While the international headlines pick up the story of Durban as one of futility and undercut expectations, there are in fact aggrandized efforts in motion. The herds have arrived, single-minded in their hunger. Best-case scenario, these negotiations will result in decisions that would operationalize the hard work of the last several years: technology mechanisms to promote clean energy, a valid REDD+ mechanism, adaptation frameworks to support developing countries, a Green Climate Fund. “Still, negotiations limp on.” So say the headlines, disheartened by the politics of climate change. But even if this is what they call the last ditch, even if hope for major breakthroughs have long since been abandoned, the compounded efforts have not slowed down. The Convention of the Parties has 195 countries attempting collaboration. The labor involved, not only in gathering here in South Africa, but in the daily toil of the run-up could never be called limping. There are still myriad opportunities to deliver both operational decisions and long-term signals on the future direction of the international process. If anything, there is too much work on the table, too many gears spinning in a fractured process with a thousand important goals. But in this unprecedented cause, it is not for nothing. Tomorrow is always undecided and even if everyone goes home disappointed, we still have the future to contend with. It is never easy to live up to expectations, but it is also never easy to give up. We have to believe we can steer this train away from wreckage. With collective strong will and strong opinions, the rhinos are full steam ahead.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Two rhino subspecies went extinct in the past two weeks. There are two weeks of COP17 and one central task = make sure REDD+ doesn't collapse post-2012 . If you were a betting rhino, Durban would not be a good COP.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
“The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed.” -Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi, hero of resistance, had early roots around Durban. From 1893-1914, he lived and worked in South Africa. This formative experience shaped his philosophies on racial conflict and injustice. There he attached himself to suffrage movements and the slog for equal rights.
It was in South Africa in 1906 that Gandhi first articulated his methodology of Satyagraha. It translates literally to a devotion to truth. It manifests as nonviolent protest. Gandhi was not the first to espouse Satyagraha, but was arguably the first to apply it to the political field.
Satyagraha seeks to eliminate antagonisms without harming the antagonists themselves. It arms the individual with moral power. It is the universal force.
Gandhi’s time in South Africa, a country that has seen war and resolution, informed the breath of his teachings worldwide. Civil disobedience, ahimsa, total nonviolence. Harm no one. Harm not the Earth.
Inside the conference halls in Durban, nations united, we will bear witness to the work of consensus. What is one thing we all can agree upon?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
"Forestry needs to spend international funding more quickly, efficiently"
Thursday, November 10, 2011
After almost two years of work and up to 700+ entries, TFG is getting ready to release a new tool to help track and monitor US government REDD+ finance and impacts. Stay tuned for more details...