What to bring to the UNFCCC in Bali

People attending the UNFCCC (UN Framework Conference for Climate Change) in Nusa Dua starting December 4th 2007 may have some queries about what to wear and what to bring. The official website informs delegates that apart from the opening meeting and ministerial meetings, suits and ties do not need to be worn. This is because of the heat and humidity in Bali at this time of year. This is a good idea considering people are coming from all over the world including countries currently experiencing winter. The website also says there will be an attempt to use minimal air conditioning to limit greenhouse gases. This is a bad idea because as anyone in Bali will tel you, its steam bath right now. Take a room with 200 people in it, no air flow and minimal AC and you’ve got a recipe for discomfort. They should crank up the AC to make people feel comfortable and get on with the important work.

Here is a short list of items a delegate to the UNFCCC might want to bring with them.
Sunhat – Just walking around a resort you can catch strong sunlight. Bali does not really have many good sunhats, so bring one that fits.
Sunblock – Bali is just 8 degrees south of the equator. Circle K and many other convenience stores sell a range of sunblock including Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat.
Sunglasses – the light intensity that reflects off of that lovely resort stonework can be strong. Whatever pair you buy make sure they are UV protectant. You can pick up a pair of sunglasses at ACE Hardware in the Kuta Galeria for 120,000rp and also at the Discovery Shopping Mall in Tuban. The most convenient place for delegate will be the Bali Collection mall in Nusa Dua.
Sandals – Smart looking sandals (Indonesian men wear smart black sandals) will be way more comfortable than shoes and socks. You can pick up a pair at Matahari department store in Kuta Square.
Decent pens – They sell a lot of junk over here. Pens often run out of ink fast or leak badly. Bring your own pens. Top floor of Matahari department store in Kuta Square is one place you can pick up supplies. Another place is the upstairs floor of Bintang supermarket in Seminyak, where they stock notebooks, pens, pencils etc.
Plug adaptors – Bali uses a 220 volt power supply with a 2 / 3 pin plug, most are not earthed. You can pick up cheap local adaptors at Matahari department store and ACE Hardware.
Light clothing – Any thing that traps heat such as a cotton t-shirt, socks, jeans etc. will be useless in Bali right now. That fact will be self evident even before you get into your taxi at the airport. Many companies such as Nike make comfortable clothing that is thin and looks decent.
Family photos – Balinese people are very family oriented and will love to see photos of your family.
New $100 bills – Visitors from the US bringing American currency should bring $100 bills as they get the highest exchange rate. Also the bills should be later than year 2000 with no tears, stains, ink marks or blemishes. There are also certain ‘series’ notes that have been flagged for counterfeit that will not be accepted.
Credit cards / debit cards – Your foreign credit / debit cards can be used at ATM’s and banks. The BCA Card Center on Jl. Raya Kuta in Kuta will allow you to take out 10m rp in a 24 hour period.
Deodorant – Seriously by 4pm you’ll smell even after sitting in an air conditioned room.
Dental floss – The dental floss sold in Bali is junk, bring your own. The Bali Collection Mall in the Nusa Dua complex will sell all the other daily items.

If you need extension chords and other household supplies for whatever reason your best bet is ACE Hardware located in the Kuta Galeria. Prices can be double that in the US.