Good COP, BAD COP – Mexico 2010

The Role of Civil Society and Article 6
by -- December 3rd, 2010

On the relevance of Article 6 and how civil society and observer organizations can take part in promoting positive action

Article 6 of the Convention establishes that the parties shall facilitate and promote education, training and public awareness to enable understanding of climate change and create the scientific, technical and managerial personnel to address its effects and develop adequate responses.

But why is this so relevant?

If you consider that: while sitting at a plenary negotiation room, you are not sitting with a couple hundred persons but that you share a space with 6 billion people you can then begin to understand the magnitude of the COP endeavor. Delegates and representatives of the parties are not sitting at the negotiations on their own, they represent the interest of the people that pay for their jobs, the mandates of their country and the economic and political pressures of their own national and local environment. If the people negotiators represent do not care or do not consider climate change as a priority, how can anyone expect them to take decisions against the will of the people that they are supposed to be representing.

This puzzling circumstance brings about the extreme relevance of Article 6 and the need of fully deploying and enhancing education, training and awareness at all levels. A responsibility to educate and transmit the urgency of proactive actions rests upon the professionals of the environment. Education, information and spreading awareness as part of the environmental professionals’ responsibility is not exclusive to the formal academic field, but in all aspects of life, addressing business men, kids, mothers and government representatives to engage in proactive participation in the mitigation of climate change.

This was reminded to me by the groups of young people that, through their own creative and passionate means, are contributing to spreading the word on the urgency of clear definitive action.

More attention and funding should perhaps be given to the implementation of Article 6 as it has the capability of not only enhancing public support for positive action that addresses climate change but of developing professionals, technicians, scientist and politicians passionate and capable enough to effectively tackle this great endeavor.

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