Friday, 15 June 2012

Vibrant village at Athletes Park, 14 June, 2012

One of the many amazing sights at Athletes Park
From Fiji to Papua New Guinea to Samoa then on to Rio! Ms. Kathleen Leewai, the Publications and Communications Intern at SPREP is attending her first international environment conference - the Rio+20, this has been made possible with support from PACMAS, SPREP and Conservation International Pacific Island Program. Born and raised in Fiji, Kathleen has lived in Papua New Guinea, Australia and now in Samoa at SPREP where she works as the Publications and Communications Intern. This is Kathleens first time outside of the Pacfic region, read about her experiences!

"(Written on Day 3, 3 June) As day 3 in Rio rolled by, the battle for accreditation continued as some of our delegation managed to receive their credentials but we were told once again to come back the next day. Fortunately the day was salvaged and we kept our spirits up as we decided to use the day to check out the venue of some of the off-site Rio+20 side events and exhibits.

Athletes Park is the first venue built by the municipal government of Rio de Janeiro for the next Olympic Games which will be held here in Rio in 2016. It was finished in 2011 and will be used as an area for rest, leisure and relaxation by the athletes competing in the games.

During Rio+20, Athletes Park is housing exhibits from industries and countries, as well as pavilions set up by UN agencies and the main Brazilian pavilion for the conference.

An Island Hub exhibit has been organised by UNDESA, with support from the Government of Italy, at Athletes Park and will showcase Small Island Developing States (SIDS). One of the ways we are showcasing the Pacific at this global conference is by being a part of this exhibit, which we will be populating with publications and material from SPREP and regional partners.

Athletes Park is an exciting, vibrant venue with so many exhibits ranging from electric vehicles to the culture of the Amazon states, from the Island Hub to the socio-biodiversity market that is a part of the Brazilian pavilion. With so much on show I hope there’ll be time to see it all!

(Written on day 4, 14 June) I was lucky to have the chance to go back on our fourth day here as, after receiving our credentials and heading inside, we were invited to a side event at Athletes Park that featured an NGO from PNG and I got to go talk to him. There is still so much to see here, though, so I will look out for more opportunities to return to Athletes Park."

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