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Meet your Director, Sharan Ghai!

Sharan is a senior at the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a biological sciences major with a specialization in ecology, along with an English minor. She was a part of UCMUN 2018 as the assistant director of UNHCR, and has been a part of a few other MUN’s before. She is very excited to be a director in UCMUN 2019. Aside from UCMUN, Sharan is quite involved in other campus organizations and clubs too! When she’s not buried away at the library with a copious amount of coffee at her disposal, you can find her working at the Nutmeg Publishing office, where she writes; at the WHUS studio, where she’s a radio jockey; volunteering for the United Nations; or with her friends from UConn ASHA for Education. Sharan is very excited to meet all her delegates, looks forward to working with them immensely and encourages them to contact her at sharan.ghai@uconn.edu.

 

Meet your Topic Specialist, Ilinca Johnson!

Ilinca is a sophomore dual-majoring in marketing and psychology. This will be her sixth Model UN conference. She has been on the UCMUN staff for two conferences and was a high school delegate for four years. She has been a part of JCC, UNEP, WFP, UNICEF, and CSW. Ilinca can often be found preoccupying her time with activities dedicated to the well-being of all of humanity. Such include getting an education, meditation, writing, watching political comedy, volunteering for science competitions, taking walks, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and long-distance swimming. Besides that, Ilinca is currently in the process of editing and publishing a science fiction novel and working on her start-up. She can be reached via email at ilinca.johnson@uconn.edu.

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Topic A: The Coral Catastrophe

It is no secret that global climate change is drastically changing ecosystems and weather patterns all over the world, but what many neglect to see is the extensive damage climate change is causing to coral reefs. Coral reefs have been dying, or “bleaching”, at an alarming rate since the first spike in ocean temperatures in 1998. Coral bleaching happens when the symbiotic relationship that coral has with zooxanthellae,a type of algae,ceases to exist. When environmental conditions like temperature and pH of the water are no longer suitable for the survival of the zooxanthellae they leave the coral and find a new home, leaving coral bare and white (hence the term “bleaching”). Coral reefs are the foundation for the entire ocean ecosystem. All sea creatures’ survival and longevity relies on coral reefs, and  human rely on those fish for means of economic production. Coral also helps humans by absorbing and storing CO2 emitted, and regulating the pH of the ocean; as more coral dies the issue of global climate change continues to become more dire. The mission of the UNEP is to find an environmentally sustainable way to preserve and protect the remaining coral reefs from bleaching and by doing so save both oceanic biodiversity and the lives of humans who depend on the survival of coral reefs.

Topic B: Air Pollution in Industrialized Nations

Although numerous countries have made a conscious effort to decrease air pollution in the past, many industrial and developing nations still have alarmingly high AQI (Air Quality Index) ratings. Some of the most prominent areas of air pollution exist in cities in India, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. When the concentration of air pollutants becomes too high, a physical smog can be seen. This smog is very damaging to both the health of people and the natural environment; all living things need clean air to live, not air overcome with CO2 emissions and countless other hazardous products. This hazardous air is a product of highly industrial areas who release an excess of harmful chemicals directly into the air from their production facilities. Not only does this heavily polluted air stunt the growth of living organisms, but it is also a great contributor to global climate change. The UNEP must take action to  combat air pollution in industrial nations in order to reduce climate change and its threat to society.