South African civil society is preparing for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP17 talks to be held in the Indian Ocean coastal city of Durban in 2011. This blog will chart civil society preparations, beginning with notes from a scouting trip to COP16 in Cancun, Mexico.

I’m David Le Page, a freelance journalist, and available to file from COP17 if you’re in the media.

I am also a part-time communications officer for the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI).

24 responses to “About

  1. Barbara

    I see there is a mistake … it should say 2011 not 2017

  2. I am Nara Petrovic from Slovenia. I was one of the core initiators of a civil movement that moved 13.5% of the total population of my country to clean up the illegally dumped waste on April 17, 2010.
    Now, I am a part of “Let’s do it! World Cleanup 2012” initiative, that’s bringing large shifts in many countries around the globe. The movement started in 2008 in Estonia. Check http://www.letsdoitworld.org.
    We want to join the civil movement’s side events in Durban with our message. Can you, please, give me some info about the possibilities to participate?
    I attended COP 15 in Copenhagen 2 years ago, that’s why I feel this event is the right place for the dream of a clean planet to be heard world wide and for people to see the importance of getting involved in such an effort.
    So far there is more than 50 countries involved, Brasil is just doing the cleanups right now following the well tested recipe with amazing results and Romania will be cleaning for the second time on September 24th.
    We’re spreading the message even further, planning to get 300 million people to clean up 100 million tons of waste from the natural environment in the next year.
    I was attracted to this project because of its immense outreach and incredible results it brings in a very short time. You get to involve the people who would otherwise never get involved. We even got the Written Declaration supporting the World Cleanup 2012 signed by the majority of members of the European Parliament!
    This project shows the real state of affairs — people do things, and politicians just follow … If we are to take the power into our hands, we need to swiftly shift the awareness of the masses. In my experience this project is one of the best ways to do it.
    I feel Afrika has great potential in environmental issues, if civil movements get really stong. I got to know people from Kula Dhama ecovillage in South Africa and from one other ecovillage project in your country. My friend was in Egypt a few monhts ago. I visited DR Congo and stirred up the idea there. On September 10-11, there will be a regional conference in Ghana.

    Well, I think you got the picture. We have a lot of enthusiasm to give, a lot of experience to share, a lot of connections we need to make. We’d like to be a part of the side events’ program.
    In Copenhagen my friend had organized the side events and I was shocked to see how much work went into it! You’re doing a fantastic job! The blog-website is very functional and informative!
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Hello,

    I am an American living in Thailand, founder of Fair Earth Farm. http://www.fairearthfarm.com

    I’ll be attending the Durban climate talks as an editor with the Climate Change Media Partnership. http://www.climatemediapartnership.org/

    I’d like to learn about opportunities for my 10-year-old Thai-American daughter to join me and participate in civil-society activities in Durban. We’re self funded.

    Could you connect me to potential homestays or school exchanges or youth groups that would welcome a young girl to participate? Much appreciated!


    Jeff Rutherford

  4. Hi Im Thabiso from Soweto South Africa, I have been trying months to be part of the cop 17 with my art project but nothing, is there anyone that can help in terms of contacts.

  5. thanks David it is great to. what we have is 3 installation and dance works. and we would love to start our work from running form soweto to durban spreading awereness but we tried to connect other people here for support. but nothing also

  6. Thulisile Shandu

    Thulisile Shandu

    This conference is very useful to the communities around the world because climate change touches us in all corners, but people seems to be not aware of this usefulf information. I think it should be announced daily now and then in media( T.Vs, Radios, Newspapers and booklets) as it is done when we prepare for the National Elections.

  7. Zamani

    Hi everyone
    My name is Zamani Shelembe from Durban, i am a tour operator. let me arrange your transport and tours when you are in Durban, http://www.1stzulusafaris.co.za

  8. madhu ramkolowan

    Hi, we are South african based company. We have developed a mobile biomass gasifier/ generator that uses all types of biomass such as grass, sawdust, nutshells, maize stalks/husks to produce energy. How can I exhibit it at COP 17?

  9. Arlette

    Translation and Interpretations….English Spanish
    People need to have a better understanding …in they own language…to be executed all the future solutions to the environment problems
    email: arletterosa1@gmail.com
    cell 082 506 2177
    Contact us any time
    Quote for environment

  10. For last-minute travellers: There is a self-catering unit available on Durban beachfront for the week of 19 to 26 Nov 2011, sleeping up to six people.
    The following week – 26 Nov to 3 Dec – is also available. See http://www.seesa.ws for details & contact number.

  11. Can we ask each participant attending the COP17 to account for the carbon emmissions generated by their travel to Durban. How do they account for the prediction for the coldest winter in 10 years in the USA? Climate change is inevitable and has been for millenium? How can we stop this?? Would the climatre not change anyway as it does naturally? Do we really need 20,000 delegates to attend for a nice big jol paid for by whom?

    • Hello Peter,

      I think measuring the carbon footprint of the COP would be a useful exercise. I don’t believe working to reduce carbon emissions (if we assume that this is the intention of all those participating) gives one a personal free pass but my impression is some do.

      I’m quite sure you can go off and do the research on how exceptionally cold winters (a regional phenomenon) can be consistent with global warming (a global phenomenon) yourself, if this doesn’t explain it enough. At the same time this last year that some people were squawking about cold winters, parts of Canada and the Arctic were having record warm winters.

      We can stop our contribution to climate change by stopping burning fossil fuels and converting the global economy to renewable energy. (Yes, this means that many of us who have been profligate energy users will probably have to become far more modest energy users.) This shift is ambitious, but possible: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/january/jacobson-world-energy-012611.html

      Even if you disagree that pouring historically unprecedented amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is not warming the planet, converting to renewable energy will have a host of other benefits – far more stable energy prices, renewed local and regional economic development, increased employment, far less air pollution, fewer wars over oil.

      Surely it’s axiomatic that a civilisation that makes it self dependent on finite resources is destined to crash as those resources become depleted? Read Jared Diamond it’s certainly the history of many past civilisations.

      Yes, the climate would change by itself anyway, but far less so, and probably at a rate that we’d be better equipped to adapt to. The current rate of warming could lead to the end of a human-friendly environment in a couple of hundred years.

      On the values of the COPs… I don’t know. History will be the judge. Really, the COPs can only change things to the extent that we all change ourselves.

  12. Thank you, David, for your reasoned reply. I am not a scientist – just a concerned retired farmer. What bothers me is there are two more serious issues than carbon emmissions. Our profligate overuse and misuse of potable water and our unrestrained population growth especially amongst those who can least afford it. These two concerns are of course too politically sensitive to tackle – but tackled they must be. The “Club of Rome” recognised this and duly coined the phrase ‘Global warming’ and put forward Mr.Al Gore as the champion of this concept. Al Gore is now the first “Green” billionaire. This is where my concern lies – that very wealthy and influencial people are and will be malking a huge amount of nmoney out of this.and in the end no binding resolution will be forthcoming. The alternative to fossil fuel is right now too expensive for most nations. Eg South Africa, who are bulding two, possibly three huge coal fired power stations which will spew out CO2 for generations together with the toxic radioactive fumes that accompany these emmissions

  13. Neville

    How 2 become part of cope 17 held in ukzn howard college.?

  14. How is it this climate change conference going to help us sustain our environment state here in S.A

  15. this isue is very serious I also herd that yesterday there some talks on the issue of climatic changes which are said are due to western country’s industrial activities which are causing climatic changes then any recent activities for the control am interested

  16. My company has recently been awarded the tender to supply the Puralytic SolarBag 3L in Africa, this is a purification, transport & storage system for use with un-clean water. It does not use chemicals, consumables or pwer, this SolarBag is able to remove micro-organism, organic contaminants & heavy metals from water.
    Am i too late to exhibit at COP17, if so, do you perhaps know of African organisations that have attended the COP17 who may take an interest in this product.

  17. thandazile mbonambi

    I herd abwt dis coop17 is it good hw is abwt too coz I like to knw. En get more info an they said Angelina jolli

  18. Chapman Taew

    Our company has invented a revolutionary machine as an answer to climate change. The machine has been tested with full test results. To this we are trying source more information and channels to demonstrate the machine.

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