My experience at Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia Youth Seminar on Climate Change in Taiwan

My experience at Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia Youth Seminar on Climate Change in Taiwan

A group of 20 delegates from the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asian region gathered in Taipei from the 11th to 13th of July 2018, as they were set out for learning their negotiating skills learning in Taiwan. Prior to the event, we were warned for the typhoon weather, nevertheless, a majority of the delegates who arrived on the 10th and 11th of July touched down safely. I personally, on the other hand, faced a rollercoaster ride due to turbulence before landing. Eric Zhou’s song managed to soothe my journey to Taiwan.  

As I reached the arrival gate, I saw a paper with my name on held by a guy. He greeted and brought me to the car and I entered the driver’s seat, not knowing that Taiwan drives on the left side – the driver then suggested me to simply sit at the back. On our way to the hotel, I observed cityscape and it was a well-structured, clean, and a modern city.

During the latter part of the day, we were welcomed by the committees for dinner in the hotel. Served with assorted dishes, we were given time to mingle around with other delegates. Interestingly, all the delegates encompassed of graduates and professionals working in governments and private industries having the common interest of climate change. We were given a highlight on the seminar theme and what to prepare for the next day.

The next day comprised of three consecutive seminars on indigenous people and local communities given by Mr. Carlos Fuller, Former Chair, Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Dr. Ian Fry, Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment, Government of Tuvalu & Lecturer, Australian National University; and Dr. Chien-Te Fan (范建得), Professor, National Tsing Hua University focusing on Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples in the UNFCCC Process; A Negotiator’s Understanding of the Complications for Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement in The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; Indigenous People’s traditional knowledge and climate change-Taiwan’s Perspective respectively.

After a hefty knowledge input by the three amazing speakers, we were headed to a nearby Taiwanese restaurant for dinner. Provided with traditional “bizarre” delicacies like stinky tofu, black chicken, and crunchy salads, I definitely had an exceptional time admiring the dishes. Following the dinner, we had a short group discussion (which was assigned prior to reaching Taiwan) to have an agreement for the plenary statement to be presented the next day. Soon after, I managed to hop on a bus with two of my Philippine delegates to Raohe St. Night Market where we sightseeing the feast Taiwan have.

On the final day of the seminar, a round table for group plenary statement was outset. With made up group names like Little Island Developing States (LIDS), Latin Amnesia Group (LAG), Loosely Aligned Developed Countries (LADC), 4 Kingdoms, AcIrfa Alliance of Nations (AAN), Non-Aligned Group, and G Force, all delegates have one representative to say out their agreed plenary statement. I was lucky to represent Malaysia, United Province of Amnesia as part of LADC to give the statement. Amusingly, this setting was made very much alike to Conference of Parties (COP). As a novice COP person, I was learning so much from preparing and rendering the statement to all. After everyone gave their respective group statements, the round table was put to a halt so the chairman could come to a common wording of the agreement. At the same time, all countries were to discuss the statement and see if the can negotiate with other groups’ requirements. Finally, the chairman will come to discuss the final statement reading every out word until all group agreed to the statement. If everyone agreed, the statement could be finalised, or else in some cases, the discussion would be postponed as what we witnessed in the recurring COP.

The seminar wrapped up with a closing ceremony by the assistant director-general with a group photo. We were then brought to Taipei 101 for a field visit and lunch at the famous Din Tai Fung. Right after the field trip, I was able to join the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition (TWYCC) for dinner nearby National Taiwan University. I also shared my MYD experience and received inputs from their own preparations and activities. To sum up the Taiwan trip:

1. We work as one.

Working on an agreement with other countries requires give-and-take thus to achieve a collective decision.

2. Everyone has a say.

In this context, indigenous people and local communities were discussed. Inevitably, they play an important role to combat climate change.

3. Dilemma on protecting the indigenous people VS creating a solution

Sometimes when we think that we are producing clean energy, we are actually destroying the indigenous people’s land.

This trip has enhanced my knowledge on negotiating skills in UNFCCC process particularly on indigenous people and local communities comprehensively. I am thankful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan for choosing me to be part of the delegates. Also to Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) for shortlisting me as part of the final candidate to represent MYD for this seminar.  

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. 

Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) Annual Report 2017

Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) Annual Report 2017

MYD Annual Report 2017 is a recollection of Malaysian Youth Delegation’s highlight moments and our financial report for the period Jan 2017 to Dec 2017.

Once again, we wish to thank our sponsors and partners for their confidence in our work. Let’s make our environment GREAT again.

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MYD Annual Report 2017 (pdf)

Nithi Nesadurai – effectiveness of MYD pre-COP preparatory

Nithi Nesadurai – effectiveness of MYD pre-COP preparatory

Nithi Nesadurai

Nithi Nesadurai

Well done (Malaysian Youth) Delegates #MYD to COP23 (UNFCCC), and to #PowerShiftMsia.

I was impressed how all of you immersed yourselves in the meetings and become so engaged and involved. You were all like veterans to the process even though the vast majority of you were first timers.

It says a lot about the effectiveness of your pre-COP preparatory process.



Nithi Nesadurai

President, Environmental Protection Society Malaysia &
Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network South-East Asia

Experiences and Testimonials on MYD during COP21

Experiences and Testimonials on MYD during COP21

Yoke Ling MYD Testi

We are happy to have Chee Yoke Ling, Programmes Director of Third World Network (TWN) to be a speaker for our post COP21 forum and her tremendous support:

“MYD2015 is an excellent initiative – for those keen on understanding intergovernmental climate negotiations, there is no better way than to gain knowledge and experience by being where the action is. From navigating the UN processes to reading the hundreds of pages and engaging with government delegates and civil society activists MYD offers a great opportunity. Climate justice is emerging as the overarching frame for climate actions in countries and in international cooperation. By also linking the UNFCCC efforts and outcomes to national actions back home in Malaysia, MYD helps to create a new generation of Malaysians who can make climate justice a reality.”

sunitha myd cop21

#MYD provide Malaysian youths opportunities to interact with various local experts in climate change. For instance, we met the gender specialist in #COP21, Sunitha Bishan from National Council of Women’s Organisation Malaysia, who is also the Social Innovator of Penitajaya Sdn Bhd.

“This begins with a warm hug to MYD who attended the 2015 COP21 Paris conference. The team demonstrated that good work is built on the foundation of sound knowledge. The advocacy that was done pre and post COP were some of the rare opportunities where youths from MYD demonstrated leadership and competent expertise on climate change.

The call for climate justice is not only about creating awareness but the strength to stand up and demand action against the damage to our environment. This was the significance of the team to the COP21 and beyond. It was and still is a tremendous pride to stand with the youths from MYD”

winnie myd cop21

Winnie Jimis, JOAS representative to #COP21, also Project Coordinator for Community-Led Environmental Awareness for our River and the Technical Coordinator, Forever Sabah for Urban Green Waste Reuse shared her thoughts working with MYD at COP21:

“Being a first timer representing indigenous people of Malaysia to COP21, I was fortunate to be invited for training by MYD in their preparation to COP21 representing the youth in Malaysia.

I am also thankful to all the Malaysian Youth Delegates for their assistance during the Asian Indigenous People day at COP21. As indigenous people around the globe, we want to be visible.

MYD also ought to be visible as youth have the power to transform this planet to a better HOME to live,tomorrow. The chances to work with local communities badly impacted with climate change will empower youth towards planning a dynamic approach in combating and mitigating climate change and to change towards a sustainable living in Malaysia.”

Thomas MYD cop21Thomas YokeHwa Lai, on his COP21 experience:

“COP21 is where I realised ONE WORD can determine my future!”

“This is my first COP and I gained tremendous knowledge and experiences. I would gladly say this was my highlight for 2015. The adoption of#ParisAgreement is just the first step toward a climate resilient future. The next crucial step is domestic and local actions. This is why the work #MYD is important, in engaging and providing relevant information to Malaysian youths in combating climate change.”

Emily Oi sharing on her MYD experience.

“It has been an exponential-growing journey; from selection to preparation, till the final test- physically participating in COP21 itself. From COP21, I had a better understanding on how different actors interact and coordinate with each other in this type of international decision making processes. Moreover, I had the chance to understand how and what are different countries fighting for- especially in the context of developed and developing countries respective responsibilities and stand. Overall, I think it was a very rewarding and eye-opening exposure for youth. It is also a very valuable opportunity and practical platform to encourage more Malaysian youths to participate in environment or climate change policy and advocacy work.”

emily myd testi