Malaysian Youths speaks out against USA pulling out of UNFCCC Paris Agreement
The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) expresses their deepest disappointment in the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, as announced by US President Donald Trump on 1 June.
The Paris Agreement stresses the principle of Intergenerational Equity, and is of paramount importance to over 1.8 billion youths around the globe. It reflects the moral obligation of the current generation to sustainably transition our planet to future generations. The United States’ decision is not only jeopardising the future of American youth, but also the youth of the world.
Please see attached for the MYD statement in full.
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.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Thomas Lai | firstname.lastname@example.org | 016-337 6768
Date: 5 June 2017
After struggling to follow the negotiations, I decided to move on to explore the outside world of Hall 6 (LOL).
My routines on the second week were more exciting. I only managed to roam through a few halls throughout my entire first week. My second week’s focus was Hall 4, a very ‘happening’ hall.
Same as first week, 9.00am was the waking time of COP21. I attended side events in Hall 4, most of them were in the “silent” mode. All participants were required to put on headphones and listened to the speaker through a “silent’ microphone. So almost no voice could be heard from the outside. You only listen the presentation from the headphones.
When I have the time, I roamed around the NGO booths (spotted the Facebook booth) in Hall 4 and country’s pavilion in Hall 2 & 3 (COP21 Hack#5: freebies are hidden in many of the booths or pavilions!). Quite a number of the pavilions have their own list of events going on. Some of them even prepare refreshments, if you know what I meant *winks* (COP21 Hack#6). I was amazed by their grand decoration s- of course it depends on the country’s budget too. You can see the trend from these big countries’ pavilion like India (total win, their water feature grab a lot of attention), USA, Germany, China, Korea, French etc. Malaysia do not have a pavilion by the way, in case you are wondering.
In second week, I swore to myself to get myself proper meal everyday, so I have my lunches in Hall 4’s restaurant; or at this soup stall opposite Hall 4 that I visited like 5 times – definitely one of my favourite! Throughout the afternoon sessions, apart from side events such as forums and press conferences, I attended daily NGO meetings, witnessed several actions/mobilisations; and I guess the most exciting one would be “Fossil of The Day” which happened every day at 6.00pm in Hall 4’s climate studio! It was an initiative by CAN, to give out “award” and recognition in an entertaining way to countries whom they think performed badly and worth praising in the previous day in COP21. I have also managed to witness how a live reporting looks like from the media working space in Hall 4!
Oh, and I found a heaven in COP21- the RELAXATION ROOM & MEDITATION ROOM (COP21 Hack#7)! Thank God for sweet organizer, taking into account the need of stressful participants to rejuvenate in a designated space.
I have been going in and out between blue and green zone in my second week for different purposes. Green Zone, aka the Climate Generation Area, is around 10 minutes walk (under the freezing temperature PLUS strong wind), but luckily with friendly COP21 volunteers along the way to kinda cheer me up by greeting me with smile ;D Green Zone is opened to public, thus with tighter security check. So imagine if my daily schedule needs me to travel from blue to green then back to blue, I have to go through 3 times of security check (!!! COP21 hack #8: Plan your schedule properly to avoid unnecessary travelling and hassle).
Finally come to the Green Zone! Climate Generation Area. Loving the youthful settings 🙂
This place is another world. Everything here was much more casual and relaxing, more youthful as well!
Loving the colours and energy here. There were mainly organisation booths here, with similar facilities as in blue zone but in a slightly smaller scale- press conference room, media space, open working space, cafeteria, and event rooms as well. I came here mostly for bilateral meetings with other countries’ youth climate coalition; then one time to perform Sumazau Dance at the Asia Indigenous People Pact booth; and another time for an interview. But sadly, it was all for work. I didn’t actually have time to look around green zone properly 🙁
Cycle to generate electricity and the stage concert will produce sound! Green Zone rocks woohoo
In a nutshell, I think I have fully utilized my 2 weeks in COP21 to explore and experience the main places and facilities here. I would have to admit this saying that COP is a circus. Indeed! If you were to attend the next COP, hope this daily routine sharing provides you a better picture on what’s happening in COP, and act as a good start pointer to plan on your journey 🙂
A visit to the Asia Indigenous People Pact (AIPP) booth in Green Zone led me to a series of immense thoughts on indigenous people in climate change. We were there to have a short Sumazau Dance practice with Winnie, a representative from JOAS. The dance performance was for Asia Day on the next day. JOAS stands for Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia, translated in English as The Indigenous People Network of Malaysia.
Compare to the indigenous people (IP) that I interacted with previously in Krau, Pahang; Winnie is different, as she has much more exposure to the modern world. She was such a pleasant lady, teaching us the Sumazau dance with such patience and joyfulness. After a few conversations and interactions with her, I came to realised that there is always one common in trait in all IP deep in their heart- which is their connection to the nature and their purest form of attitude towards life.
IP are well known for their close to nature lifestyle. In climate change perspective, they are mostly one of the most vulnerable marginalised group. As most of them stays in remote areas- either in the forest, by the forest edge or near the forest, some even in the mountainous region; their lives are directly influenced by any climatic changes within the region.
Why? Well, for one, most IP do not get food from supermarkets or even wet markets. They gatherof plants, herbs and fruits, they fish, they hunt, they do some small scale planting, all for consumption and maybe for a bit of bartering or source of income. In the face of climate change, the most sensitive species will be most severely influenced, there those delicate fungi are gone, here some baby squirrels could not survive and there some beetles act all funny. You might think meh, two or three species were disturbed, so what? The forests have so much more but wait, do you not know that all species interact and rely on one another? They form a tightly knitted community and ecosystem where all species are either directly or indirectly related to each other. Changes in environment might perish a few species and the shake the ground of many other species. Without food, this might force the IP to shift away from their own villages as well as changing their lifestyle, which can be a threat to their cultures and social identities. Instability of food source, low ability to adapt changes and oppressed rights made them extremely vulnerable.
Researchers believe that some of the IP possess the traditional knowledge deemed essential to understand about our surrounding environment, which would be crucial to produce a comprehensive adaptive method that combines traditional knowledge with modern science. In the latest Paris Agreement, IP was recognized and acknowledged in the texts but it is under the non-legally binding preamble which shows no protection to this group of marginalized group which could be a key information provider in combating climate change.
I then recalled and flashed back all IP related events that I attended throughout COP21. From the side events in blue zone, country’s pavilions till the Global Landscape Forum; it seems that IP from the American continent (Canada, USA, Amazon and Brazil) were much more vocal and well represented in occasions like this. Asia’s IP are relatively quiet from my observation, especially those from South East Asia region.
I wonder was it because of lower media coverage? Or the lack of platforms to voice up?
I was buried in a thick hard clump of frustration thoughts (on the unjust treatment most IP had to bear) only to be levitated on Asia Day itself. The pavilions are filled with IP from numerous Asian regions showcasing their traditional cultural performances. These nice people even prepared their traditional dishes as refreshment. I was deeply touched by all the efforts done by them. They traveled so far away from their hometown to Paris to be part of this global event, all the while displaying good spirits of never stop fighting for their tribes. True, they might not have the capacity to understand nor participate in the negotiations, but at least they do whatever they could to show their eagerness in wanting to be heard and they are concerned about global issues. With that said, I strongly believe that they deserve much more capacity building aids from their respective governments and international organisations.
Written by: Emily
Edited by: Wanji
Spot me at Youth Forum in Indonesia Pavilion, COP21
While I was still in Malaysia preparing for COP21, I received a short email from Adrian and Lastrina asking if I am keen to share my climate initiatives and experiences for the coming Youth Forum event organized by Indonesian Pavilion in COP21.
Well, the moment I say “Yes” is the day I am glad I did it.
Everyone woke up from their comfy little warm beds as early as 6 a.m in the morning, in order to held a group meeting. Sleep is optional, I supposed.
One of my daily routine in Paris, is to check the daily COP21 programme from the UNFCCC website. I would like to call the web site a Bible, because it contains every single piece of updated information regarding COP21. My plan for today is to attend the SB informal consultation on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts (such a long title right?) and Climate Action Network (CAN) Daily meeting.There is nothing special happening in the SB informal consultation meeting because the agenda for today was to adopt the draft conclusion proposed by the Chairs. There is some disagreements for the draft context, requesting on changing some grammars and checking for inconsistencies. For example, requesting to change the word ENCOURAGE to URGE as it sound more promising and strong. The draft decision was successfully adopted.
I went to the CAN daily meeting afterwards. The security measures were indeed strict as only selected people were allowed to access the meeting venue. I noticed that everyone was wearing a headphone that is provided by COP21. Unfortunately, I chose not to wear and here is where the silly part kicks in. I was tidying up my homework at that moment and I kept hearing mumbles. After a while, everyone was laughing. Now I know why! The soundproof of the room was so poor. In order to prevent information leak, people choose to listen to the content of the meeting through headphone instead of live voices.
Inevitably to say, CAN daily meeting was very informative and organised. I am really impressed. CAN members separate themselves into different working group and excel from it, such as adaptation working group, mitigation working group, etc. Each group will need to report back the the latest negotiation status of the topic they are in charged in. In other words, you will get all the important information in just half an hour or less. How amazing is that? I will suggest the team to integrate this idea into our MYD daily meeting. While heading back to our base in the evening, I saw a family with lots of luggage. They are trying to carry the luggages (at least 5 big XL size luggages) and climb all the way up from the staircase. The father seemed exhausted. Initially I passed by them and there is a sudden thought that stopped me from walking away. I make a “U- turn” and lend them a helping hand. “Thank you very much young boy!” A simple gesture of thanks from them did make me feel delighted. Helping others in need is my pursuit of my happiness.
At night, there was an Asian Meetup. People from China, Taiwan, Nepal, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore were coming for a dinner. All of us went to a Chinese restaurant named WenZhou for dinner which is located at Belliville Chinatown. Apparently there were many shops that use the name WenZhou and, it was kinda confusing. But we managed to gather together and had a wonderful dinner together. After listening to their conversation, I was amazed by their effort in mobilizing and creating action for the youth in combating climate change. Albeit I am not interested in mobilization, I did felt a sudden adrenaline rush flowing in my vine. I was pumped up!
p.s Another highlight of the day was I found my favorite snack in one of the Asian Market.
Written by : Thomas Lai
Edited by: Merryn Choong