Post COP21 Climate Change Forum : The Paris Agreement and Malaysia

Post COP21 Climate Change Forum : The Paris Agreement and Malaysia

Post COP Forum Poster

We are prepared to broadcast the forum LIVE on our YouTube Channel. This depends heavily on the availability of the strong and stable internet provided by the venue.

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding document in concerns to tackling climate change and the issues that follow it. This agreement came together in the last UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) which is a conference to discuss and find a solution to combat climate change. However, what does this agreement mean and how does it affect Malaysia? Do we have a role in this agreement? Come and find out more at this Post COP21 Climate Change Forum.

Schedule

9.30am – Registration Opens
10.00am- MYD Intro
10.05am – Opening Speech by Mr Gurmit Singh from MCCG
10.15am – Post COP21 Sharing by Kyle Gracey from SustainUS
10.30am – Post COP21 Climate Change Forum
11.30am – QnA
11.45am – Token of Appreciation and group photo
12.00pm – End

Panelist include :

Chee Yoke Ling (TWN)

Chee Yoke Ling (TWN)

Ms. Chee Yoke Ling

Yoke Ling is an international lawyer whose areas of expertise include the environmental,social and economic impacts of globalization, especially in countries of the South. Since 1993 she has worked closely with key negotiators from the global South, scientists and NGOs to campaign for bio safety and climate justice. She was a member of a Malaysian task force that worked on two national laws related to bio safety and the regulation of access to genetic resources. Her current focus areas are: climate change, the interface between biodiversity/traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights, the relationship between multilateral environmental agreements and trade agreements, environmentally-sound technology transfer, and developments on these issues at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, World Trade Organisation, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. TWN is a non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in sustainable development issues, the South and North-South relations. Yoke Ling Chee is trained in international law, with degrees from the University of Malaya (Malaysia) and Cambridge University (UK). (taken from etcgroup.org-http://www.etcgroup.org/users/yoke-ling-chee)

 

Dr Gary Theseira

Dr Gary Theseira

Dr Gary Theseira

Dr. Gary William Theseira is the Deputy Undersecretary of Environment Management and Climate Change Division Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. He is responsible for policy analysis, development and support for environment management and climate change and sustainable development.

 

 

Elaine See

Elaine See

Elaine is one of the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) members who was being chosen to attend the COP21 in Paris. Currently a pre-university student, Elaine has shown extraordinary passion to make contribution in the national climate movement since 18. At 19, she actively participated in intensive climate trainings and forums as well as took up challenges such as chairing the Promulgation of the Malaysian Youth Statement on Climate Change and speaking on behalf of the ENGO at the UNFCCC. These efforts successfully equipped her to be an uprising climate youth leader. During her time in COP21, Elaine had been tracking the Malaysian Delegation and following the negotiations, mainly focusing on climate finance

Kyle Gracey

Kyle Gracey

Kyle Gracey

loves empowering young leaders and advancing sustainability. His work broadly focuses on international and domestic sustainable development, including energy policy, environmental policy, and technology policy He is currently a Graduate Research Assistant in Engineering and Public Policy Department with Cernegie Mellon University. He is the Chair, Board Director of SustainUS (U.S. Youth for Justice and Sustainability). Kyle co-founded the youth coalition at the United Nations climate change negotiations, and wrote speeches for Vice President Joe Biden.

 

 

Please fill in for registration  –

#MYD – Malaysian Youth Delegation – Malaysian youth climate movement at international United Nations climate conferences, UNFCCC, participants will be mentored and hold engagements with various climate expert bodies and dialogue with Malaysian policy makers and negotiators. http://powershiftmalaysia.org.my/category/myd2015/

Connecting My Rice to Climate Change

Connecting My Rice to Climate Change

Thanks to The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), one of our generous funders to COP21 that the three of us had the chance to attend the launching ceremony of Paris Declaration on Agriculture Diversification on the 7 December 2015 by UNMC special arrangement.

This declaration is spearheaded by the Malaysia-based CFFRC or Crops for the Future Research Centre. The government of Malaysia together with the University of Nottingham in Malaysia are the guarantors of CFFRC which was established in 2011 to provide research support to improve food and nutrition security, health and incomes of the poor, as well as the sustainable management of fragile ecosystems.

The ceremony started with a short presentation by Prof Sayed Azam-Ali, the CEO of CFFRC. During his opening speech, he reminded or more precisely, enlightened  (since many of us has no idea on this) the audiences on our current situation of global agriculture. The whole world is mainly dependent on 4 major crops- maize, wheat, rice and soybean to feed 7 billion people. Problems that accompanied by this monoculture does not only cover food insecurity, but also extend to social problems such as malnutrition and poverty.

prof

Prof Sayed Azam-Ali, CEO of CFFRC giving his opening speech

Since the world relies heavily on a few crop-producing countries, any extreme weather brought by climate change will lead to massive production shock. Food shortage in this sense will further lead to malnutrition especially among the people in the poorer countries. Many of the farmers and people working in the agriculture production will be directly and indirectly affected due to poor crops yield. This will affect their livelihood and poverty will befall them.

That is where agriculture diversification steps in. More variety means less reliance on a single major crop and this will reduce the effect of both poverty and malnutrition has any of the crops is severely impacted by climate change. Besides, this is able to promote the underutilized crops which might be more resilient to climate change.

I have always known that climate change affects agriculture much as climatic conditions are very influential on the growth of crops. Perhaps as a city kid, the problems of agriculture all felt too distant to me. Unlike my parents, I have never grown up with the view of fruit estates or golden paddy field but I believe I am not alone, majority of the younger generation in my country are the same. Food is always abundant and easily available in the city and even most of the rural villages, but that does not mean it will stay the same way forever.

Think about it- where does all my daily food come from? We use money to buy it, but when there is food shortage, what is left for us to buy? I am a rice person, as further confirmed by my 2 weeks stay in Paris where I have been craving for rice for several times.

I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW AM I GONNA LIVE WITHOUT RICE, SERIOUSLY.

NO RICE = No Nasi Lemak, no Sushi etc. Well, you get what I meant; at least from an individual level and when I am a typical foodie Malaysian.

However, it also came to my concern that encouraging the need of diversifying agriculture might also lead to more forest being deforested for such purpose in Malaysia. But the idea of urban farming mentioned by Prof Sayed in our casual conversation sounds like a brilliant idea to solve this!

I personally like how urban farming could diminish the transportation hassle from production sites to selling place. Besides, it can provide opportunities for urban people to witness and experience how is it like to farm near to home; which somehow filled in the gap that I mentioned between myself with agriculture production. Most importantly, vertical farming in urban area can also solve the problem of limited land use. Through this method, there is high chances where we can minimize deforestation and diversify our crops.

So Hurray 😀 to this wonderful idea and keeps our finger crossed for the implementation !

Written by: Emily Oi

Malaysians in COP21

Malaysians in COP21

Prior to COP21, we planned to conduct a Malaysian gathering or more like a makan (eating) session to gather Malaysians inside and outside COP. I was in charge of conducting and it seems to be so much harder than whichever gathering that I have done before.

Firstly, Malaysians in COP21 are very diverse. They are all both inside and outside COP; and very have different schedule. People from GEC, TWN, some other national delegations including negotiators are those who are inside COP. Whereas Wininie from JOAS, Quek Yew Aun and some other Malaysians who have no access to enter COP venue. Plus, all of them arrive Paris at different timing.

Secondly, it’s a hassle finding a venue. People inside COP are busy with own stuff and would prefer to stay in. But if the meeting place is inside COP, what about the others outside? Well partially it was just me being too perfectionist of wanting to include as many people as I can. I think it’s also important to let people inside COP to know what are the people doing outside COP and vice-versa. This might lead to more coordination and collaboration too!

Thirdly, it’s actually my fault not placing this as my priority to do which leads to late coordination from my side. I only started to coordinate at the end of first week.

Even with all the odds against me, I decided proceed, set a time and see how it goes. Sunitha from national delegation and Raj from GEC came, I thought it was better than nothing. It was pretty casual, networking and exchanging opinions. Most importantly, so nice to listen to the familiar Malaysian English :p

There was an unexpected round of “gathering” few days later. It was at the end of negotiations period where our negotiator- Dr Gary as well as Hilary from TWN who are apparently the busiest people in COP actually told us they r free and they offer to meet up with us (asked separately btw). LIKE WOAHHH. Am i dreaming listening to this. But yeah! Rare chance! So we asked Sunitha to tag along too and tadaaa our unexpected second round of Malaysian makan session kinilah terjadi. Woohoo! (With higher MYD attendance hurrayyy)

MYD members lunch session with fellow Malaysians in COP21- (3rd from the left: Dr. Gary Theseira, Malaysia national negotiator; 4th from left: Hilary Chiew from Third World Network (TWN); and 1st from right: Sunitha Bisan from Malaysia National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO).

MYD members lunch session with fellow Malaysians in COP21- (3rd from the left: Dr. Gary Theseira, Malaysia national negotiator; 4th from left: Hilary Chiew from Third World Network (TWN); and 1st from right: Sunitha Bisan from Malaysia National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO).

Lesson learnt: this type of makan session can be done more than once, to fit this kind of situation of everyone is everywhere. And I think MYD is capable of organising this because of our pre engagement with fellow Malaysians. So we should continue organising such makan session and make it a MYD tradition in every COP. Fantastic 😀

P.s. you know, the adults are actually very happy to have our presence- the bubbly and happy youths around them especially when they are stressing out with the negotiations. Didn’t know that is actually the easiest thing we can contribute in COP which is just simply our presence.

Written by: Emily Oi

The Lost & Found journey of Emily’s purpose in COP21

The Lost & Found journey of Emily’s purpose in COP21

I have experienced several situations that made me rethink what is my role and why I want to attend COP21.

First time was during my third day in COP21- a random conversation with a Professor from USA. She asked me “what do I wanna achieved here in COP21?”

Second time was the conversation with Tun Jeanne at the beginning of COP21 second week. Her question was: “Why are you here in COP? What do you want to do in your life? What is your dream?”

To be honest, I do not have a firm answer on what was my goal here in COP21. It didn’t even came across my mind that I actually could enter COP (until the last minute offer of accreditation). Thus, I have no special expectation in COP21 before I come. To me, my very basic purpose since I decided to join MYD was to attend COP; experience it; share it to more people- let them know this issue needs more attention and of course, to meet like-minded people from different part of the world.

In fact, I was quite lost in the first week of COP because I somehow made the wrong choice to immerse myself in negotiations- which I don’t really understand and capable of tracking it; and it demotivated me a lot. Read how I struggled and move on from Week 1 here.

Third time was while filling in a survey held by International Negotiation Survey (INS) after one of my gender day side event , specifically this section of question:

survey

I was amazed by the choices above actually. I didn’t know that there are people just to come here to showcase their work of their government and organisation; or just to establish contacts rather than directly involved in the negotiations (from my perspective). There is a choice of OTHERS as well, what else can they do in COP? What about me? What is my answer for this?

Finally, this side event at the very near end of COP21 called “Mobilising Ambitious State and Non-State Climate Action in the Paris Agreement and Beyond” reminded me the same question again (View Presentation slides of the session). But this time, with results from the survey that I filled in above! Apparently INS was one of the presenter in this session and they presented their survey results from COP 17-19:

It actually didn’t came across my mind that the constituencies in COP are playing different roles or having different priorities- from influencing negotiations, to propose solutions or provide expertise; or even the very basic one to raise awareness. I am surprised that most of the weightage goes to provide expertise rather than influencing the agenda, which I think is another level of involving non-state actors in the negotiations- working together instead of working against the government. In addition, YOUNGO wasn’t part of their study constituency (I was like whyyyyyy didn’t I asked the presenter when I was there).

So I was in deep thought- does that mean youths are not useful in COP? Who are we in adults’ eyes? Are we just a bunch of kids making noise out there and have zero influence on the negotiations? What about myself? How am I useful in COP21 in this case?

I guess, youths might not be capable of directly influencing the negotiations by providing our expertise. But while filling in the survey form, it somehow helped me sort out what youth are actually doing here. I think our presence in COP is a form of representing the youth voice; our presence might enhance government’s accountability; also we are here to report about the conference to wider audiences.

Most importantly, I think we are here to learn, absorb and understand how the process work; and we might be those “experts” or negotiators one day later. One more thing I want to highlight was the option of “inform myself about climate change issues” in the survey- I kinda laughed when I saw this option because I thought people who come to COP are already experts in climate change. However, when I was doing this reflection on my goal here, I realised I have gotten a lot of new information and new insights on different issues in climate change because of COP (something that I wouldn’t learn back home, e.g. gender issue in climate change)

Thanks to all these unexpected hints that popped out throughout COP21 that somehow helped me sorted out my purpose in COP. It might sounds weird because I only get to know my purpose in COP21 when I am inside COP, but I view this more like how keep on reminding myself; reposition and reflect my own role in COP21 constantly. So, my personal goal in COP21- there you go:

  1. To find out what are the amazing things Malaysians are doing in COP, and let the world know especially our very own Malaysian back home.
  2. To understand how negotiation works
  3. To explore what youth does or can do in this huge event- (this article answered and somehow achieved this goal!!!)
  4. To discover how I can position myself in climate change

Update on post-COP after tonnes of reflection: I think I have achieved my goal in COP21, although not very satisfactory on the a) and b) part; but at least I know what I should do to make it better next time 😀

Written by: Emily Oi

Gender Day in COP21- Discovering Gender Responsiveness

Gender Day in COP21- Discovering Gender Responsiveness

Women could play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions by using their knowledges and stewards on natural and household resources. I attended a workshop during Gender Day about the solution on the policy making level organised by Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , called the “Reality check – how tools, guidance, finance and cooperation under the UNFCCC support implementation of gender- responsive policy on the ground”.

The session explored on how the recommendations from the Expert Group Meeting in Bonn, November 2015 builds on a UN toolkit on gender-responsive National Communications. This session was pretty technical and new to me- so many “first time”.

It was my first time coming across the how to incorporate gender equity in policy making. Key issues for gender-responsive climate action for sustainable development includes:

  • The case for gender main streaming in climate policy and action;
  • Incorporation of gender considerations in technology-related processes and mechanisms; and
  • Incorporation of gender perspectives in climate finance. It never came across my mind that gender and technology or even climate finance can be related.

I met with Sunitha from National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO) Malaysia- someone that I could talk to on gender issues.

I learnt that technology is not gender-neutral. All these inequalities and stereotypes of technology being male-dominant, especially in cases of heavily mechanised sectors, will lead to the inadequate reflection of gender considerations in the development, transfer and diffusion of climate technologies as well as the implementation of Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) and other technology-related mechanisms and processes in the UNFCCC.

For instance, lack of participation of women in assessing climate technology needs in developing countries, e.g. in the development and promotion of solar cook stoves, can result in the slow adoption of the technology. In addition, gender equality considerations must become integral to technologies for climate change adaptation and mitigation in order to reverse the potentially harmful misperception of technology as gender-neutral, and overcome the false association of small-scale, household- based and traditional technologies as more relevant to women and the large-scale technology infrastructures as the domain of men.

As for climate finance; I learnt that women would have to stay at home to take care of their family members while man normally have more freedom to migrate due to work.

In agricultural areas, women are also the ones mainly responsible for crops production. Climate change which widely affect the food production will have to make women to do more work but for lesser food. This further leads to women’s less economic independent as compare to man, which also reduces their financial capacity to adapt to changes- such as to prepare more storage for food; or to repair house parts.

I have learnt that it is particularly unfortunate that women are less likely than men to receive funding for climate-related initiatives. Compounding the problem is that most funders do not have adequate programs or systems in place to support women and their solutions for climate change at the grassroots. That less than 1% of all worldwide grants go to projects at the intersection of women and climate is a clear reflection of this critical funding gap.

So, back to my personal reflection- Gender Day indeed is an emotional yet informative day for me. So many “first time” moment and I am glad that I learnt something out of it! All in all, it was a fruitful day especially on the great combination of the sessions that I have attended- from hearing the voices of direct victims to understanding what had been done from both community and the international side. I am looking forward at the outcome incorporating gender equality in combating climate change with this comprehensive approach of both bottom-up and top-down approach.

Benefits of gender-inclusive planning. (Source from UNDP GENDER RESPONSIVE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS TOOLKIT http://unfccc.int/files/gender_and_climate_change/application/pdf/undp_gender_responsive_national_communications_toolkit.pdf)

Benefits of gender-inclusive planning. (Source from UNDP GENDER RESPONSIVE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS TOOLKIT)

Written by: Emily Oi