i) Facilitator in Day 1
Guess whom I met during the Conference of Youth (COY) in Tokyo? It was Roux Nicolas, a student from University of Tokyo. He is currently undertaking a graduate program on Environmental Science. During the first day of COY, he facilitated the ice-breaking session and came up with ground rules for COY11, Tokyo. Find out more about the short interview session with Roux below.
ii) Young press from Global Environmental Forum (GEF)
Hi from Mizuki Okumura. This was the first time Mizuki participated in a conference where youth gather and raise our voices on climate change issues. She is representing an environmental NGO in Japan, Global Environmental Forum (GEF). GEF is a non-profit organization, which focuses on global environmental issues such as deforestation and climate change; raising awareness of local community and make policy recommendations.
As a young intern, planning and researching in GSGES Kyoto University, she is very excited and feels positive about the climate movement especially among youth. She believes youth is powerful and, together we should take action! To her, it was a great experience attending COY 11. Stay tuned with our young journalist as she will be publishing articles on what’s happening in COY 11, Tokyo in GEF.
iii) Biphasa from India
I managed to interview one of the volunteers during COY 11, Tokyo – Bipasha Kaur Chatterjee. She is from India and currently studying Social Science (East Asian Relation) at the University of Tokyo. Her friends, who joined the organizing committee invited her to volunteer in this program. She is involved in the communication team and is in charge of note taking. Her homeland is in New Delhi, India. After studying in Japan for two years, she is happy with the policy implemented in Japan, especially waste separation. It has become a cultural for people to separate their waste and everyone practices it. Rivers in Kyoto is clean and nice. She has seen much more polluted rivers in India.
In India, there are many environmental issues such as water pollution, air pollution, land destruction, deforestation, etc. There are many existing laws, but it lack implementation and enforcement. One of the interesting phrases she shared with me is “CHIPKO Movement in India”. The meaning of Chipko in Hindi word is “to hug”. It is a big environment protection movement by the local communities especially aborigine people as men, women, children are hugging the tree when the government decided to clear the forest. It was a huge success of people movement to put their lives in the frontline to protect the trees.
She also mentioned that climate change is a big mess which human created since industrialization. Instead of learning from history, we are following the footsteps of developed countries. We are facing climate change in this era and the blaming games should end. We need to deal with this major issue now. In line with COP21, she hopes to see world leaders coming up with concrete solutions in saving our mother earth.
Glad to meet Akane Ota from Nagoya University. She is studying Environmental Science and doing research in Comparative Analysis of Japan International Cooperation Agency , JICA’s REDD+ projects. It is interesting to know that her research focuses on four different countries, which consists of Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Mozambique. Most of us in ASEAN have heard about Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos but not Mozambique. This is also my first time knowing about Mozambique.
Akane’s research is about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) among the four countries. REDD is one of the topics in Conference of Parties (COP21). It is an effort to conserve and preserve forest through financial support and incentives for developing countries. Four of these countries have tropical climate with two seasons, wet and dry. These countries are vulnerable to climate change and deforestation rate is increasing. REDD+ have been implemented in these countries by working closely with the local government. Institutions are established to improve the system of REDD+. With the continuous support of REDD+ program, it can help to keep forest intact and reduce the concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. Let’s protect the forest and implement more REDD+ program in other countries.
v) Participants from China, Li Lin (李琳)
I interviewed Li Lin from China during the last day of COY11. She is currently studying International Political and Economics in Peking University. Besides studying, she is also a volunteer in OXFAM Hong Kong , an NGO which focus on the power of people against poverty.
OXFAM is a global organization which can be found in countries such as the United States of America, Germany, Japan, Sweden, etc. OXFAM Hong Kong shared the event of COY 11, Tokyo in the mobile application, What’s App. She finds COY an interesting event and there you go, Li Lin in COY 11, Tokyo!
Li Lin shared her concerns on the interrelation between Climate Change and Poverty. In China, there is a huge gap between the poor and the wealthy. Those suffering from the impact of climate change are farmers from rural areas. Even though China is developing rapidly, 50% of the people are depending on agriculture as a living source. The government has taken steps to reduce poverty level among farmers through farmer tax reduction, providing basic facilities, building proper irrigation, etc.
However, the direct impact of climate change such as floods and drought make it difficult for the government to help the poor. Compare to western countries, the agriculture industry in China is still lacking behind in terms of technology. There is a lot of improvement needed for environmental protection by the government. The environmental impact is not as major concern of government as compared to others when comes to economic development.
OXFAM Hong Kong also focuses on research related to precision poverty alleviation, which involve community and NGOs to provide recommendations to government. In line with COP21, OXFAM supports a story telling contest organized by United National Development Program (UNDP). It is called the Voice2Paris Global Storytelling Contest. It is available in English and Mandarin. Winner of the contest stands a chance to attend COP21, PARIS. Let’s have a look at video below on Li Lin’s video during COY 11, Tokyo.
Thank You. 🙂
Written by: Ginger Ooi