Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters
The Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters is the principal UN intergovernmental body within the Economic and Social Council that works to find innovative ways to mitigate climate change and deal with the effects of natural disasters. This committee is responsible for shaping policies within the United Nations to help educate citizens regarding the effects of this crisis and take proactive steps to ensure that such crises are prevented in the future. The commission is comprised of delegates from countries of approximately 50 nations, who are continuously working to address emerging issues and providing a forum for open discussion regarding international climate disasters. In future sessions, the Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters will be addressing both the effects of food and population on climate change as well as strengthening our resilience to natural disasters. The chair of the committee will be looking forward to a trajectory that accomplishes significant measures strengthening the response of the international community in combating natural disasters and climate change.
Topic A: Effects of food and population on climate change
Topic B: Strengthening resilience to natural disasters
Background Guide: Now Available!
Letter from the Chair
Dear Honorable Delegates,
My name is Sophie Mirviss and I am pleased to announce that I will be Chair for the Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters. I would first off like to welcome you all to JHUMUNC 2018! I am so excited for this year’s conference, and truly hope you will have an amazing experience. I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I am currently a senior at Hopkins, studying International Studies and Economics. Aside from being active in JHUMUNC on campus, I am also a member of the Hopkins Model UN Team, Hopkins Democrats, and I spent that fall semester interning in Washington, DC. In my free time, I enjoy exploring farmers markets with friends, reading, and finding unique coffee shops.
I became involved with Model UN my first year at Johns Hopkins. After joining the travel team here, I decided that I wanted to help organize the same experience for high school students so they could enjoy Model UN as much as I did. Last year in JHUMUNC 2017, I served as the chair for the Senate Committee on the U.S. Recession (2008). I was so impressed with the spirit and commitment each student brought to committee every session. In addition, I loved the students’ innovative thinking and discussion that sparked intense debate and was constantly opening up new dialogue.
This year, we turn our attention to the environment and natural disasters. Climate change and its effects on our world is a primary concern for the United Nations. In light of, or some could say despite of, the Paris Climate Agreement in October 2016, it is imperative that delegates within this conference take concrete and actionable steps to address issues of climate change and natural disasters, particularly relating to how they affect resources and differing populations (Global North vs. Global South). The role of the food industry, meat in particular, and issues stemming from overpopulation has enormous carbon footprints and affect the environment in more ways than most people understand. It is the job of this conference to take proactive steps to understand the role food and population play in climate change and discuss ways to reduce its impact. In addition, while many people watch the aftermaths of natural disasters on news channels, understanding the human and environmental costs of natural disasters, particularly in regards to development and escaping the ‘poverty trap,’ is vital yet less focused on. This conference aims to address these problems and create a framework that strengthens the resilience and prosperity of the environment and the native population to possible future disasters.
Prepare yourself to be an active contributor during committee sessions, and I promise you will have an unforgettable experience at JHUMUNC 2018. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at any time with all questions or concerns you may have regarding the conference or anything in general. I cannot wait to meet you all in February and have an absolutely great conference!
Chair for the Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters