The Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes its 17th session in Durban, the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal in the country of South Africa. It may be auspicious for the role and influence of indigenous peoples in the content of a new climate change treaty that this session opens in the region of the Zulu and the place where human habitation extends 100,000 years and more in the past. The new round of meetings will convene on 28 November and end on 9 December 2011. and delegations of indigenous people and their technical personnel have begun to arrive in Durban.
The 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) will serve as the venue for a series of other supportive and related meeting including:
- Seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 7)
- Thirty-fifth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 35)
- Thirty-fifth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
- Sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for
Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (fourth part) (AWG-KP 16)
- Fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (fourth part) (AWG-LCA 14)
Perhaps of equal significance to the Durban venue in Zulu territory is that just little more than a year from the date of this session the Mayan calendar points to the winter solstice (188.8.131.52.0.0) in the Gregorian calender 2012 as the beginning of the Great Cycle..the point of Birth, Death and Renewal. The 13 years leading into the 2012 solstice have been a time a considerable transformation for the world and that transformation will continue for another 13 years from the beginning of the Great Cycle--also the time of Renewal.
We can all hope that these two facts combine to deliver a new global agreement on climate change by the beginning of the Great Cycle.