A woman photographs a polluted creek in Fiji while others stand by

Lost Fijian

November 14, 2017
Internews Earth Journalism Network Fellow Sikeli Qounadovu from Fiji gives his initial impression of COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

Sikeli Qounadovu in Bonn, Germany

IN the Bourne series, Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon, was fighting his way trying to determine his true identity.

Just like Bourne, my journey to Germany was not trying to find my identity, but trying to find my way to Bonn, the venue of the world's biggest climate meeting, COP23.

But before reaching Bonn, I must first find my way to Cologne City.

I was on my way to Germany, as exciting as it sounds, it was scary at the same time being my first trip to an European country.

I was part of 14 international journalists that were selected by the Internews Earth Journalism Network to be in Germany and provide coverage for COP23.

On November 9, last week, I departed from Nadi International Airport bound for Brisbane, then to Abu Dhabi and then Dusseldorf — 25 hours flying time in total.

Brisbane was an easy transit with four hours to get on to the next plane, but it was at Abu Dhabi, that yours truly, while busy taking selfies and admiring this massive terminal, almost ended up at the terminal to the plane which was heading to Mumbai.

Arriving into Germany was worse when trying to find my way through to get to the accommodation.

Instructions were simple and easy, but again I lost my way — long story short, four tour guides, three trains and I reached the hotel — more than an hour from my expected time of arrival.

More importantly, trying to battle the extreme cold with temperature dropping to six degrees.

That is the story of the lost Fijian.

The Bonn identity is that this is the first COP where a small island developing state is presiding.

The Bonn supremacy is that everyone wants to know what the super powers — who are mostly the greatest carbon emitters — do. Will they finally come to an agreement for a carbon market?

The Bonn ultimatum will be the final demand or statement of terms, the reaction of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations. All carbon emitters will need to be mandated.

The Bonn legacy is what do you want to be achieved from this COP23. What will be our legacy coming out of COP23?

What future do we leave for our children?

The fellows selected were from different parts of the world.

On Saturday the 14 international journalists had their orientation day and were briefed on how to cover the COP23.

Executive director James Fahn touched base on the role of the EJN and the important role the media played in terms of coverage of COP23.

At the end of the orientation day, everyone, including myself, were looking forward to next week in what is being described as the week that could decide the future of human-kind.