Summer '09: Nairobi festivals go green for UN climate campaign

This is a press release I found when surfing - I have doctored it by adding links and comments; see original version here:

Nairobi, 31 July 2009 - On 31 July the Storymoja Hay Festival made history by bringing the global event to Africa. The three-day festival brought together the best in Kenyan and international thinkers, writers, musicians, film makers, Nobel Laureates and other luminaries who discussed and debated the hot issues facing our world today.

It also hosted talks on critical topics facing East Africa, including a keynote discussion on Saturday, August 1 on climate change and the upcoming climate meeting in Copenhagen by the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Achim Steiner.

Modeled on Britain's annual and popular The Hay Festival, the event is designed to be a meeting of minds in order to brainstorm for solutions on climate change, the environment, education, finance, fair trade and business. [NOTE FROM JUHI: Check out how the Hay Festival is going green as part of its Greenprint programme, complete with its own Sustainability Toolkit of basic advice and list of environmental debates at the Festival.]

Held in some 20 tents in Nairobi's Impala Club, over 30 African and international literary luminaries, including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and Wangari Maathai, UK-born Academy Award winner Hanif Kureishi, Vikram Seth, Petina Gappah, and Monica Arac attended.

On Sunday 2 August, UNEP was also involved in Kenya's first green music festival in conjunction with Blankets & Wine - the premier afro-based music festival in East Africa. The event, titled Blankets & Wine presents Seal the Deal!, aimed to help raise environmental awareness on the road to an effective global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen this December. [NOTE FROM JUHI: the Blankets & Wine website appears to have malware / a virus so I have not added the link!]

The audience and performers at the music festival had a chance to make their voices heard by signing the online Climate Petition to encourage their leaders to seal a fair, balanced and effective climate deal when they meet in Copenhagen this December. They also received useful tips on how to green their lifestyles as they listened to live performances from some of East Africa's most talented musicians.

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