A day at the negotiations…Monday December 6th

December 7th, 2010

6.20 alarm goes off. I get up for a bit of yoga; I pack my bag with computer and relevant papers, before going to the beach for a quick swim. Last week strong winds meant the waves were very rough. Now it’s calm, and a 15 minute swim in the sea sets me up for a day in gloomy air conditioned rooms.
7.30 I grab a quick breakfast, pack some fruit for lunch, and walk briskly to catch a bus for the 10km ride to the conference centre transport hub is, with meeting rooms and exhibit space for NGOs.
8.45 I grab a reasonable looking sandwich and salad for my lunch and a coffee and rush off to the first meeting
9.00 As a coordinator of the NGOs working on adaptation, I attend a meeting to strategise the network’s activities for the day. We get news of sessions closed to observers from friends on delegations, and hear political analysis and discuss the key messages we want to get out to ministers.
10.00 A group of us from the UK meet to prepare for a meeting with Chris Huhne – planned for this morning, but he has been called to chair important negotiations, so it will be tomorrow.
10.45 I catch a bus for the 8km ride to where the negotiations are happening. I print off some documents I need for the rest of the day,
11.30 I chair a meeting of the NGO group on adaptation. We agree key points, and given the urgency of getting them to ministers, we disperse to prepare these points.
12.00 An hour getting up to date with the latest info from emails, and then a bus back to the Cancun Messe
14.00 To the daily meeting of the Cliamte Action Netowrk. Usually attended by well over 100 people. I report to the meeting on our meetings of earlier in the day.
15.00 I meet Helen, to work out a list of people we want to meet up with here, and what we want to talk to them about.
15.30 We meet up with Petr from a Czech NGO, who is one of our partner organisations, to discuss arrangements for him hosting the exhibition we have organised, called Adaptation Against the Odds, in Prague, and also to talk about some training for local NGOs that we are planning with his help.
16.30 I grab some more food, as I will be in a meeting until late, too late for a meal at the hotel. I write a quick article for the daily overnight newssheet published to give strong messages to delegates, sharing our key messages.
17.15 A bus to the negotiations centre again, for a meeting of a forum of a wide range of organisations all trying to assist governments to understand adaptation. The one positive aspect of all these bus rides is that there is usually someone I know on the bus that it is really useful to talk to. This time it is someone from a research institute who has done some great work on adaptation and is well respected. We talk about how the financial downturn is affecting our respective organisations, and the meeting we are both going to.
18.00 The meeting is useful, but too long! Hard to stay focused at the end of the day. I get a couple of chances to share what Practical Action can contribute. The chair of the meeting knows me and likes our work, so I get brought into the discussion. Then a couple of us offer to organise the next meeting in June, using more creative ways of getting people to talk to each other and share information – and that’s welcomed.
8.30 I rush out, to catch the first of two buses to get back to the hotel, and am able to have a useful conversation with Ian from the World Bank who wants to ask me about work we are doing to get local government involved in disseminating information.
21.45 Back at the hotel, I check my emails, upload the blog and then to bed, where I allow myself to read a few pages of my novel to unwind.

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