On December 12th 2015, the world united to
adopt the Paris Agreement, a legally binding consensus that aims to combat the adverse impacts of climate change. Conference of Parties (COP) led by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted 193 UN Member States, who gathered in Paris, France to work towards a compromise and discuss the future of today’s troubled world.
Former AMMACHI Labs Intern, Vidya Nair attended the conference as part of the Republic of Kiribati’s delegation. Kiribati—a small-island developing state in the South Pacific—is on the frontline of climate change impacts, as rising sea levels threaten their very survival. Vidya and three other colleagues a part of the Master of Development Practice program at the University of Waterloo in Canada worked with Kiribati during the negotiation process by outlining its position within this ambitious agreement.
For Vidya, the experience proved to be similar to that of her times in the villages a part of Women Empowerment: Sanitation through AMMACHI Labs. She learned to further advocate for those who are the most vulnerable in our world and strengthened her ambition to stand up for fair and just opportunities for all. She explained, “my time in the villages taught me to appreciate different viewpoints while learning from those who were at the front of AMMACHI Labs’ projects.”
In her opinion, the Paris Agreement assures that the world hears the plight of those susceptible to the impacts of climate change. She linked her experience of working with Kiribati to her time spent in Bhoi Sahi, where poverty-stricken villagers often felt abandoned by their communities. Her time in Paris confirmed her strong belief that the global community has not given up on these people, but will continue to work towards solutions. The world now looks forward to the implementation of this agreement and more to come, ensuring a safe, just, and environmentally conscious international community.