COP19/CMP9 is full of life!
Even a few days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference, National Stadium was a busy place. Technicians were still working to prepare the place for over 12 thousand delegates from 194 countries all over the world. As everything was ready, the Stadium froze in anticipation of guests to show up. Now it’s full of life! We asked the participants of the conference about their impressions regarding the venue and the organization of COP19/CMP9.
I was very curious how an event like that might be held at the stadium. Everything works very well and the stadium makes the Conference unique – said Julie Arrigh, who came from USA to watch the debate on behalf of one of the NGOs. Julie was sitting with her laptop on one of the couches on the second floor - It’s very comfortable here and easy to relax.
Similar impressions had Graham Reeds from Canada, representing the organization Taking IT Global – Everything works perfectly. In addition, the Stadium is located close to the city center, which is also an advantage – Reeds noticed.
We met these two persons in different places on the second floor. The next step of our journey through the Stadium was the Business Centre in the sector A3. It is a big common space with places to work and public computers. If you need help from the IT team, this is where you can find it. However during the first couple of days of COP19/CMP9 only few people asked for it – Questions mostly concerned the usage of public printers – said one of the IT specialists. Despite the late time, more than half of the seats were still occupied. Because of the focused faces and clatter of the keyboards, we decided not to disturb them and go on.
Further on the second floor you can find the EU Pavilion, where the rooms of delegations of European Commission and Parliament are located. The walls are decorated with large-format photographs of interesting places in Lithuania, which currently holds the presidency of the EU Council. As we were there, the place was very crowded because of two parallel consultation sessions for high parties and observers taking place.
The delegation of USA, that is located nextdoor, also took care of managing the area. When we entered, the guests of the US Pavilion at COP19/CMP9 were sitting in front of a huge TV screen and watching a crack in an Arctic glacier filmed from above.
Afterwards we got to the sector C. On the fourth floor you can find a GCC Pavilion - gathering the countries that belong to Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. Those who enter the Pavilion are warmly welcomed by the staff members. After passing that hall, you will get to the Informal Seating Area – a place where you can sit down, relax and talk in less formal atmosphere. You can also have a sip of traditionally-made tea. Walls and doors are decorated with patterns typical for the art of Islam. No surprise, we are almost in the Middle East!
The Food Court (ground floor) will certainly meet the needs of all guests, as you can choose between the halal, vegetarian and international cuisines or even a sushi bar. However, the majority wants to try the Polish cuisine, known mainly for its tasty dumplings. While in the Food Court, don’t hesitate to step outside and visit the exhibition designed by Polish artists from… the recycled waste.
On our way to the plenary meeting, we stopped at the information desk. There were a few people asking about the possibility of car rental, others watching the photography exhibition – Momentum for Change – which is located nearby. We visited a place where you can find information about Lima, the capital city of Peru and the host city of the next COP/CMP. Most people come between 11.30 and 13.00, during the lunch break. Most of their questions concern tickets, hotels and the best transport to Lima – said Cecilia Pomareda and invited everybody for a pisco tasting – national liquor of Peru. Don’t miss your chance of trying it, you have time until November 22nd!
Finally we got to the heart of the Climate Change Conference - the place where debates and plenary sessions are held. There are temporary stand-halls with a total area of 9 thousand square meters, put on the football field.
On the walls you can see the “Abbores Vitae” photo exhibtion by Jan Walencik showing the last primeval forest in Europe – Białowieża. The large, unique reproductions catch the eye and encourage the passers to slow down and admire the beauty of wild nature.
During our visit in this part of the venue, some of the delegates were slowly moving towards exit. Even though during COP19/CMP9 the National Stadium lives 24/7, there are also side events taking place in different locations. We met some Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition representatives going to one of them – Thanks to the Conference, we can learn more about the climate changes and after coming back home, we will be able to organize an informational campaign about this topic. Together with the representatives from other countries, we have just established the Asian Youth Climate Network and are going to talk about the details of cooperation. The day is not over for us yet.