Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

A first timer's view of the UN Climate Change talks

Eklavya Prasad

Today was my 'first' for numerous circumstances. My first time in a climate change negotiations; my first day in the ongoing UNFCCC's Bonn Climate Change Talks; my first occasion of interaction with Karin Lexen and Karin Glaumann of Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI); and of course first day at Bonn in the open.

Anxiety because of the all the 'firsts' along with self-expectation made the beginning sightly tough. The first glimpse inside Hotel Maritim, where the Climate Change Talks are being held made me slightly comfortable. The environment inside was buzzing with energy, people running round, animated discussions taking off at the drop of a hat, serious huddles, and amid all this finding the right place to begin my day 'the registration counter' was not difficult. I was greeted there with a huge smile, and the process of registration got over in a jiffy.
 
The environment inside was buzzing with energy, people running round, animated discussions taking off at the drop of a hat, serious huddles
 
At the end of it, I was handed my identity tag, while looking at my tag something hit me hard. The font and its size used for the name made it inconspicuous compared to the affiliation/background (NON-GOVERNMENTAL) mentioned on the tag, whereas the other tags had names and affiliation/background of the same font and size. I could not decipher the reason for this 'difference' until I went to attend a session which was an informal consultations on development and transfer of technologies. The session was open for parties and observer states only.
 
The moment I stepped inside Koch, I felt uneasy because of the stares and glares that I had attracted
 
The moment I stepped inside Koch, I felt uneasy because of the stares and glares that I had attracted, which forced me to enquire whether I was a legitimate participant for the session. I was told that the my affiliation/background did not allow me to qualify for the session. I was left with no option than to step out of the room, find myself a place where I could sit and plan my day. 
 
Eklavya Prasad is a FANSA member and Practitioner and Leader at Megh Pyne Abhiyan (Cloud Water Campaign)

Read the next installment Water conspicuous by its absence at UNFCCC session on agriculture

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