Cooperation. To cooperate means to act together, with purposes of mutuality and not speculative ones, to carry out a project or to achieve an aim.
And what other opportunity to experience this concept, if not at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP)?
It was out first day here at the COP24 when three Chinese guys stopped us in the corridors to film a short interview about environmental policy. After that quick moment, we thought our collaboration would have ended but we were wrong. Our peers contacted and invited us to the side event “Young Climate Action” that they were going to host in the Chinese pavillion on Tuesday 11th. The topics to focus on were the concepts of cooperation and environmental education.
The event was divided in two parts:
The first one saw the intervention of different Chinese people, who stressed the importance of the awareness among youngers, especially in China, regarding environmental education and energy policies. Later on, the discussion became more dynamic and participative for the public too, thanks to the introduction of two panels and several guests. Firstly, the panelists were asked to explain their own vision on how youth deal with climate changes, both in an academic and social way. Afterward, the attention shifted on young representatives of different geographical areas of the globe. The countries were China, Japan, Malaysia, Kenya, Switzerland, the US and Italy, for which I was delegate. One of the questions we were asked referred to the main topics of the session and requested us to explain our experiences of collaboration in the environment field.
The adventure at the COP24 allowed me to be part of that kind of event for the first time in my life. At first, talking in front of a public so mixed in terms of origin, age, sex and culture, made me feel a bit uneasy. This because I didn’t feel prepared enough to represent all my friends here at the COP and, more in general, all Italian youngsters. Nevertheless, as soon as I started chatting with all the others young delegates, the stir faded away leaving space for the desire to converse and explain the reasons why we are here and the importance of cooperation. It might be foreseen and trite but, simply by exchanging ideas and opinions on such salient themes with other students from various realities, I established deep connections and got the chance to see the same subject from other point of views.
Personally, I believe that even small things have a really big impact, that most of the time we don’t even realize. I was positively impressed, for example, by the fact that some guys took a few time at the end of the side event to come and talk to me and the other panelists. It’s thanks to that kind of experiences that we can really understand the importance of our actions. From a simple interview in the corridors, we got the opportunity to participate in a whole event: these are the effects of cooperation!