by Donna Bigler
Watch the December 8 live presentation on the web: Results of Global River Talks at COP 21
|WAU Adjunct Professor Colin Wellenkamp
Takoma Park, MD (December 1, 2015) Washington Adventist University (WAU) Adjunct Professor Colin Wellenkamp will be directing a delegation of Mississippi River Mayors who are attending the United Nation’s climate change conference that started this week in Paris. They are part of the mayor-led Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI), and will be initiating talks with officials from other major food-exporting river basins around the world in an effort to secure food and water security in the face of climate change.
The delegation will be addressing ways to sustain the world’s food-producing rivers as a side-bar to the conference, which is the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year, COP21 seeks to achieve a binding and universal agreement on climate by nations around the world.
Wellenkamp is executive director of the MRCTI, and the delegation to Paris includes the following mayors: Chris Coleman of St. Paul, Minnesota; Dave Kleis of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Roy Buol of Dubuque, Iowa; and Larry Brown of Natchez, Mississippi. The group is working with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations Environment Program, the International Network of Basin Organizations, ecoAmerica, and the International Society of River Science to facilitate an international conversation about sustaining the world’s food-producing rivers.
“We know that climate disruption is having an impact on the Mississippi,” said Coleman. “Over the last several years, the Mississippi River Valley has sustained successive 100, 200, and 500-year flood events, a 50-year drought, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Isaac.”