Monday, 7 December 2009

Telling the stories from Copenhagen

7 December, Copenhagen - With some 34,000 expressing interest in attending, 18,000 registered participants, and a conference venue built to take 15,000 delegates, it’s a battle to be heard at the World’s biggest climate change conference, the COP 15.

This may be the largest Pacific delegation ever in attendance at any world event, but it’s still easy to get lost in the crowds and events clamoring for attention here.

The long awaited United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNCFFF) 15th Conference of the Parties commonly termed as the “Copenhagen Meeting” opened today in Denmark.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has taken a team of Pacific media to help ensure that the Pacific voice will be loud and clear over the coming two weeks.

Six Pacific journalists are in Copenhagen to provide media and communications advice for both the largest known Pacific delegation ever, as well as to the 42-member Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS).

SPREP Associate Media and Publications Officer Nanette Woonton is leading both teams with staff of SPREP. PACNEWS Editor Makereta Komai and Pacific media freelancer Lisa Williams-Lahari are part of the team which works to provide media and communications advice for the Alliance of Small Islands Sates (AOSIS). They will also be guiding the regional Communications Team who will focus on the Pacific delegations.

Cherelle Jackson is a senior member of the Pacific Communications Team, she is joined by Geoffrey Smith of Fiji TV, Ahimsa Kibikibi of Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation and Rachna Lal, a senior journalism student of the University of the South Pacific and also the Editor of Wansolwara, the Universitys’ student newspaper.

“The role of this team is plentiful. They will not only be providing media and communications advice and guidance to the Pacific and AOSIS at COP15, the team will also have the responsibility of providing regular media coverage of proceedings at the conference”, said Woonton.

“We don’t anticipate an easy task on our hands given the importance and significance of this conference. But I’m confident the team will help keep our Pacific people in the know. Climate change is an issue that will have a major impact upon our lives - every bit of information is helpful.”

In 2008 SPREP took a Pacific Communications Team to the 14th Conference of the Parties in Poznan, Poland. This year support has come from both the Government of Canada and WWF to ensure that a larger team can attend this conference to feed information back to the small island nations of the world, and Pacific newsrooms.

To remain updated with the news from the team visit their blog site at:

If you would like to email the team, you can do so at

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