Monday, December 7, 2015

Permaculture Intervention in the Paris Equation

"A rather pale description of some lively moments in the course of these proceedings."

The author, at Le Bourget, between Palestine and the Holy See
After listening for a week, it finally came our time to speak. Getting to speak at a UN conference is no small feat, and the Paris Climate Conference is especially difficult, because, as one might expect when near term human extinction is on the line, there are many who would like to.

Our process of applying for and eventually being awarded consultative status began 20 years ago. To the credit of the member states, the United Nations has long acknowledged the value of contributions from "civil society;" scientists, farmers, indigenous peoples, youth, labor, and experts of all kinds. In a "multistakeholder" transparent process, UN meetings are shared with "observers," who have greater or lesser degrees of interaction with national delegates depending on a variety of factors.

This year the host country, France, was determined to keep security as tight as possible, even before the recent terror attack in Paris. Credentials for observers were cut, and cut again, so that even very large organizations with many member organizations were limited to just a handful of badges to the main venue. We were fortunate to receive 2 badges per week for our group of about 2 dozen ecovillagers, permaculturists, transition towns people and members of the Sail Transport Network. We were able to have a stand in the "Green Zone" with the Climate Generations exhibits area that was open to the public but were restricted in how many of us could go into the "Blue Zone" — to just 2 per week.

The application process to provide a presentation in the central plenary venue picked up last winter, after the conclusion of COP20 in Lima. When the COP21 deadline closed, the UNFCCC selection committee had squeeze four times as many worthy applications as could be physically accommodated into what could actually be presented, so it asked applicants to partner with at least two other groups making it past the first round of selections. Our group, the Global Ecovillage Network, partnered with Green Korea and Asociacion Protoger and were awarded a slot in a room for 300 people in LeBourget. GEN had three speakers but because of the 2-badge limit, we had to bring GEN President Kosha Joubert in by Skype, and technical issues in providing that unfortunately removed our Q&A time at the end.

Here is how the UN reported our event in the conference daily newsletter:

This is, in our humble opinion, a rather pale description of some lively moments in the course of these proceedings. We had come to speak truth to power, and we did. In our next installment, we'll try to recall what we actually presented, along with some of our graphics.


Robert Gillett said...

Refugee resettlement looks like a new major mission for eco-villages.

wittle said...


John Hoag said...

Thank you Albert - for your vision, efforts and presence!

brothermartin said...

It's amusing to read your work translated into Bureaucratese!




The Great Change is published whenever the spirit moves me. Writings on this site are purely the opinion of Albert Bates and are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 "unported" copyright. People are free to share (i.e, to copy, distribute and transmit this work) and to build upon and adapt this work – under the following conditions of attribution, n on-commercial use, and share alike: Attribution (BY): You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Non-Commercial (NC): You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Share Alike (SA): If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. Nothing in this license is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any rights arising from fair use or other limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner under copyright law or other applicable laws. Therefore, the content of
this publication may be quoted or cited as per fair use rights. Any of the conditions of this license can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder (i.e., the Author). Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license. For the complete Creative Commons legal code affecting this publication, see here. Writings on this site do not constitute legal or financial advice, and do not reflect the views of any other firm, employer, or organization. Information on this site is not classified and is not otherwise subject to confidentiality or non-disclosure.