Meanwhile Over at KIimaforum09... The People's Climate Summit
Badges with people's personal climate change pledges. All photos: Matthew McDermott
If you can't get into the main COP15 show over at the Bella Center, fear not Kilimaforum09 has plenty of events going on to get you thinking about what's not being talked about over on the other side of Copenhagen. Billing itself as 'the people's climate summit" the whole thing feels frankly a bit like a college student union event. That's a good and bad thing:After spending all of Wednesday there, sitting in on discussions about spiritual activism (about the need to make an evolutionary shift in consciousness and how climate change is going to force this on us), shifting economic paradigms from a growth imperative to achieving prosperity without growth, and the problems with REDD forest protection scheme, I came away feeling that for as interesting and important all the topics taking place over at the DGI-Byen conference center, there was a good deal of misplaced motives.
REDD Supporters Aren't Trying to Do a Bad Thing
Thinking specifically of comments made about the shortcomings of REDD -- which there are some in general and certainly in some specific cases -- there was a mood of supporters of REDD (Prince Charles' name being invoked often) had the intention of doing in the global South, again.
Which certainly raises emotions, but the situation is far more nuanced than this. It's not like anyone, to my knowledge, working to find ways to make forests worth more standing than as timber and monoculture plantations is intending to cause harm. They are genuinely trying to find ways to preserve nature -- even if some outcomes aren't entirely as planned.
Indigenous Rights & REDD Concerns Are Discussed
Today in the Bella Center a long chain of hand-holding people winded its way through the proceedings chanting variations on "No Rights, No REDD" -- referring to the fact that indigenous rights are a crucial part of making forest protection programs work -- and be fair. So the theme and concerns are definitely out there for discussion, but you wouldn't have known that over at Klimaforum.
Perhaps I've focused too strongly on this one Klimaforum discussion. More on spiritual activism in another post...
Just a glance at the Klimaforum schedule reveals the tone of the event -- a sort of merging of the social justice movement with climate concern. Check it out if your in town, and if not think about these topics and why they aren't always talked about in the mainstream of climate discussion.