The Malaysian Youth Delegation hosted the annual Retreat at EPIC Collective over the weekend of the 28th and 29th April 2018. New members were asked to reflect the activities they took part in, what they learned along the way, and what they took away from the experience. Here’s what our new members had to say:

Pouvalen Seeneevassin

By: Pouvalen Seeneevassin

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) was an organisation that I had heard of since last year through Azam. I kept hearing about it from other friends who were involved in MYD from campus. It was intriguing, and I wanted to learn more. However, I was hesitant at first because I had never been part of this type of organisation. When I got to know the 2018 applications were opened, I thought I should give it a try.

MYD being actively involved in highlighting climate change got me curious because I have been focusing more towards work involving wildlife conservation. I believe it is good to help out NGOs but ultimately, policies are important on getting action pushed forward on a global scale. UNFCCC has a huge influence and learning about how it functions and delivers is an engaging topic to me.

Coming into the retreat, I was excited to meet new like-minded people. The varying backgrounds and ages that I came across got me perplexed but optimistic in the sense that being from an Environmental Science background, I tend to think people from engineering or business do not pay as much attention to issues like climate change because they would have other issues to tackle. So, right from the start during the introduction I was happy about the cluster of people who were there.

Hearing details about how policies come to be written and how tedious negotiations that sometimes go on overnight can be, I now understand how hard it is to achieve positive change. The MYD retreat helped me get to know the timeline of how UNFCCC has worked to come up with the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and many more through the workshops. Thomas’ timeline was useful to get a grasp of how things have gone down over the years. It was the perfect summary.

As for the activities. I enjoyed the toilet agreement. It probably is not as simple as it is at COP, but at least we got a small avant-gout as to what negotiations can be like. The insight I got was so much more than I thought, especially when Thomas later on pointed out the positives and negatives of each of the agreements we came up with. Hence, when negotiating, we need to look at all possible perspectives even if it gets tedious.

The retreat was a good experience and I learned so much. I still feel doubtful about whether MYD is right for me, but I want to stick around and find out more.