Interview session with participants from COY 11, Tokyo

Interview session with participants from COY 11, Tokyo

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
IMAG6783I 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.

women of india protecting 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.

iv) IMAG6712

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

Edited: Merryn

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: . 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!).
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. 🙂