GET REAL! Climate Change x Food Production x LCOY

GET REAL! Climate Change x Food Production x LCOY

Changes in the world’s climate has, and will continue to bring major shifts in food production. This includes the rise in temperature, increase in rainfall and coastal flooding that reduces the amount of land available for agriculture. In a nutshell, food crops and as it follows, food security, are sensitive to climate change.

After a successful SEEDS Malaysia back in 2014,  it is back this year with the theme “GET REAL”.

This year’s theme could not be more timely – as the world’s population grows at an alarming rate, the increasing demand for food has put a strain on the planet’s resources to cope with feeding billions of people.

The event will be happening on 19th – 21st October 2018 at Oasis Discovery Centre (ODC), Oasis Village.

Throughout SEEDS Malaysia 2018, 2 of these events will be happening concurrently;

–> Conference – Towards Sustainable Real Food 
( tickets here : https://seedsmalaysia2018conference.peatix.com/ )

–> Youth Forum – Climate Change & Real Food Production 
(tickets here : https://seeds2018youthforum.peatix.com/ )  

Together with SEEDS, Power Shift Malaysia will participate as the youth counterpart. The Youth Forum is an event organised by the youth for the youth with the objective of raising awareness about climate change and food production. Topics from food production to youth action on climate change will be discussed throughout the event.

Do you know what is LAGI BEST?! SEEDS is providing sponsorship to those who are really interested to participate in this event! T&C applies.

Indigenous People’s traditional knowledge and climate change – Taiwan’s perspective

Indigenous People’s traditional knowledge and climate change – Taiwan’s perspective

“Indigenous Peoples (IPs) are on the frontline to suffer! Meanwhile, they’ve been inherited from the wisdom of thousand years in combating threat of climate change, too.” claimed Prof. Dr. Chien-Te Fan, Professor for National Tsing-Hua University and Director for Institute of Law for Science and Technology. The third seminar in Taiwan enlightened us with Indigenous People’s traditional knowledge and climate change – Taiwan’s perspective.

Prof. Dr. Chien-Te Fan, Professor for National Tsing-Hua University and Director for Institute of Law for Science and Technology

Indigenous peoples (IPs), defined by Indigenous Survival International are “distinct cultural communities with unique land and other rights based on historical use and occupancy… whose cultures, economies and identities are inextricably tied to their traditional lands and resources”.

Taiwan’s IPs are considered as part of Austronesian peoples. They share similar experience  like symbiosis with nature. Council of IPs of Taiwan stated that there are currently 530,000 IPs  which accounts for 2% of the whole population in Taiwan, but only 16 are officially recognised as indigenous tribes. Among the known IPs in taiwan are the Yami people, native to the outlying Orchid Island are skillful fishermen and relies on fishing for survival. Apart from that, when facing water shortage, a farmer suggested drought resistance farming where IPs normally practices seeds barter in fall season. The Amis tribe (Chinese: 阿美族; pinyin: āměi-zú; also Ami or Pangcah) also known as urban aborigines has been recently recognised for finding the way out under extreme weather conditions.

It is evident that IPs may contribute enormously in adapting with the climate change threat though their systemic living experience – cheaper and durable. Through the IP basic law, article 4, government shall guarantee equal status and development of self-governance of IP and implement IPs autonomy in accordance to their will. Taiwan are moving ahead by providing preservation of rights and cultural aboriginal heritage. IPs through (1) Status Act for Indigenous Peoples, (2) Organisation Act of the council of Indigenous Peoples, Organisational Act of Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Center, (3) Council of Aboriginal Peoples, (4) Act for the Establishment of the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Foundation, (5) Protection Act for the traditional intellectual creations of Indigenous Peoples, (6) Indigenous Peoples Employment Rights Protection Art, and (7) The Indigenous Peoples Basic Law.

Henceforth, IPs in Taiwan may look forward as the laws helps safeguard their cultural rights, knowledge systems and practices and intellectual creations. In contempt of consensus among tribes for intellectual collection still has yet come to any group agreement. For instance, in Taitung county, only Tao tribe has submitted their application. Pastor Sakinu Tepiq (戴明雄) of the Paiwan tribe mentioned that rituals and artifacts among Paiwan people are still in discussion as there are differences to be understand. Equivalently, a cultural worker Dahai (達亥) of the Bunun tribe said that their polyphonic choral speaking issue is yet to be determined as it is similar with Malastapang ritual that praises hunters’ achievements.

It is fascinating to learn how diverse the world can be with the presence of IPs. Considering their potential of knowledge with the earth, we need to recognise them officially so the knowledge won’t extinct. Government plays an essential role to have adopt language shift and cultural assimilation so the IPs will not feel left out in the process.

Written by Liyana binti Yamin

Edited by Varun


The Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia Seminar on Climate Change was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Taiwan and coordinated by National Tsing Hua University. Malaysia Youth Delegation (MYD) was honoured to be invited and hosted by the generosity of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia. 

A Negotiator’s Understanding of the Complications for Indigenous People’s Engagement in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

A Negotiator’s Understanding of the Complications for Indigenous People’s Engagement in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Indigenous peoples (IPs), defined by Indigenous Survival International are “distinct cultural communities with unique land and other rights based on historical use and occupancy… whose cultures, economies and identities are inextricably tied to their traditional lands and resources”. They are self-defined as descendants of original inhabitants which share strong spiritual and economic attachment. With the vast majority of them in the Asian region, they may also be referred to as tribal people, hill tribes etc.

During the second seminar in Taiwan, Dr. Ian Fry, Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment, Government of Tuvalu and Lecturer of Australian National University explained about negotiating for the indigenous people’s rights in the climate change process. The question remains: how do we identify indigenous peoples from others? Seeing as not all countries are part of the UN negotiation. As stated in Rio+20, the participation of IPs are important for sustainable development in the global, regional, national, and subnational implementation.

Sometimes when we think we are producing clean energy, but indirectly it is actually destroying the IPs land. The hydro dams for example flood villages are destroying farmlands and hunting grounds and disrupting fishing patterns for IPs.

Agonisingly, IPs are greatly impacted from climate change, for instance, the melting of glaciers, permafrost in Alaska (where there is an increase in methane due to this process), severe drought in Africa and also an increase of temperature which has caused coral bleaching in the Pacific. Fortunately, IPs adapt to climate change as they work as herders, fishers, and hunters for their livelihood. With their collective knowledge, they are observant enough to see any tiny changes in water cycles, wildlife, soil, and weather.

Hence, IPs have key demands to protect their own rights of which we should consider. Recognition of their rights: rights of nature, promotion of development in harmony with nature, balancing ancestral knowledge and development as well as finally identifying priorities to address climate change. Consequently, Dr. Ian Fry provided the attendees with some tips for finding trade-offs alongside relevant examples to be practiced in the negotiation process.

  1. Use an exception – creating special situations for disadvantaged countries. Example: All countries have to reduce their emissions except Least Developed Countries
  2. Create a narrow start – having limited obligations at the beginning to develop points over time. Example: Limit restrictions to only ten chemicals
  3. Offer a broad brush approach – apply general rules to everyone. Example: All countries should develop adaptation plans
  4. Provide a compensation clause – create restrictions on an action but compensate poorer or disadvantaged countries for taking actions. Example: Countries that stop the use of CFCs will be given funding and the transfer of technology without patents to allow the use of other chemicals

Imperatively, slippery negotiating words like as appropriate, if appropriate, as necessary, if necessary give discretion to a country to decide whether an action is appropriate or not. Words like consider allow countries to think about it further and not necessarily make a decision. Another three essential words that change a statement are may (optional requirement, at the discretion of the party), should (an obligation created, but not compulsory) and shall (compulsory requirement).

It is also critical to invest time to know the issues we are dealing with, hear what others have to say, demonstrate respect for negotiating partners, show patience, show polite assertiveness, gain support of others and be inclusive, use language sensitively, understand the negotiating language, find common ground, accentuate the positive, handle pressure, know when to trade, lock-in agreements, and ultimately, to refrain from giving in early.

In a nutshell, the new UN platform will enable LCIPs to have an active role in shaping the process of climate change adaptation in a holistic and integrative manner.

Written by Liyana binti Yamin

Edited by Renee


The Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia Seminar on Climate Change was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Taiwan and coordinated by National Tsing Hua University. Malaysia Youth Delegation (MYD) was honoured to be invited and hosted by the generosity of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia. 

Local Communities and Indigenous People in the UNFCCC Process

Local Communities and Indigenous People in the UNFCCC Process

“We need them, and they need us to move forward”, Mr. Carlos Fuller

Mr. Carlos’s sentence lingered in my mind for till now. The fact that indigenous people and local communities held the knowledge and traditional practices in a holistic manner to combat climate change, it matters more for us to help strengthen their effort to establish the platform of knowledge exchange. The first seminar topic was on Local Communities and Indigenous People in the UNFCCC Process. Mr. Carlos Fuller, who was the Former Chair to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), explained the issue extensively with examples.

UNESCO plays a vital role to protecting and supporting to the indigenous people. Also, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has an ad hoc working group for the implementation of article 8J to respect, preserve and maintain the traditional knowledge and lifestyle of the indigenous people.

In addition, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was adopted in 2007 established a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. There is also the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which acts as a task force to promote effective engagement with indigenous and local knowledge holders in all relevant aspects of its work.

Local Communities and Indigenous People (LCIPs) have been involved in environmental processes ever since the United Nations discussion in Rio 1992. Principle 22 mentions that LCIPs plays a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. Additionally, the Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), an association that act as the caucus of interest in UNFCCC negotiating process have a unifying voice among all countries aims to make the powerful push to meet the demands of smaller developing states. Unfortunately, IIPFCC is yet to be acknowledged as an admitted observer organisation under UNFCCC. Among the current issues argued on indigenous people and local communities are stated as below:

  1. There are still no clear-cut on the definition of the indigenous people and local communities.
  2. No permanent/temporary working group
  3. Mode of work through consensus/majority/observers are still undefined
  4. Geographic borders to identify indigenous people might be a problem as some are nomadic.
  5. Validation of indigenous people and local community knowledge.
  6. Local communities have no established organisation

Despite the various recognised rights of the IPs, the previous COP23 has only “noted” adoption of DRIPS. A platform for knowledge which functions to be a facilitative workgroup for climate policies and action and capacity for engagement should be established. As declared in Article 16 of UNDRIP, indigenous people are free to access to non-indigenous media to advertise their own media in their own language without any discrimination.

By understanding the core principles of indigenous people and local communities: full participation, given equal status, self-selection, and adequate funding for them will enable recognition of their rights and interests. As suggested by Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the guide to solidify the platform is by:

  • Through an incremental approach to ensure effective operationalisation
  • Dual leadership role.
  • Open multi-stakeholder

For the upcoming COP24, a draft decision has been made to solidify the plan. Establishing a facilitative working group will be discussed whether to make it permanent or temporary. The mode of work, membership and work plan for LCIP will still be a concern as there may be a conflict of interest. However, it is always good to reflect back on previous agreements with no “cherry picking”.

In conclusion, indigenous people and local communities play an essential role in UNFCCC process to be protected. Having an operationalised platform for LCIPs, it can provide a space to exchange of experience of the best practices, enable their engagement in UNFCCC and other relevant processes, also allowing integration of the knowledge respecting the systems to be communicated into climate change agenda.

Written by Liyana binti Yamin

Edited by Varun


The Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia Seminar on Climate Change was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Taiwan and coordinated by National Tsing Hua University. Malaysia Youth Delegation (MYD) was honoured to be invited and hosted by the generosity of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia. 

RM1.4 billion spent in just two months – Time to end fuel subsidies

RM1.4 billion spent in just two months – Time to end fuel subsidies

It’s been just over two months since the Pakatan Harapan coalition came into power. In that time, the Malaysian government has spent RM1.4 billion on fuel subsidies, as estimated by Rafizi Ramli in a recent blogpost. Soon after winning GE-14, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the weekly price float mechanism for RON95 and diesel would be removed, fixing them at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per liter respectively. This price fix will remain in place until the end of the year as the government studies potential avenues to implement its targeted fuel subsidy policy outlined in the PH manifesto.

Continued subsidies will only portray an artificially low cost of fuel to the rakyat, while encouraging private vehicle usage, leading to more urban road congestion and increased carbon emissions. This leads us down a dangerous path of normalizing subsidies once again – at a time when it’s more important than ever to wean off fossil fuel consumption. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Malaysia has shown its commitment to reaching our global temperature increase target. The reintroduction of fuel subsidies completely contradicts our contributions to solving the global climate crisis. The government is paying money to continue to emit carbon, at a time when expenditure is becoming increasingly scrutinised.

The moral reasons notwithstanding, the reintroduction of fuel subsidies may be popular and well received by the general Malaysian population. The Pakatan Harapan coalition ran on a pro-Rakyat, pro-welfare platform, emphasizing the need for a reform to the high cost of living. Throwing fuel subsidies into the bucket of tactics to reduce cost of living is short sighted and this is where we need to have a conversation about externalised costs.

While the rakyat may benefit from more affordable fuel at point of sale, the true cost – or externalised cost – is not appropriately accounted for. When we pay RM2.20 per liter at the petrol station, we are not considering the cost of health implications from pollution, the cost of loss of biodiversity, the cost of loss of agricultural productivity, along with all other hidden costs related to carbon emissions and climate change. While even the market price of fuel would not adequately cover all of these additional externalised costs, we should not be paying any less than that. When considering the welfare of the rakyat, the Pakatan Harapan government needs to have more future-oriented solutions revolving around sustainable development, good public transportation and renewable energy policies – further supporting the PH government’s manifesto item on increasing renewable energy to 20% by 2025.

In the era of fiscal responsibility, Malaysia could really use the savings from the removal of subsidies. While deterring increased use of fossil fuels, the savings could be used to incentivise more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the country. As a point of reference, just before GE-14, the Green Technology Financing Scheme was recently renewed for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022, to the tune of up to RM5 billion. To put that into perspective, at its current rate, the government will spend RM5 billion on fuel subsidies in under eight months. A Malaysia that prioritises good public transportation infrastructure and services, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects instead of fossil fuels is a Malaysia that is on the right track of developing in a sustainable manner.

[Tweet “we need drastic (climate) action now, and it starts with us quitting our fossil fuel addiction”]

While the fiscal argument to removing fossil fuel subsidies may be more convincing, we still need to make the moral argument. Over the last two centuries, the world has been built upon fossil fuels, with carbon-intensive development led by the West. This is the very premise to the argument that developed nations bear historical responsibility when it comes to fighting climate change. While Malaysia ought to champion the principle of equity on the international stage, we also need to be doing our part at home. By cutting fuel subsidies and throwing our full weight into sustainable mobility and renewable energy, we can lead the way, specifically in the Southeast Asia region, in actively finding ways to solve the climate crisis.

So here we stand – at a nation-defining juncture. #MalaysiaBaharu represents new hope for many. The question remains: do we want to look at the wellbeing of Malaysians only for the next five years, or for the next 50? We can either bid goodbye to a safe and secure future for our youth, or we can act now and make a difference. To get on a 2°C pathway, in line with the Paris Agreement, we need to take drastic (climate) action now, and it starts with us quitting our fossil fuel addiction. With strong political will, we can make a just energy transition happen.

Written by Mike

Read also: Fuel price hike statement

Date: 20 July 2018

 


ABOUT THE MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION (MYD)

A group of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, such as the annual Conference of the Parties, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dedicated to raising awareness of climate policies amongst Malaysians, the youth are mentored and trained to translate technical policies into more relevant and relatable information for the public. MYD holds speaking engagements with various climate organisations to better understand the current landscape of local and international climate policy. With that, MYD endeavours to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits.


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#MYD2018 Training Series: Communicating Climate Change Effectively and Persuasively

#MYD2018 Training Series: Communicating Climate Change Effectively and Persuasively

The Malaysian Youth Delegation presents the fourth installment of our Training Series. Ms. Tina Carmillia, an environmental journalist and producer for BFM radio, will be delivering a talk on how to communicate climate change effectively and persuasively through art and editorial. She will be sharing her experience as a journalist and radio producer on informing the public about climate change. Join us to pick up some tips and pointers on spreading awareness, and to contribute to the discussion!

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Please register for the event in the form below.

Details

  • Date: 9th June 2018 (Saturday)
  • Time: 9.30 am – 12 pm
  • Venue: Hall 1, Graduate Centre, Sunway University
  • Speaker: Ms. Tina Carmilia, Journalist and Producer for BFM

Location

Schedule

  • 9:30-10:00am- Registration
  • 10:00-11:30am- Training Series
  • 11:30am-12:00pm – Q&A
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Refreshments
  • 1:00pm – End

Registration

#MYD Training Series – Training on UNFCCC negotiations and media work with various climate experts, government bodies and civil society leaders. Each session will run for approximately 2 hours and will be available on Facebook for future reference.