Vositha Wijenayake, Srilanka
Back home after another session of “climate talks”, I am left to wonder what I have achieved during this adventure. Some things were accomplished, but there is much more left to be done in the coming year. Am I happy or sad? Well, I’m looking ahead, wondering what’s next.
What was achieved in Doha? A plethora of information from different parts of the world: a new-found respect for women and many new realistic goals focussed on education and legal activism. This COP has finally put me in the area of work that I have been expecting to work in, but have not yet had the chance. COP 18 showed us we need more work on legal issues, and to learn that being able to interpret the pros and cons of words can help our cause.
Memories to be taken away: stories of Sixbert in Tanzania, with the implementation of the “Akashiv foundation for Education and Research” in the coming year, Ben and the Kiribati airport, and Mona on survival in Palestine. Also, that huge spider and the eerie feeling it gave me every time I passed it. Imagine my surprise upon discovering that the spider was named “maman”, a tribute to motherhood (quite ironic, methinks!)
However, nothing tops the taxi drivers sans any sense of direction, or the two and a half hour bus ride from the convention centre to the Horizon Manor Hotel, less due to traffic and more due to a lost driver and the policemen who had apparently misdirected him. In short, Doha didn’t seem quite prepared to handle the whole event; it was a bit pricey for those without the means to finance ourselves.
Summing up on a personal note, Doha was a learning experience on many levels, especially on diversity and climatic impacts which affects us all in different ways. It has also been an appreciation of others’ experience in facing hardships of the world- be it climate related, poverty related or opinion and judgement infused. Doha was also an experience of discovering a new-found respect for those who have risen above these difficulties and been able to make a difference and crate positive changes in others’ lives. But, it’s a pity that these stories were only heard by a few, many of whom overlooked them due to their own fixed mentalities.
So before I declare “the end” to COP18 and the year 2012, here’s to better climate talks and more appreciation of humanity in the coming year!