Ms. Seini Fotu from Tonga is at her very first CBD COP, it's also her first time to represent Tonga at such a meeting. She is the Deputy Head of the Biodiversity Section in the Environment Division of Tonga.
"It is the 16th of October 2012, and only 3 more days to go before COP11 draws to a close. Sitting here writing this blog I can only reflect over experiences. After the initial arrival excitement wears off, you settle into the routine COP duties, which after a while I have to admit, can be quite tiring.
This is put into true perspective when you are confronted by the harsh reality of global decision-making whereby after weeks of negotiation, country delegates are still trying to come to a consensus over various issues on the conservation and management of biodiversity. It has been a long week and despite everybody’s concerted efforts, you can tell that there is still lot left to do and yet so little time to do it. “One Pacific Voice” I believe has been a success in this context as it has been an effective medium for the Pacific delegates to voice our concerns on issues deemed to be significant importance to the Pacific.
On a lighter note, the weekend was quite refreshing when country delegates were free to explore Hyderabad to sight see and shop. It was good to step out and about and experience Indian culture and traditions. I joined few of the Pacific delegates at the Bazaar on Saturday and I was amazed at how crowded it was with people, vehicles, not to count the variety of goods/products on display. Kids were also running around carrying different things to sell and after 1 – 2 hours, we were pretty much weighed down with shopping bags and heading back to each our hotels.
On Sunday, a group of us decided to visit the Nehru Zoological Park. It was a beautiful day and surprisingly full at the Zoo as families spent their day in the sun either having a quiet picnic or taking the kids to see the animals. We ourselves had a similar intention so after being greeted by our very own Nehru Zoological Park tour guide, we set off to see the many species of animals both marine and terrestrial that made India special. Being typical pacific people, w were not even half way through the Zoo, we were already getting tired and hungry. We soldiered on however and managed to cover all the animals in the Zoo before we left to get something to eat. At the end of the day, my Sunday at the zoo felt pretty much like the COP in a nutshell. It was a beautiful day, a variety of the world’s wildlife at stake, and here we were, the delegates tasked with stewardship of it all and somewhat tired."