The last day of COY11 Tokyo – Loh Rachel

The last day of COY11 Tokyo – Loh Rachel

Date: Saturday, 28 November 2015

Time: 17:12
Author: Loh Rachel, 18 (Selangor, Malaysia)
Current location: Yoyogi Olympics Memorial Youth Center (Tokyo, Japan)

I spent the last night of COY11 Tokyo editing the Youth of East Asia Action Agenda Declaration with Kotoe (one of the main Organisers of the event). The participants worked tirelessly to ensure that the declaration is truly representative of the East Asian youths. We addressed issues related to climate change such as: rising sea levels, poverty, haze, etc. by coming up with creative and innovative youth-led initiatives.

COY 11 Tokyo!

COY 11 Tokyo!

One of the many highlights of the day was the Earth Parade (a.k.a Global Climate March). It was my first time participating in a demonstration and it was exhilarating! We walked approximately 1.5km holding up our signs and chanting about the importance of protecting our Earth. Sze Ming, another representative from Malaysia, has a short clip of the parade on her Instagram account (@szemingg). Additionally, you can check out Power Shift Malaysia’s FB page for more awesome pictures of the Earth Parade.
Fun fact: the Earth Parade is known as the Global Climate March in other countries. Pictures of the march is now all over social media, with posts originating from Paris to Penang!

Lastly, I am extremely grateful to AirAsia for sponsoring our (Malaysian Youth Delegation) flights to Tokyo so that we could attend COY11. I had the opportunity to connect on a more personal level with youth leaders from countries such as Korea and France. And more importantly, contribute to the Youth of East Asia Action Agenda Declaration, which will be published soon on: Tokyo.coy11.org . So, domo arigatou once again, AirAsia!

Day 2 @ COY 11, TOKYO

Day 2 @ COY 11, TOKYO

Date: 27 November 2015

Time: 9am-10pm

Title: Day 2 in Conference of Youth (COY), TOKYO

Welcome to day 2 of COY 11 in Tokyo. It’s great to see new participants coming in for today’s session. The program starts from 9am to 10pm. I get to mix around with different participants from Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Of course, thanks to the advancement of technology, I managed to say HI to my teammates in Paris: Emily and Thomas who are attending the COY11 at Paris during the session of “meet a local COY Session”. It is so happy to meet up with team members even though we are far apart. There are several round table discussions today. I learnt the importance of teamwork in finding a common solution. As we know, one voice can’t be heard but many voices make a huge impact.

I joined COP in My City session. The main objective of this session is to bridge the gap between youth and COP. We are given the chance to experience a Model COP in 3 hours. It is just like the real negotiations in COP with each of the participants representing different countries such as: China, India, US, EU and other developed countries. We are given confidential data as a reference. I represented other developed nations which comprised of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and other former Soviet Republics like South Korea, etc. Our main goal is to negotiate a global agreement to reduce green house emission (GHG) based on the current situation of economies and national interests. At the end of the session, we managed to reach a consensus. Each delegation signed on the World Climate Agreement. The organizer will submit the document to COY 11 Paris and COP21.

agreement  all of us

 

The first session of the day is Renewable Energy. Participants gained greater insights on what is sustainable energy and what’s Japan has learnt from Fukushima Disaster. It is a disappointment to know the fact that 26 out of 46 nuclear plants are applying for inspections to restart. Japan’s energy policy is not moving towards sustainable energy. Our team, Malaysian Youth Delegation, participated in the poster session where we presented the rice and PowerShift Malaysia bunting. It is a great platform to interact, exchange information and most importantly to inspire each other. If you read the day 1 blog post, we continued the discussion of Youth of East Asia Action Agenda (YEAAA). It can be pronounced as YEAH !!! Team members got together and provided a final solution to the topics mentioned earlier. This is a very crucial step as selected ideas will be included in declaration.

I joined an interaction session between Paris and Tokyo. We discussed about the necessities of nuclear power plants, individual actions to reduce CO2 and important aspects to combat climate change.

3 topics

The last session of the day was the planetary health flim, “ Mamtaz’s Story” – The fight for climate justice in the Bay of Bengal. The people are leading a simple lifestyle depending on the available resources. They are least responsible towards climate change yet most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

We are getting closer to submitting a declaration to COP21. I am very excited about it and looking forward to get youth voices heard in COP21. This is the future we want and remember “YOU”th are the solutions. I’m counting down to Day 3 of COY11 at Tokyo.

Day 2 of COY11 Tokyo- Loh Rachel

Day 2 of COY11 Tokyo- Loh Rachel

Date: Friday, 27th November 2015
Time: 22:57
Author: Loh Rachel, 18 (Selangor, Malaysia)
Current location: Yoyogi Olympics Memorial Youth Center (Tokyo, Japan)

So before I begin my account of today’s activities, this is a quote that really stuck with me today: “We shouldn’t live at the expense of our younger generation.”

My highlight of the day was the poster making session for the Earth Parade where we designed posters for the march tomorrow. Along with part three of the “Youth of East Asia Action Agenda” (YEAAA) brainstorming session. We will be finalising the declaration tomorrow as well, so it’s a really busy and productive evening for all of us here at COY11 Tokyo! Our declaration will be representing the voices of the youths of East Asia and will be sent to world leaders in time for COP21 to ensure our(the youths’) opinions are taken into account during the negotiating process.

The result of our brainstorming session.

The result of our brainstorming session.

I’ve also learnt more about divestment through a short presentation by 350 Japan and a film “This Changes Everything”. The session was really interesting because it shed light on the possibilities of solutions for climate change…. Divestment is one of them (start Google-ing!).
❤️(movie)
Additionally, my group and I learnt more about trans-boundary haze: its relation to climate change and its solutions. We churned out many creative and innovative solutions including: increasing the opportunities for youths to speak up through organising roundtable discussions, combatting the issue of lack of enforcement of environmental laws by establishing a HAZE Watch group. I’ll explain in more detail after finalising the declaration with the COY11 Tokyo committee tomorrow, so please stay tuned!

Making posters for the Earth Parade tomorrow.

Making posters for the Earth Parade tomorrow.

Furthermore, I met with many accomplished and talented youths today and snagged interviews with five of them. I will be posting them soon on my social networks in hopes of inspiring youths who are passionate about tackling climate change.
So that’s it from me, I’m extremely excited for the Earth Parade tomorrow (a.k.a. Global Climate March), where COY11 Tokyo participants will be marching from Hibiya Park to “Kajiyabashi”. Not to mention, this movement will be happening in over 150 countries simultaneously!

Talk to you soon,
Loh Rachel

My first day at COY11 Tokyo!

My first day at COY11 Tokyo!

Date: Thursday, 26th November 2015
Time: 22:13
Author: Loh Rachel, 18 (Selangor, Malaysia)
Current location: Yoyogi Olympics Memorial Youth Center (Tokyo, Japan)

First things first, hello! I’m Loh Rachel from the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD15) and am currently attending the Conference of Youths on Climate Change (COY11) in Tokyo! Feel free to ask me about COY11, MYD or anything at all through my social media networks.

So, I mustered a little courage today and spoke up during the roundtable discussion where we connected (via Skype) with all the COY conferences across the world in Brazil, India, Canada and France, to name a few. I was definitely nervous represent the youth voices of COY 11 Tokyo, but I am so glad I did! I always seem to have a problem voicing out my opinions to a large audience, afraid of their judgements, but I have learnt that we all deserve a voice and if you don’t speak up when necessary- you. Will. Regret. It.

Me speaking to youths at COY 11 in 8 countries across the globe!

Me speaking to youths at COY 11 in 8 countries across the globe!

One of the best parts of my day was producing part one my group’s discussion during the “Youth of East Asia Action Agenda” (YEAAA) session. We collectively decided on the topic of Haze in East Asia, while others concluded on various topics such as conservation of biodiversity, poverty, the rise in sea levels, etc. My group was positively charged with energy. From tackling the causes of the haze to delving deep into the consequences and its relevance to climate change, we achieved A LOT during that session. Wooohoooo, go productivity! We’re ready for part two where we will talk about solutions and the logistics of incorporating this pertinent issue in our COY11 Tokyo manifesto.

Team "WE HATE HAZE" with their poster.

Team “WE HATE HAZE” with their poster.

Second best part of the day was when the MYD group consisting of Ginger, Sze Ming and me going out for a stroll to the Meiji Shrine! We witnessed the mesmerising beauty of the fall colours merging with the traditional Japanese architecture. It was so beautiful that we decided to walk there every morning.

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (#MYD15) at the Meiji Shrine!

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (#MYD15) at the Meiji Shrine!

So, aside from learning a few Japanese phrases (e.g. Mataashita : see you tomorrow), I’ve learnt more about the negotiation process in COP21 through a film called “Make It Work” by Theatre de l’air, where students from various universities around the world experienced a COP simulation and ended up negotiating as representatives of entities (e.g. Soil) instead of the usual format (i.e. Countries). The documentary provided a wonderful insight to the harsh reality of the negotiating process in COP.

Lastly, my goal for attending COY11 is to establish a network with like minded people who are passionate about climate change and the environment, learn more about climate change and how youths can or should be involved, and make sure our voices are heard by world leaders in time for COP21. And today, though I didn’t achieve the first goal as I believe it takes time to foster strong bonds of friendship, I believe I will achieve it in the long run. As for the latter, I strongly believe we as youths achieved that today and I hope we can continue to keep this energy as we proceed with the next two days!

Domo arigatou once again to Air Asia for sponsoring our flights! I’ll be posting daily updates, so please stay tuned. 🙂