Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Third Day Recap

Today I focused on attending presentations and talks that revolved around technology.  I saw two very interesting talks at the USA Pavilion, the first from a representative of NASA who talked about the monitoring capabilities of the satellites they have in space, and the second one involved three presenters who talked about climate mitigation strategies and forests. 

The first talk  was interesting because it was neat to see the different models generated by NASA for deforestation, forest fires, global moisture, and temperature projections.  The models and maps showed that NASA has the capability to use the satellites to measure a number of different things, that can be used to track the effects of climate change.  One key issue that I had with this presentation was that the speaker did not really explain what NASA was doing with the data.  He mentioned as a side note that the models or maps could be shown to delegates, but he did not mention if scientists would explain the data or just show it to the policy makers.

The second presentation consisted of three individuals, who were introduced by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.  The presenters were a researcher from Indonesia who specializes in mangrove research, a scientist from Gabon who talked about land use planning, and someone from Costa Rica who talked about a project that was created to lower emissions in the coffee industry.  The Indonesian presenter was very good and explained how he worked with several countries on studying deforestation of the mangrove forests and how this is contributing to higher emissions.  He also talked about developing mitigation strategies, and currently the only one consists of planting more mangrove trees, so there is a research gap about other strategies that can be developed.

The scientist from Gabon is highly involved with the government and policy making in his country, and talked about how the government passed a sustainable development law where assessments need to be done in every sector to quantify the amount of carbon emissions.  Researchers just finished creating maps showing where biodiversity is concentrated in the nation and areas of high carbon sequestration potential. 

The talk by the individual from Costa Rica was very interesting because the government worked with over 50,000 coffee farms to create sustainable coffee growing practices.  They created NAMA (Nationally Appropriated Mitigation Actions) to successfully reach their goal of lowering carbon emissions from the coffee sector.  They used different techniques such as growing shaded coffee, using bean pulp as an energy source, and water from the processing factories to water the trees.  Cosa Rica has the first coffee brand that is 100% carbon neutral, and this brand of coffee receives more money than other brands because it is carbon neutral.

All of the talks showed that there are different strategies and technologies created that can assist in solving climate change.  It was very nice to see that the developing countries are taking matters into their own hands and conducting research, creating laws, or making new policies to lower their emissions and fix environmental problems, instead of waiting for technology transfer or money from developed organizations. 


  1. These presentations sound very interesting. I was sitting here reading your post about the things that these individuals have accomplished, and it is incredibly impressive. I'm imagining what it would be like to have a conversation with these people. Often times people ask one another what they do for a living, and they spend their time contributing to the prevention of a global issue. I imagine they feel both a sense of accomplishment and frustration because they have all made a huge impact toward the prevention of climate change, but globally there are still a lot of changes that need to be made.

  2. While it's good to see all this research, it also makes me wonder -- are the U.S. & other governments using study as a substitute for action? Pretending that we need more information to know what needs to be done?