) has been a fantastic support; its my first time here and I really needed someone to show me the ropes!

More updates coming soon!

Find out more about HelpAge's work on climate change

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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.