On the morning of 26th February 2016, Kopin, with the collaboration of the Malta College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (MCAST) organized the seminar “Building resilience to Climate Change”.
The initial idea was to have a two-hour seminar with various speakers tackling the problem of climate change from different perspective. The reality was that the interest of the audience was quite high and it took one extra hour to answer all the questions raised.
The conference started with a presentation by Dr Eman Calleja on how climate change is affecting Malta. The Maltese scenario reflects the global perspective since, as in most parts of the world, during the last decade Malta experienced a reduction in rainfall and an increase in temperatures. The second speaker, Dr Nicola Lamaddalena, from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy), provided the audience with more information on the situation in the Mediterranean in general, with particular emphasis on water scarcity and some potential solutions to the problem. Dr Stefano Moncada and Prof Hilary Bambrick introduced the global perspective and presented the case sudy of a biogas digester provided to a small community in Ethiopia as a way of combating climate change (by reducing deforestation) while providing clean energy.
After that, the seminar focused on policy actions negotiated during COP 21 in Paris. Mr Jerome Mounsey from DG Climate Action, one of the EU negotiators in Paris, explained the progress made with regard to land use. The last speaker, Mr Tim Lewis from Handcrafted Films, explained the perspective of civil society. Mr Lewis focused his attention on indigenous communities and how they impact the issue of climate change in a positive way. Two short documentaries produced by Handcrafted Films were shown to illustrate this point.
Different points of view emerged from the debate between the participants and the speakers. The audience was very engaged in the discussion and glad to contribute to it. The conference reached its goal: people left the room with a better understanding of climate change, the students took notes about the discussion; each speech was clear, good and well structured.