Progress Update for the First Couple of Days of COP18 in Doha, Qatar

Dear IFMSA Family,

Excited…Nervous…Anxious…are just few of the many feelings that myself and the delegation are having on our first day at COP18 in Doha, Qatar. As we woke up this morning, we all embraced ourselves for the day ahead of us with the rest of the fifteen thousand participants and to see all the exciting opportunities that we would encounter to spread IFMAS message of the affects and importance of health with the ever-changing and unstable climate change we are experiencing today.

Our first day started off by helping the World Health Organization (WHO) to find their booth at the exhibition hall, as we are working very closely with them this year. We had a discussion with Elena and Marina about the WHO/IFMSA interview with Mohammed, the chair of GCF and the Health and Climate Change Medical Students Perspective video by IFMSA which is supported by WHO and will be debuted this Friday.

Maria and myself attended a side meeting on Monday for the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and they introduced four main recommendations to CMP 8. These recommendations was to continue JI as a highly functional emission reduction, ensure operations and ERU issuance after 2012 by adopting transitional measures until CP2 comes into effect and AAU’s can be issued, review and discuss and adopt the revised JI guidelines and to increase mitigation targets and provide support for flexible mechanisms such as JI.

From attending this side event I found that the JI movement is not necessarily different from CDM in majority countries instead it appears to only differ in countries with a high CAP. Additionally, it was stated that JI is still needed in the future since the design allows for a higher environmental standard, and the unique mechanisms of ambitions and targets allows the utilization of funds from the private sector. Furthermore, it also allows creativity which cannot be detected by government and research institutes.

On Tuesday we also attended another side meeting for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) where they proposed five main objectives. These objectives were inclusive of: improving efficiency and clarity, ensuring environmental integrity, enhancing regional distribution and sustainable development, improving stakeholder engagement and CDM fit for the future. They expressed concern that that systems are working more than it ever has and that there is a goal for a 5% cut for the next year. My professor at St. George’s University Huge Sealy actually sits on the executive board for CDM and has expressed that in terms of scalability CDM conducted 5,000 projects this year alone.

Moreover in creating a sustainable development CDM proposed that local decisions go beyond a mandate discussion and is apart of a system focus on additionally. As the meeting came to an end CDM’s closing statements where that the best way to promote a sustainable development is for authorities in government need to realize that they have the responsibility to create sustainability within their community.

Opposed to the exciting side events and exposure of JISC and CDM initiatives and goals we were also able to make connections with several parties, NGO’s and secretaries. There is a wide range of participants attending the conference and it is exciting to know that there are potential connections that IFMSA can make to promote and integrate the health aspect within the effects of climate change that we are now experiencing. It has only been a couple of days into the conference and there already shows to be some promise of the possibility to be included in documentaries with the Doha film institute and an private film organization which is based in Nepal.

Also on Tuesday we were able to have our first virtual participation session where we invited the team of officials to help us finalizing our advocacy strategy for COP18. This was a great sense of relief since we were able to share all our excitements and news as well as ask for directions and advise from IFMSA experts that have attended COP before. We feel as though the conference call was affective and are enthusiastic and looking forward to our next virtual meeting with IFMSA members to update and discuss our progress at COP.

Remember that every voice makes a difference. Take action now and continue to promote medical perspectives in correlation with health and climate change.

Well wishes to the entire IFMASian family from Doha,

Tanya Kondolay on behalf of COP18 IFMSA delegation

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