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Samuel in the Clouds

UN Environment has taken part in a Ciné-ONU film screening and debate attended by over 300 people just days after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

‘Samuel in the Clouds’ is a documentary illustrating the impact of climate change on a Bolivian ski lift operator who is faced with melting glaciers and predictions of a snowless future in his region. It was screened at the Flemish Parliament in Brussels on 8 November.

During a subsequent lively discussion, UN Environment’s biodiversity and ecosystems focal point for Europe Thierry Lucas spoke on how the effects of climate change can be mitigated. Incentives can be provided for businesses to transition to renewables, he said for example, while citizens can also contribute. “Each of us can be an ambassador of climate change, we need to change the way we consume, change our behaviour,” he underlined.

“Global interaction is very important, especially in regards to knowledge sharing,” noted Victor Dries, Environmental Advisor to the Vice-President of the Flemish government Liesbeth Homans. “We must act locally and share globally,” he said, stressing that developed countries should be a role model to developing economies and focus on education and youth empowerment.

The power of images and movies is key to successfully communicate on the effects of climate change to society, claimed the documentary’s director Pieter Van Eecke. “I’ve been worrying about climate change for many years and searching for a way to film it in a human way,” he explained.

“Although we are at the beginning of a long road, this is a positive moment in history,” concluded UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Cristina Gallach, referring to the Paris Agreement and the contribution of civil society to it being reached.

The event was a collaboration between the Government of Flanders and the United Nations Regional Information Centre.

You can watch the film’s trailer here and view a handout for the event here. For further information please write to




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