When we started today, I was excited. Since we weren’t able to get into the Bonn Zone yesterday, I was happy that I was able to find out more about COP. The first area I explored was the large pavilions. The pavilions were made up of representatives from all different countries. A couple of the pavilions were fascinating to me, so I chose to check them out.
The most significant and first pavilion you see is the Fiji one. This pavilion is made up of all sorts of Hawaiian/Pacific Island decorations that make it stand out. Inside the Fiji Pavilion, there are lots of different activities. The most interesting exercise, for me, is a virtual reality machine that shows what would happen to Fiji with the current rise in sea level. It shows how, when, and why something devastating to Fiji could happen. The machine also shows how soon this event could happen and that the islands are at high risk – even right now.
The next pavilion I looked at was the Brazil Pavilion. It caught my attention because of the large pictures on the side of it, depicting the Parana River in southern Brazil. The Brazil Pavilion doesn’t have a lot of the same activities as the Fiji booth, but there are some exciting articles inside the booth. One of the passages talks about how mangroves in Brazil are facing massive extinction because of the increase in sea level and water temperature. Another pamphlet talks about how climate change and deforestation is affecting the native tribes living in the Amazon Rainforest.
On the other side of the Bonn Zone, there are smaller, little areas where countries, organizations, and companies can educate people. A couple of my favorite booths included the Nordic Council of Ministers whose board talked a lot about how climate change affects the current and historical ways of life for people living in the Nordic regions. Another cool booth was the European Space Agency, whose space displayed a giant picture of all the glaciers in Greenland that showed how they have retreated and broken apart in the past couple of years. And, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program’s booth talked about how they work together with nature to help their islands survive climate change.
In the afternoon, I attended a talk in the Fiji Pavilion. This talk was centered around the Great Sea Reef, the biggest coral reef in Fiji and the third largest in the southern hemisphere. Because of climate change and many other factors that tie into climate change, this reef is very threatened. In the talk, many experts who were from or had lived in Fiji discussed how all the different sectors of their country needed to work together to try and help save the Great Sea Reef. I thought that all of the things they were describing were helpful to different people in different ways. Overall I felt that I learned a lot from it, and I think that there are a lot of other similar problems we could solve using the models they discussed.
I was very impressed with my first day at COP; I am so happy that I am able to experience what it is like and experience all the cool things it has to offer.