United to fight change

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United to fight change

THEY work for a French multinational group which specialises in nuclear power and renewable energy. However, when they’re not working, Carolina Meza and her partner Frederic Gheung travel halfway around the world to learn about climate change and how countries have adopted solutions.

Carolina and Frederic are environmental engineers by profession. They were in Fiji last month to see how the Fiji Government had implemented measures to combat climate change.

The trip was part of their work which they will later publish on their internet blog called “One Climate One Challenge”.

“We both wanted to travel around the world and use that time to examine climate change in the different countries we visited,” said Frederic.

“We were able to do it in 2011. We used our observations and encounters to write a blog throughout our journey about the impact of this phenomenon and community initiatives to adapt. When we returned home, we published a book about our incredible adventure.”

This year along with their little daughter, the couple are on another adventure to the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to coming to Fiji, they visited Singapore, Australia and New Zealand on the second leg of their tour.

“On our 2011 trip, we wanted to identify globally the effects of climate change and what was the observation at the time,” said Carolina.

“This time we want to focus on solutions on how to deal with climate change because we have heard so much about the consequences but we do know there are many good people who are working on how to deal with it. We saw a lot of innovation and solutions implemented all over the world and it was very positive because we know climate change is a threat.”

The couple spent over a week in Fiji meeting members of the Climate Change Unit under the Ministry of Economy. Both said they were impressed with the presentation made by the government department.

Carolina said: “You have a big policy that not only looks at climate change but to develop the country.

“The climate change team, because they’re under the Ministry of Economy, they are able to have an impact on the development of the country so things that are related to climate change can go up to the communities. They will not stay at a national level, it would actually get implemented and there would be action carried out.

“For example they send questionnaires to the community then they assess the situation and know what’s going on … so they know whether the communities are affected by climate change and how they are reacting to it. It’s a really big program and one which is very good.”

Frederic added: “You know Fiji will be hosting the 23rd edition of the Conference of Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany end of this year, so it was really great that we got to meet the very people behind it.”

The Frenchman of Chinese descent said he would be covering the big meeting for their blog.

The COP23 is scheduled to take place in Germany from November 6-17 at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, the seat of the Climate Change Secretariat. Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will be president of the event.

The duo left the country with high hopes of continuing their work on climate change. Readers can follow their blog on http://oneclimateonechallenge.blogspot.com/ for their articles and pictures of their travels around the world including Fiji.

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