#COP28, #MYD

Malaysian Youth Delegation’s Post-COP 28 Forum

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by mydclimate

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We are thrilled to share our reflections on the recently concluded Post-COP28 Forum, a dynamic and insightful event that brought together passionate individuals and experts in the field of climate action.

The forum was hosted by the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) in partnership with Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, along with the Youth Environment Living Labs (YELL). YELL is a joint programme of UNDP Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam and UNICEF Malaysia, supported by Amanah Lestari Alam and co-funded by the European Union. The Post-COP 28 Forum aimed to bridge the gap between international climate agreements and actionable strategies in Malaysia. The event was graced by

  • YB Nik Nazmi, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES);
  • Yg Brs. Dr. Zainah Shariff, The Deputy Director General, of the Youth Development Division, Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Youth and Sports;
  • Professor Sibrandes Poppema, President of Sunway University;
  • Professor Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam, Provost of Sunway University;
  • Timo Goosmann, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the EU to Malaysia;
  • Joanna Wasiewska, Political Officer, Delegation of the EU to Malaysia
  • Dr. Jessie Cheah Swee Neo, Head of Inclusive Growth and Prosperity, UNDP Malaysia;
  • Ms. Jasmin Irisha, OIC Climate and Environment Specialist, UNICEF Malaysia;

and a wide range of participants from the government, academia, NGOs, youth groups, think tanks, and business entities.

Opening Remarks and Keynote Speech:

The event commenced with an opening address by the President of Sunway University, Professor Sibrandes Poppema, emphasising the importance of youth engagement and collaborative efforts in addressing climate challenges. He drew a parallel between ambitious climate action and the founding of Sunway city: 

“Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, the person who built all of this here, who 40 years ago saw this abandoned tin mine, this hole in the ground, decided he could make it into a green, sustainable and smart city. That was a big dream, like all of us have a dream when it comes to climate.”

This was followed by an inspiring keynote from YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES), highlighting the government’s commitment to climate action. YB Nik Nazmi left the audience with three key ideas for climate action: 

“The first (key climate action) is something you have already done by being here at this conference on a Saturday: participate! Often, just showing up for a cause is half the battle won…”

“Second, as we embark on these ambitious endeavours, collaboration and inclusivity is key. Climate change affects us all: rural or urban, men or women, rich or poor. So, it is important to spread awareness but also empower people across socio-economic boundaries…”

“Third, you need to unite with your peers regionally and internationally. Nations cannot address climate change in isolation. The ‘just climate finance’ that we are seeking certainly will not come to fruition without developed and developing countries working together.”

Keynote speech delivered by YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad

Youth Perspectives on COP28:

The forum transitioned into a sharing session with MYD’s very own Lim Kai Sin, Kieran Li Nair and Yashirdisai Sampasivam. All three attended COP28 and shared their experiences and insights from Dubai with the audience. Their youthful perspectives provided valuable insights into the global climate negotiations.

Speaking on the efforts required to prepare themselves to be effective delegates at COP28, Kai Sin acknowledged that “the effort (to get ready for COP28) is just not achieved by the three of us alone, but it was supported by the whole MYD team as well as external partners and experts guiding us along the journey.”

They further shared on the key takeaways from the tracks that they followed at COP28 – the details and key findings will be part of MYD’s Post COP28 report that will be issued by the end of February 2024.

Sharing by MYD’s COP28 delegates on their experience in Dubai

Panel on COP28’s Key Outcomes:

We then dove deep into the key outcomes of COP28, exploring the four critical themes of Global Stocktake (GST), Carbon Markets, Just Transition, and Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). 

Moderated by Jasmin Irisha, OIC Climate and Environment Specialist, UNICEF Malaysia, the panelists included experts from the government, CSO and academic sectors: En Ridzwan Ali, Senior Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES), Ms. Hilary Kung, Senior Researcher at Third World Network (TWN), and Dr. Fatimah Ahamad, Chief Scientist of Sunway Centre for Planetary Health (SCPH)

Asked to describe their experience at COP28 in one word, the panelists shared that COP28 was “immense” (En Ridzwan), “intense” (Ms Hilary), and “hectic” (Dr Fatimah). The panelists further shared on their experiences and aspirations based on their experience in Dubai.

The recording of the first half of the day can be found here

Expert panellists share their thoughts on the outcomes of COP28

Collaborative Workshops:

After a lunch break, participants were invited to dive deeper into the four thematic areas (ACE, Carbon Markets, GST, and Just Transition) via focused breakout sessions. These breakout sessions were facilitated by Mr Nithi Nisadurai of CANSEA (Just Transition breakout room), En Ridzwan Ali of NRES (GST), Ms Hilary Kung of TWN (Carbon Markets), and Revan Lim Tai-Jie of SCPH (ACE). Participants, guided by the facilitators, actively engaged in discussions to identify the strengths, weaknesses and future opportunities for climate action in Malaysia based on the key agreements at COP28. 

While the breakout sessions were packed with in-depth discussions, we noticed a recurring challenge that was noted by all participants – limited data accessibility and capacity building. While the government is taking proactive measures to increase public and private sector awareness on climate-related issues and strategies, more work needs to be done. There were also suggestions for a centralised, frequently updated and publicly accessible data platform for certain data groups (e.g., one-stop platform for biodiversity and forestry-related data). These platforms not only simplify information dissemination by civil society organisations to educate the public, but also encourage data transparency and reduce data discrepancies. 

All 4 groups then reconvened in the main hall to share their findings with the other participants and engage in a Q&A. The day wrapped up with some brief closing remarks and a photography session.

Some participants of the afternoon’s breakout sessions

What’s Next:

Looking ahead, the event committee will prepare a strategic report that will distil the key findings from the forum. This report will be submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, contributing to informed policy decisions.

A Note of Thanks:

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our event partners, YELL for their valuable resources and event advisory, and SCPH for providing an excellent venue and logistical support. We also thank NRES and KBS for gracing the event with their presence, Sunway University for hosting us, and our esteemed speakers and facilitators. Special thanks go to the MYD committee for their tireless dedication, and to all the participants from various backgrounds who enriched the discussions.

MYD’s Post COP 28 Event committee:

Co Project Managers: Felix Culas, Lim Kah Yau

Participant Experience Lead: Hanis Alwani

Breakout Session Coordinator: Khalisah Khairina

Emcee: Dhiya Durani

Rapporteurs: Yashirdisai Sampasivam, Jessie Derin, Kieran Li Nair, Dhiya Durani, Iman Binti Abdul Aziz (YELL), Marilyn Raj Saysoo (YELL), Justin Tee

Livestream & Event Write Up: Shameeta Masilamany

Photographer: Aimee Advisors: Kieran Li Nair, Lim Kai Sin

Event Partners: Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Youth Environment Living Labs (YELL)

Post event photo with some of the event committee & partners

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