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Thursday, December 13, 2007

First week almost over! - Sean Heron at the World Climate Change Conference

The following is copied from his user page at his request. It has not been edited.

Wow, yes, I´ve been here for a week now, but it doesn´t seem it! There tonnes of stuff going on, and its not easy to choose where to go and what to do: Monday and Tuesday there were two plenary sessions running in parallel most of the time, then there is a room that press conferences are being held more or less non stop by various organizations and nations, and lastly there are commonly four to six so called "side events" going on in a neighbouring hotel, which are usually informative presentations (one of the last I saw was on how deforestation and degredation can be measured by various satellite imaging methods). At the same time your making friendly and business connections with people here, astonishingly easy as well.. And in between all that I try to get to do some of the stuff I originally came here for, which is writing news :D. Under these conditions it easily turns 4 in the morning before you get home. On one occasion, noting that there was a market just opening, me and a befriended journalist from Canada (Toby Heaps) popped in between the dead chickens and piles of vegetables to grab some tuck, as he hadn´t eaten that evening.

But back to the event: I was very amazed at how accesable everything is, its in stark contrast to the way things were in Heiligendamm: At least this first week before the ministers arrived you could walk around the plenary while the sessions were being held, just approach the delegates in breaks, get up on stage after a Press Conference and ask Yvo de Boer this and that, basicly do more or less anything you please. The limits are the closed sessions, though I know some people that have slipped in those as well...

So all very open, but the flip side of the coin is that what your told informally is generally considered off the record. That means although I may be plenty in the know, there is nothing I can source that information to. So why have I done no interviews you ask? Well, no easy answer to that, I guess it comes down to me having set my priorities differently. One problem still is that, as I haven´t planned things out, the day rushes by, which one event racing after the next, hardly leaving a breather to think about what I could be doing instead of listening to the Umbrella group and the G77+ China argue about whether or not technology transfer is on the agenda or not for a good two hours. I must also admit that I´ve been contacting some enviromental NGO´s asking them if I can give them a hand in any way. I didn´t have much any luck with that at first, but I yesterday met with a German organisation, and might help them with a presentation and the entailing press release. I hope I don´t offend my colleagues here when I say that lending my support to these organisations is more important to me personally than doing reporting :/ .

Well, its been very interesting so far, and I want to thank those of you at home who have given me a hand with the articles, that was definitely much appreciated :D , as well as the feedback I´ve recieved. I reckon you might not be hearing from me here before the end of the conference, so till then I suppose.

P.S. for any German speakers: I´ve been blogged elsewhere. Oh, and you can see me asking a question at minute 19 + 30 secs here (can you say vanity :D ?).

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