Damanhur at the UN climate conference

Nov 24, 16 Damanhur at the UN climate conference

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From November 12-17, 2016, Damanhurian Macaco Tamerice was at the United Nations climate change conference COP 22, which has been held every year for 22 years. This year it was held in Marrakesh, Morocco, and Macaco was one of the delegates, thanks to Damanhur’s participation in the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). GEN was present at the event with 20 representatives, and almost all of them had the opportunity to give a presentation about a project in one of the large conference halls. The presence of Ban Ki Moon – the Secretary-General of the UN, ministers of almost all countries, some Presidents, the King of Morocco, many tens of thousands of people and countless NGOs made it possible to make many, many contacts and to talk about the movement of ecovillages and Damanhur. GEN has also signed an agreement with the government of Morocco to implement ecovillages in their country.

Macaco presented our sister community relationship with Guédé Chantier in Senegal as an example of practical action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN. She had already given the same presentation to the UN in late September in Geneva during the Human Rights Council. It was a great opportunity to speak about Damanhur, as we are a concrete example that puts into practice many of the SDGs, even more so since we have become active in developing countries.img_20161116_185612

Marrakesh was a fascinating setting for this event. Even though Macaco had little chance to explore it, she could still savor the atmosphere of Arabian Nights. A curious episode happened when, as they did every night, the GEN delegates were coming back from the COP and going to their hotel. Macaco crossed a large plaza, which at night becomes full of marketplace stalls, animals of every kind, impromptu performances, hypnotic percussion and more. It was kind of like being in the Eastern middle ages. There were also several poor macaque monkeys bound with chains for people to take photographs with them. A small macaque monkey tried to steal Macaco’s Selfica jewelry piece, but she noticed in time to stop the hand of the small macaque, who got scared and screamed, and he seemed well aware of having done something he wasn’t supposed to! Macaco was overwhelmed by a great sadness for these beings, who seemed as if they were human beings, enslaved and forced to steal. Not to mention the situation of the women… and at the same time, it was hard not to be fascinated by the beauty and exoticism of the place.