In Madrid, Spain, from December 2 to 13, 2019, the Twenty-Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP25, was held. It is a meeting whose vision is “… to favor concrete climate action, ensuring an inclusive process for all parties and the formal integration of the scientific world and the private sector. Our challenge is to achieve a transition towards increased action and that is perceived by the citizens. Climate change is a reality today, not in 50 years.”
One of the most remembered was the COP21 in 2015, the Paris Agreement, where all member countries make nationally determined commitments to limit the temperature increase to a maximum of 1.5 ° C by controlling greenhouse gases and CO2.
In preparation for this COP, the PreCOP25 was held in Costa Rica from October 8 to 10. Defined as an unconventional convention, beginning with the fact that PreCOPs are usually organized by the country that chairs the COP. This year was different since Chile and Costa Rica decided to collaborate after Brazil’s refusal to chair the event. Another peculiarity of the event is that the conversations on climate actions were combined in addition to the traditional political negotiations. The main theme and goal of this PreCOP were to include the theme of the Ocean in UNFCCC discussions and agreements.
Within the ocean theme, SAM was invited to participate and we were in a Panel discussing the reefs with representatives of the CIMAR of the University of Costa Rica, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, the Punta Cana Foundation of the Dominican Republic, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and of the National Administration for Oceanography and the Atmosphere (NOAA) these last two of the United States. The most emphasized points in the panel were that globally we must follow the recommendations of the Paris Agreement, share the “crazy” ideas of scientists in alliances between the government, academia, the private sector and with local communities. At the local level it is important to continue the small steps to educate, take us to see the corals and fall in love with our reefs and without knowing it this generates new economies in these sectors.
From these dialogues and concurrent activities between the political negotiations, a message was created to take it to COP25 and there was SAM from Puerto Rico to the world contributing its drop of the sea. Because as Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say, “Sometimes we feel that what we do is just a drop in the sea, but the sea would be less if that drop was missing.”