Judy Lumb's Africa Blog --- December 2011 - April 2012

Buying a Cow

23 January 2012 — I went with Gladys and Dave to look at a cow and in the process learned about the mud-and-wattle building method. Click here for details and photos.


Kenya at the ICC

23 January 2012 — Today was a big announcement in the International Criminal Court (ICC) about cases pending from Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008. Click here for details.


Life in Lumakanda

20 January 2012 --- I have now been here in Lumakanda for two weeks and I will share some of what I have observed about life here --- Click here.


A Peace of Africa

12 January 2012 --- A Peace of Africa is a new book (2011) written by David Zarembka, Director of the African Great Lakes Initiative. I recommend it highly. Click here for my review.


Upcountry Kenya

9 January 2012 --- The last two days have been travel days from South Africa to Kenya. I have now arrived where I will be headquartered for the next three months. Here are some details on travels.


Central and South African Yearly Meeting

8 January 2012 --- I was very excited to be able to attend Central and Southern African Yearly Meeting (unprogrammed Friends). For more details, click here.


Animal Movies

30 December 2011 --- I've managed to upload a few movies.


Reflections on South Africa

29 December 2011 --- As I prepare to leave Cape Town, I am reflecting on my experiences of South Africa in comparison to the U.S. Click here.


Cape Peninsula Drive

29 December 2011 --- Kelly and Brad, African traditional healers who live just across the street in Oude Molen, invited me to go along with them and their daughter, Isabella, on an excursion down the peninsula around Cape Point to see the penguins and beautiful views.


Cape Town Scenes

28 December 2011 --- Before I leave Cape Town, here are some more scenes.


Birds of Southern Africa

28 December 2011 --- I finally got nerve enough to face my bird photos and they were not as bad as I thought, but don't expect too much of my little camera. Some are birds are barely discernible, but at least you can get an idea of the variety of them here. Click here


Kirstenbosch Gardens

26 December 2011 --- My first hop-off the double-decker tour bus was at Kirstenbosch Nationa Botanical Gardens on the slopes of Devils Peak.


Cape Town Celebrates Boxing Day

26 December 2011 --- I saw how Cape Town celebrated Boxing Day from the "hop-on, hop-off" double-decker bus around the western Cape to Hout Bay and around Cape Town.


Christmas at Lighthouse

25 December 2011 --- Merry Christmas, or, as they say here, Happy Christmas. Last night was a Christmas Eve dinner at Lighthouse Farm Lodge, which is in Oude Molen Eco-Village in the Cape Town suburb of Pinelands. I feel so at home here --- I could be in Barranco, which is where I usually am for Christmas. Click here for more details and photos.


COP-17 Afterthoughts

23 December 2011 --- Going through leftover COP-17 materials I find I have more to say that I didn't get to in the rush of the Conference. Click here for more information on new sources of funding for climate change responses.

Robben Island

21 December 2011 --- I went to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held for decades during the Apartheid days in South Africa. Click here for more details and photos.

Wine/Cheetah Tour

20 December 2011 --- The area near Cape Town is ideal from growing fruits, especially grapes, so there are many, many wine farms. We went to three wineries and a rapter rehabilitation/cheetah outreach center. Click here for details and photos.

Cape Town

19 December 2011 --- I am now in Cape Town, staying in another backpacker hostel, Lighthouse Farm Lodge in Oude Molen Eco-Village. My first sight-seeing adventure was a ride up Table Mountain in a cable car. Click here for views from the top.

Chobe National Park

16 December 2011 --- I am now in Chobe National Park, staying at Chobe Game Lodge in the park. The Chobe National Park is home to approximately 45,000 elephants, 500 lions, countless impalas, other antelope species (waterbuck, puku, lechwe, kudu), hippos, giraffes, African buffalo, baboons, vervet monkeys, two species of mongoose, two species of monitor lizards, and many more.Click here for more details and a slideshow of animals.

Victoria Falls

14 December 2011 --- COP-17 is over and now I am a tourist for one week. My first stop is Victoria Falls. My sons will not be surprised as I often took them to waterfalls. This is the most impressive I have ever seen, not in height, but in breadth, several kilometers wide. The Zambezi River spreads out like a delta and falls into a gorge. Click here for a slide show of the falls viewed from the ground and from the air in a helicopter.


Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-17) Durban, South Africa, November 28 - December 9, 2010: Working together to save tomorrow today

COP-17COP-17 Meeting Room


COP-17 Outcome

11 December 2011 --- I had to leave before it finished, but I can see the direction it is heading. Click here for my take on the outcome.


Being Here

10 December 2011 --- We are all waiting for the resumption of the last session of the COP, time to be announced. Undoubtedly you will get many reports of the outcome here in Durban. I will add my version after the final is announced. But what I can provide at this point is a description of what it is like to be here. Click here for that.


Last Night

9 December 2011 --- We thought it was going to be the last night, but after gaveling the few decisions that have already been made, all from the first week, they suspended the COP until tomorrow morning at 10 am. It seems that the developing countries are blocking that bad agreement that was proposed. For more on the issues and rumors, click here.


CJN Press Conference

9 December 2011 --- Climate Justice Now had a Press Conference at 6:30 pm tonight that was webcast on the UNFCCC website. <unfccc.int>. It may still be there. Look for "on-demand." They were deploring the proposed agreement that came out this morning. There will be no second period of the Kyoto Protocol at Durban, but negotiations are to go on all year with the approval at COP-18 in Qatar. CJN speakers recommended that developing countries block this agreement. For more detail click here.


Country Reports

8 December 2011 --- I have been to most of the Country Reports. While the Ministers are negotiating in closed sessions, the open sessions involve each country giving their statement. It was my favorite part in Cancun, so I went to most of them. It took three days for all 193 countries plus Palestine to report.

Each country described their individual experiences with the effects of climate change. The only countries that didn't mention serious problems were the industrialized countries that emit most of the greenhouse gases. Click here for more details, including transcripts of the Belize, U.S. and Venezuela reports.


Actions and Security

During the country reports there were two demonstrations, "Turn your back on Canada," and a woman shouting a speech against the U.S. All were led out of the room by police. Click here for more details on these and other demonstrations inside the Conference.


High Level Sessions

6 December 2011 --- The Ministers have arrived and today was the opening ceremony for the high level segment of COP-17. The dignitaries spoke, the Executive Director of the UNFCCC, President of COP-17, President of South Africa, and UN Secretary General. Then several Heads of State spoke, most of whom were representing groups of countries. They were speaking to the Ministers, explaining their group’s agenda, so the issues became a little clearer. All were very compelling and several represented the most vulnerable countries, so the urgency and importance of a positive result from Durban was emphasized. As usual, click here for more details if you aren’t too tired of reading this and have the time.


Major Issues

6 December 2011 --- Summary of the major issues: Basically the industrial countries that have caused the problem do not experience so much adverse effects from climate change now, and what they do experience they have the resources to address, so they do not feel so much urgency. In contrast, developing countries that did not cause the problem are experiencing serious adverse effects and do not have the resources to adapt, so they feel a great urgency for action. The major issues involve the question of a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, which ends at the end of 2012, goals for emissions reductions, carbon offsets, and financing of developing country needs. Click here for more detail.


COP-17 Structure and Function

5 December 2011 ---My summary of the first week: a few agreements are finalized on minor issues, and much negotiating work has been done. But there doesn’t seem to be much progress on the major issues. Everyone awaits the results of the high level meetings with Ministers this week. Today’s detail includes an explanation of the structure and function of each part of the UNFCCC, and some of the minor agreements completed. Click here for COP-17 Structure and Function.


First Week Ends

4 December 2011 --- It is now midnight on Saturday night that finishes the first week, so it is a marathon night which will go until the work is done. The first week involves decisions on technical, organizational, and financial issues, as well as preliminary negotiations on political issues. More detail later today on what came out of the first week. The second week is the high level negotiations at the ministerial level. Some heads of state will be here.


World Day of Action

4 December 2011 --- World Day of Action was a march through the streets of Durban of many, many people, the 99% expressing themselves. I positioned myself on a balcony so I could get an overview and then joined the march. Click here for a slideshow.


Decision-Making Process

3 December 2011 --- Before heading out to the march I want to share a bit on the controversy on the decision-making process of the COP-17. Click here to read more.


Preliminary Actions

2 December 2011 --- Tomorrow (Saturday, Dec 3) is the big march, so today there were several actions to build the momentum for it. It was all very uplifting for me. Click here for more details and photos.

But then I went to the briefing by the U.S. Head Negotiator, Jonathan Pershing. He was very slick, almost manic. He has it all worked out in his head how the U.S. can make a positive contribution despite the restrictions placed on the team due to the political realities. I came out of there depressed because it all seems so impossible, so unfair.



2 December 2011 --- Mitigation: In contrast to Adaptation, Mitigation refers to avoiding the effects of climate change altogether, reducing carbon emissions so that the change is averted. The pledge in Copenhagen was vaguely stated as a range of 25 to 40% reduction by 2020, but that was not legally binding. Developing countries are calling for 40% reduction by 2017 and 95% by 2050. According to current science, this is what is required to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C. Click here for more on Mitigation.



1 December 2011 --- A new emphasis on Adaptation to the effects of climate change was important in Cancun because many developing countries are feeling serious effects of climate change already. They need help adapting to the new reality from the developed countries that owe them a debt from historical benefits from carbon emissions.

I am going to the Adaptation sessions and reporting back to the Climate Justice Now group at the morning meetings. Last night I went to a side event for the Adaptation Fund because it included a presentation by Sharon Ramclam, Director of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) of Belize because PACT is accredited as a National Implementation Entity. Click here for more on Adaptation.


Occupy Earth

My Internet is back, so I can upload photos from Occupy Earth. I have heard Quakers are involved and got another hint. The People's Assembly yesterday began with an explanation of hand signals and the first was the Quaker alternative to clapping as a signal of approval. Click here for more details and photos.


Issues Arising

30 November 2011 --- I am keeping up with the Climate Justice Now (CJN) coalition, which involves many organizations. We meet each morning and someone is assigned to go to each official meeting and report back the next morning, so that is very helpful. There are a very few opportunities for Civil Society to make "interventions" (give statements) at plenaries. There are no "actions" going on in the meeting space as security is very tight. Some delegates who participated in actions in the past were denied badges this time. The Occupy Earth space is just across the street. I went to their assembly this afternoon and have some photos, but can't upload now. I hope all Occupy movements are holding COP-17 in the Light! Click here for a beginning list of issues arising.


Opening Ceremony

28 November 2011 --- Today COP-17 was officially opened with the outgoing President Patricia Espinosa, Foreign Minister of Mexico, turning over the reins to incoming President of COP-17, H.E. Ms.Maitte Nkoana-Mashabane, who is also the Foreign Minister of her country, South Africa. As in Cancun, we have a woman in charge and again she emphasized that the process would be inclusive and open. Click here for more details.


Rally - Bishop Tutu

27 November 2011 --- I spent the most of the day at the stadium where there was a free concert and rally sponsored by a coalition of all the Faith groups, featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu. It made me even more conscious how important is the U.S.'s stubborn resistance. I'm going to send emails to U.S. media asking them to cover COP-17, and to the White House. Click here for more details.


Getting there

26 November 2011 --- It took six planes and three days of flying, but I am now in Durban, South Africa. Click here for details and photos.


A Leading to go to Africa

31 October 2011 --- My leading is to go to Africa for five months bracketed by two events, COP-17 in Durban, South Africa in Dec, and World Gathering of Friends in Kenya in April, 2012

Jan 2012 - Mar 2012 I am volunteering with the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI). AGLI requires that all volunteers raise funds. If you are led to contribute to this effort, put my name in the memo line and send a check to AGLI/FPT, 1001 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104. Thanks!