Friday, 30 November 2012

Arab groups get free tickets, accommodations for COP18

IHSAN YOUSEF

DOHA MORE than 100 young representatives from civil society groups across the Arab world are getting a chance to put their views across at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, thanks to free flights and accommodation provided by COP18/CMP8.

Until now, only a handful of Arab civil society groups have represented their countries at previous sessions.

This year, about 50 organisations will be in Doha for COP18/CMP8 following a decision by the organising body of the conference to boost the participation of regional civil society groups.

To help the groups get inolved in the campaign against climate change, their flights and accommodation are being funded by the Qatari hosts of the UN meeting.

As many as 110 youngsters from countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and others have been given free flights and are being put up at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Doha, by the organising sub-committee of the conference.

Ghada Kheir Bek of the COP18/CMP8 Outreach and Public Engagement team said: “We decided to do something for these young environmental campaigners.

Some Doha hotels can be quite expensive. So, we thought we would enable the Arab youth to participate in COP18/CMP8 and contribute their voices, by arranging free flights and accommodation.” In addition to the Arab civil society groups, 92 youngsters from international organisations are being put up in hotels, with breakfast included.

The first group arrived on November 21.

The Arab Youth Climate Movement was started recently in partnership with the activist groups IndyAct, 350.org, the Global Climate Change Alliance and Climate Action Network.

Over 20 national coordinators in 15-member countries have been recruited to encourage young people to promote awareness of climate change and sustainability across North Africa and the Middle East.

The Arab Youth Climate Movement plans to make its presence felt at COP18/- CMP8 by stressing to Arab nations the significance of signing up to legally binding agreements to reduce their carbon emissions.

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