Dialogues: Paris, France - 2015

COP21 logo top cropped

Representatives of the 21 Equator Prize 2015 winning initiatives flew to Paris, France for two weeks of events associated with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21). Community members started their visit with an event at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 26 November and then participated in five days of World Indigenous Network community dialogues hosted at both the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Espace Krajcberg. During the dialogues, participants developed their elevator pitch, shared best practices, and heard from representatives of OECD, Kimberley Land Council, the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), and The Nature Conservancy. Topics included negotiating with governments, land tenure, promoting the sustainable development goals, and practical skills in marketing, fundraising and photography. Following the dialogues, the communities participated in COP 21 side events alongside other Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Day 1 - Welcome & Introductions

OECD lunch 1.1

The Paris Community Dialogues commenced with a warm welcome by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation (OECD). During the first day of community dialogues, participants attended a multi-stakeholder luncheon hosted by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Three past Equator Prize winners joined the first day of dialogues to share their experiences after becoming prize winners.



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Day 2 - Climate Negotiations & Elevator Pitches

OECD day 2 photo 2The second day of dialogues began with presentations by Isabel Aranda of the UNFCCCC Secretariat and Johnson Cerda of Conservation International. The two speakers provided historical context to the COP 21 negotiations highlighting the positive inclusion of Indigenous Peoples but the necessity to secure greater attention. Participants received information on the side events at which their participation could help inform global policy. Winners then assembled into thematic groups and offered peer feedback to hone elevator pitches.



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Day 3 - Community Statements & The GEF Small Grants Programme

KRAJ morning 3 smallThe community dialogues continued at a new venue, L’Espace Krajcberg, where participants enjoyed a sculpture collection created from burnt Amazonian trees. Guest speaker, Terence Hay-Edie, described the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme and encouraged all Equator Prize winners to apply. The remainder of the communities presented their elevator pitches and received feedback. Time was devoted to themed clusters crafting statements to be presented at the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony.



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 Day 4 - Savanna Burning Institute, RARE, and Social Marketing

FINAL SMALL newWhile one member of each initiative attended the first day of events at the Climate Generations Space at COP21, the other participated in another full day of community dialogues. Guest speakers came from the Kimberely Land Council and the United Nations University to share the innovative work of the Savanna Burning Initiative. Facilitator Japy Silapan also explained his work at RARE and guided activities exploring the use of social marketing to shift behavioral norms affecting conservation efforts. The day concluded with cluster groups finalizing a first draft of their community statements.



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Days 5 - Presentation of the Declarations and Global Greengrants Fund Workshop 

2dec20151The Community Dialogues and Workshops continued at L’Espace Krajcberg on Wednesday. To start off the day, winners from four thematic groups – Forests, Land Rights, Adaptation, and Sustainable Livelihoods – presented statements that will be shared at the Equator Prize Award Ceremony and received feedback from the other award winners. Global Greengrants Fund led a workshop with three indigenous youth leaders who described their experiences. A discussion on how to involve youth in community and indigenous activism followed. In the afternoon, many of the winners spent the afternoon exploring the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion at Le Bourget.


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Days 6 - Events at Rio Pavilion at COP21

RCP Photo 3 Equator Prize winners spent the day at the Rio Conventions Pavilion of the COP21 Climate Generations Space, to take part in the UNDP-hosted “Day for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.” The morning session included a panel discussion on the impact of local-national dialogues on climate change on gender-responsive climate action. The afternoon session included three consecutive panels with Equator Prize winners and multiple stakeholders on community responses in the face of conflict; local actions for climate resilience; and the role of protected areas in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In the evening, a reception was held for event participants to meet the Equator Prize 2015 winners.

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Days 7 - Solutions to Climate Change: The Power of Local Action

Sorbonne Photo 1An afternoon seminar entitled, “Solutions to Climate Change: The Power of Local Action” was held Friday at Université Panthéon Sorbonne. Bringing together past and present Equator Prize winners, scholars, photographers, students, and guests, the event highlighted local approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Following an afternoon of learning and sharing, participants enjoyed a dinner reception.



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Days 8 - Closing Session & Next Steps

Closing Photo 1


A morning closing session was held for Equator Prize winners at L’Italia in Bocca in Bercy Village. Bringing together community representatives and Equator Initiative staff for the final time, the event enabled participants to reflect on their experiences in Paris and to begin to think about leveraging the Equator Prize for future work. The session concluded with a farewell lunch.



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