Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Pt. 2

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Pt. 2


Hi! I am Pavlos Georgiadis from Greece. I am an ethnobotanist, activist and start-up entrepreneur. I worked as a researched in 11 countries in Europe, Asia and America before returning to Greece in 2012, where I focus on agrifood innovation, participatory rural development and environmental politics.

What do you do for a living? 

I have created Calypso, one of Greece’s first family farming startups, after the financial crisis hit home at 2011. This is an attempt to revitalise an ancient olive grove on the north-eastern coast of Greece, through a combination of local food traditions and agroecology. I have also co-founded We Deliver Taste, a food innovation company which tries to connect good food producers with responsible consumers.

What is your role in Paris COP21? What are you looking forward in this conference?

I was at COP21 as member of the international Climate Tracker team. We have been following the climate negotiations very closely over the last few months, and we were in Paris for the final round. Our aim was to put our negotiators in the national spotlight and climate change on the front pages of the world’s media. Our team has published more than 400 articles during the two weeks of the COP, adding a small contribution to these negotiations.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Greece has more than 6000 islands, and more than 200 of them are inhabited. All these communities are potentially on the front line of climate disasters. Being a member of the European Union, Greece belongs to the worlds’ most developed nations. However, the debt crisis has led to a 25% reduction of the country’s GDP in the last five years, leaving half of its youth unemployed. With the economy in such a grim situation, and the social welfare system totally dismantled, what worries me most is how Greece is going to catch up with its commitments towards climate action.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Against a background of government inaction against climate change, the civil society is on the move in Greece. There is virtually no media coverage of the issue in the country. There is no public understanding of the problem and our biggest task in 2016 is to change that. Unfortunately, not many people from Greece participated in COP21, however,

the few of us that were in Paris are already discussing ways of bringing climate change to the public dialogue.

This occurs in a social setting where people are worried about plundering incomes and unemployment. The challenge is to turn this around, and offer plausible alternatives for a new economy that is climate resilient, socially inclusive and empowering to citizens. This is a process that involves multi-stakeholder consultations, campaigning and advocacy. What makes our work in Greece interesting is that, in lack of funds and political sense, we the citizens will have to do on our own.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us? 

Amidst so much war and conflict around the world, with the youth challenged by decisions taken from the previous generation, we must bear in mind that the world has agreed to solve this problem. And it is us, the youth, that need to claim our role and responsibility in this effort.

The COP should remind us that here we have a unique opportunity to steward our planet. Do we want to be part of this process and now?

Do you have any upcoming events happening that you would like to share with us?

There are three major events in 2016, that should definitely draw the attention of active citizens around the world:

  • Habitat III – the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development  – Quito, Ecuador; 17-20 October, 2016.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP13 – Cancun, Mexico; 4-17 December 2016
  • World Humanitarian Summit  – Istanbul, Turkey; 23-24 May, 2016

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)? 

My stay in Paris started with a prayer ceremony by indigenous communities at a park opposite Bataclan, on the site where victims of the Paris attacks lost their lives a few days before the COP21 begins. Being a Climate Tracker, after the COP started I had to spend most of my time at Le Bourget, where the negotiations were taking place. I have followed the discussions on climate solutions related to regenerative agriculture and agroforesty. I also listened to a very interesting lecture by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on Deep Decarbonisation.


Hello, I am Nesha Ichida from Indonesia. I’m an online bachelor student studying Natural Science at the Open University UK. With this I’m also doing volunteer jobs and internships to gain more field work experience before I graduate. My passion is mainly on wildlife research and conservation but focusing more on the marine site. Although 2 years ago, I’ve put an interest in sustainable living as well after seeing the effects of climate change in my country and in the Arctic.

Tell us your purpose at COP21 and what you are looking forward at COP21?

As one of the Indonesian youth delegates, to speak at the youth session at the Indonesian pavillion, build international network, and to interview several scientist and climate activist for the “Youth4Planet Program”.

I would like to know what are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Forest fires, coral bleaching, drought, floods, El Nino, animal extinctions, food shortages, health and economy risk.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Personally, I am still doing my best to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable living and reducing our carbon footprint through social media as I think every bit of change from each of us counts.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us?

It is important to keep our goal in mind and not let green washing companies influence us. We need to build international connection to combat this problem and we youths are the ones who need to get involve the most as our future are what is at stake.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • Earth To Paris (Petit Palais), meeting my two conservation heroines, Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Sylvia Earle. And also watching all the other celebrities talk about the importance for action in climate change
  • Exxon vs People Mock trial court (somewhere in Paris), listening to all the witness from around the world whom have been affected by climate change and how the fossil fuel industry have destroyed their home was devastating but very eye opening as well.


Dian Anggraini was selected as a member of the mentor for Indonesian Youth Delegation for COP 16 UNFCCC in Cancun Mexico, COP17 UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, COP 18 UNFCCC in Qatar and Indonesia Delegation for COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris.

In January 2011, Ms. Dian was trained by the Honorable Al-Gore and joined The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, a non-profit organization that serves as the Indonesian component of a grassroots movement of more than 7,800 diverse and dedicated volunteers worldwide. In the last four years she has been active as a Climate Leader, speaking and presenting about the climate crisis and its solution to the general public skills.

In the same year, Dian also participated in The Asia Pacific Leadership Congress in Melbourne, Australia.  Organized by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the congress focused on leadership, communication and engagement skills to influence and mobilize communities for a healthy environment.

In 2013, Dian participated in Climate Change Educator Skill Share and internship in The Climate Reality Project Australia for 8 weeks.

“Since the training, I appeared in international forums as well as local forums to present climate issues to various fields. I obtained climate knowledge from the training, as well as other media and events that I have participated in. As a climate leader, I like to communicate and connect with my audience especially towards the youth. I like to share some of my sustainable habits I picked up along my journey to my community especially at work and school.”

Tell me Dian, what are you looking forward at COP21?

My aims at Paris COP21 are to support our Indonesia negotiators and to help running activities in Indonesia Pavilion. I believe all our activities in Indonesia Pavilion are worth spreading and I believe our Indonesia negotiators succeeded in giving good inputs for the Paris Agreement. I hope all countries are genuinely concern and ready to cooperate to reduce the impacts of climate change for a better life.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Haze and Dryness resulting from summer long and forest fires.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

We are working together with the government and other community to provide communications and education to the youth and to hold climate-related activities for students such as Indonesia Youth for Climate Change , FGD and seminars.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

Always use the social media to communicate “climate change issues” and coordinate with the government, relevant organizations and communities to promote climate awareness activities.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

Yes we have upcoming Post-COP21 events but we are still organizing them.

barretteHello, I am Naomi Ages from United States. I am the Climate Liability Project Lead at Greenpeace USA.  I work on establishing legal, political, financial, and social liability for climate change.  I also work on our climate justice campaign.  I am a lawyer by training and have previously worked on human rights and asylum issues. I focused on environmental law and international law in law school and planned to make it my career. At the COP21, I worked mainly on loss and damage and as a US policy advisory for the Greenpeace delegation. I also helped interpret and advise on general issues of international law and US law.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

In the US, major climate-change induced disaster are hard to attribute, scientifically. There is some evidence that the drought in California, super-storm Sandy, and the warming in Alaska are all being worsened by climate change.  In addition, low-lying cities like New York and New Orleans are threatened by rising sea levels and future storms.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

  1. The Obama administration has made climate change a “signature issue” and has instituted the Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions.
  2. Additionally, a number of sub-national actors (cities and states) have invested in renewable and pledged to reduce emissions faster than the US government has mandated)
  3. Greenpeace runs a climate and energy campaign that focuses on “keep it in the ground”, ending coal leasing and production, “green my internet”, and political lobbying where possible.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

This was my first COP so it’s hard to say I have tips but I think not getting caught up in rumors is important. Also that trust between organizations and between delegates and observers is the key.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • WECAN – “Women on the front lines of climate change” which was held at the Marriott Ambassador Hotel in Paris
  • “What Exxon Knew and what Exxon did anyway” hosted by Matt Pawa and CIEL and was held at Light Loft and Skies in Paris.

Written by Jolene

Meeting inspiring youths in COP21 (Part 2) – by Emily

Meeting inspiring youths in COP21 (Part 2) – by Emily

Throughout COP21, I bumped into many amazing youth figures from all around the globe and found their stories really inspiring! Now, sit back, relax, and read their stories that I have personally picked for you all 🙂

jacquiJacqui Fetchet, Australia- Global Voices

This is Jacqui who won a scholarship from Global Voices, Australia to come to COP21. Global Voices is a youth leadership platform to provide Australian youth opportunities to attend local and international policy related forums. Jacqui aims to understand how UNFCCC negotiation systems and processes work, as well as to learn more about climate change and the people working on it around the world.

Prior to COP21, she was researching and studying the draft text of the Paris Agreement and understanding the history of the convention as it has evolved. She is particularly looking at the level of each parties’, or countries’, nationally determined contributions (NDC) and how they may be enforceable, if at all, through the ambition and compliance mechanism in the Paris Agreement. Jacqui is also interested in gender issues in climate change where she strongly believes that women have the capacity to be significant change-makers in addressing climate change challenges.

She shared that in Australia climate politics is complicated and is looking to see how her government will apply the Agreement back home. She is hoping to see the government improve their current NDC to set a higher and more ambitious target, as well as financing more climate change projects and initiatives.  She also reflected that climate change is highly politicised in Australia, where many people, including the youth are aware of some issues but don’t really know what or how to act in response, despite the severe impacts Australia will face. She emphasised the importance of increasing education and communication to the youth and the broader community by focusing on the values and human stories of climate change.

Talking about her COP21 experience, Jacqui thinks that being bold and open minded as well as inquisitive and critical is a useful approach to participating in COP. In response to some of the ideas put forward at COP she said, “sometimes it seems that we have solutions but in fact, we might be creating more problems within the solutions.” She also thought that people need to keep looking beyond the COPs because the UNFCCC is not the universal solution for climate change and action needs to happen on the ground in our own communities.

11899971_912863332105920_249793860394396724_nChris Hsiao, Taiwan- Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition (TWYCC)

Chris from Taiwan started to involved in climate change by joining TWYCC back in 2013. He is keen to join COP21 because that is the highest international decision-making body to combat global climate change issue; and he was hoping to leave an impact  to the negotiation and make this a better agreement. Talking about his goal in COP21, Chris explained that he is particularly interested to understand how business sector is reacting towards climate change and how they involved their distinct stakeholder in this.

In addition, Chris is working on an interviewing project that aims to bring back stories of international youth as a source of inspiration to encourage more actions in Taiwan.

He have shared his new discovery in COP21 on how corporates showed concern on the formation of carbon pricing mechanism as well as their initiative on aggressively persuading their stakeholders to be part of the green commitment- which was not seen in Taiwan.

Also, Chris opinion after attending several actions in COP21 lead him to a realisation that actions is neither a form of protesting nor going against the government or the existing system. He sees this as a call from the people to ask for more solid and fundamental goals and that we all have to approach it by gaining collective ideas from around the world. That is why, actions always emphasized on solidarity.

Chris expressed his view on the Paris Agreement where he thinks this agreement is never expected to save the planet. In fact, it is just a guide. Thus, it is always touched to see how the climate movement is urging people to take action from different levels, because at the end of the day- we have to save ourselves, not by solely relying on the agreement.

lisaLisa McLaren, New Zealand- New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD)

Say Hi to Lisa from New Zealand Youth Delegation! Lisa is a Emergency Management Advisor back home. She had been to COP19 in Warsaw with the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute.

This year, she was chosen as one of the co-convenors of the NZYD to guide and help the current delegates navigate around the COP21. Lisa explained that NZYD is a campaign team where their main goal was to engage people in NZ on climate change through both traditional and social media.

Prior to COP21, they did a nationally centred campaign for 4 months with a focus on asking the government to aim for carbon zero by 2050 as well as to create a plan to do this and develop a cross party working group for these issues to avoid the plans being interrupted by the political cycle. In COP21, NZYD campaigned heavily to get media back home showing the government’s’ misleading stance on climate change.

Lisa highlighted her experience at a side event about Fracking, where she learnt that many of the  farmers were being affected by this form of extraction and it inspired her to learn more. She also valued hearing the first hand voice from the direct victims, like the farmers in this case. Lisa also shared about her biggest achievement in COP21 was NZYD getting New Zealand the first fossil of the day (tied with Belgium) because it managed to grab a lot of media attention and highlighted the government’s fossil fuel production subsidies.

cuifenPui Cuifen, Singapore- Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA)

Cuifen is an environmental scientist with a not-for-profit (DHI) back in Singapore, and does a lot of ground-up community work focusing on earth-focused sustainable living and growing your own food movements. She and her team mates created Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA) just before heading to COP21. The opportunity to attend COP21 came up 2 months before, when Cuifen was contacted by Lastrina who knew she carried out a climate perception survey in July as a ASEAN Power Shift policy delegate.

The COP21 journey was an experiential journey for Cuifen on what is being done at the policy level, and what the countries bring to the table. She followed the negotiations as best as she could, and felt thankful that other more experienced participants, such as Mel Low (from Singapore), were always ready to share their insights. She took the opportunity to reach out to the Singapore negotiators team, and managed to secure half hour of their time to have a honest dialogue with interested Singapore Observers at COP21.

Cuifen followed her passion in choosing side events, and focused on agroecology, protected areas, forests, REDD and indigenous people. She was thankful to see farmers being their own voice for the very first time, and the indigenous people given air time when they have something to say. She also got her team to start #PeopleofCOP21, an idea that came up on the bus after talking to a COP21 technician, who shared how his homeland is already affected by sea level rise.

Cuifen felt that at every stage of COP, there was a very real possibility that an agreement would not be reached. She is proud that her country ministers played a key role in differentiation, which was a sticking factor in the negotiations. Overall, the experience gave Cuifen hope, that no matter what happens, people will come together to make sure we get back on the right track. The only thing is time is not on our side, especially for vulnerable areas that already face impacts in their everyday lives.

_MG_8370Saffran Mihnar, Sri Lanka- Earth Lanka

Meet Saffran, a climate activist from Sri Lanka! He came to COP21 under Earth Lanka, a Sri Lankan environmental NGO that work on both journalism and community projects on local level to raise awareness. On a personal level, Saffran focused on the journalism part where he writes back to share his experience in COP21.

Among the events that he have attended, he was inspired by the collective efforts being done by the countries in Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) as showed in their pavilion event where he witnessed how different island countries are working hard to take measures and to come out with solutions. Saffran explained that more countries should learn from AOSIS on their collective spirit; by giving example of his concern on how Sri Lanka is facing a lot of difficulties especially their position in G77 & China grouping- where big countries were deemed to protect themselves more than the small countries like Sri Lanka which is more vulnerable.

Saffran was proud to mentioned that his article was being published on well known blog which he thinks is his biggest achievement in COP21. Regarding youth participation, he pointed out that the current youth involvement in Sri Lanka has to be improved a lot; and that the government should engage with youth more so that they understand about issues that government is facing. From his organisation level, Earth Lanka is planning to revive the youth parliament which is not functioning well after the new government took over.

Lastly, Saffran shared his own saying to end his interview with-

“Three things you need for the success of your life and to reach higher in the society:

  1. Follow your religion;
  2. The knowledge that you gain every single day; and
  3. Good Friends and Family in your life”

View Part 1 of the interview here

Interview done by: Emily Oi

p.s. I have wrote a tribute to my beloved interviewees too on how I got inspired by them and what I learnt from them. Check it out here!

Meeting inspiring youths in COP21 (Part 1) – by Emily

Meeting inspiring youths in COP21 (Part 1) – by Emily

Throughout COP21, I bumped into many amazing youth from all around the globe and found their stories really inspiring!

emmaEmma Lewins, United Kingdom- United Kingdom Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)

Emma is currently working for her local council back in the United Kingdom. She joined UKYCC since February 2015 and work under the team that focuses on understanding and following national climate related policies. This COP21 opportunity came at a surprise when there was a last minute vacancy from UKYCC and thus she decided to grab the chance. As Emma didn’t have access to the COP21 Blue Zone, she thus decided to help her teammates who were on the inside (of COP21) to connect with other people out there and be part of the climate movement. For instance, she had recently attended the ‘Red Lines’ protest in Paris where she was so touched and cried (happy tears) because she felt incredible to be with so many different people all united for the same cause!

She shared that this year, UKYCC asked hundreds of young people to complete postcards before they left for Paris to show the negotiators what the youth of the UK were most concerned about climate change. In this initiative, Emma thinks her involvement in getting 30 students to draw postcards was her biggest achievement in COP21. Besides, she also attended talks at the Climate Action Zone, including a great talk from Indigenous Women from around the world; where she found the connection between gender and climate fascinating.

Aside from COP21, Emma explained how climate change affects her country- where flooding is happening more frequently. Unfortunately, the UK government cut a lot of funding for flood defences in the past few years, and not much was seemed being done. Emma also raised the issue of historic responsibility in climate change is explained poorly in the UK. In addition, the local media framed Paris Agreement as a total success which to her, was frustrating. She also believes that UK youth are engaged in climate change, but not in the COP process and that more should be done on this.

received_10153290552373865Renee Juliene M. Karunungan, The Philippines- Dakila

Renee is a communications director and climate campaigner for an organization in the Philippines called Dakila. Dakila is a group of artists and young people that uses creative platforms for its advocacies. Renee also have been writing as a freelance journalist on climate issues and the negotiations in local and international media, feel free to follow her This year, she joined the climate tracker program in COP21 to track the negotiations and to interact with the Philippines national delegation.

She learnt that one can be effective in influencing public and policy by writing; and she was able to write two articles a day- which she think is a milestone for her. With the climate tracker program team, they also managed to do a lot of text analysis and info graphics every time a new text came out.

Renee thinks that the overall youth participation in COP needs to be improved by more engagement in the negotiations than just via actions outside of the negotiations. She also added on that Filipino youths involvement in COP is quite limited. She thinks that more Filipino youths should be engaged and it should be started from the national level. Nevertheless, Renee is proud of her country’s performance in COP21 where The Phillipines led the Climate Vulnerable Forum which pushed for 1.5 degree celcius and fought hard for human rights.

b83279d1-04d9-4c46-81c3-ca93a6beb85cBindu Bhandari, Nepal- CLIMATES

Meet Bindu from Nepal! She is a youth eco- campaigner under CLIMATES and Tunza Eco- generation, specifically working for youth sensitization in climate change. This is her first time in COP21 and she is here to learn about how negotiation works and to understand what exactly an observer does in COP. She have chosen to track negotiations focusing on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Loss and Damage (L&D) which is more applicable to Nepal as an agricultural country.

She pointed out Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries in climate change, where the people depend on rain-fed agriculture system, thus intense drought and unpredictable high rainfall has serious effect in overall economy of the country. Moreover, as Nepal is a land of several high range mountains including highest Mount Everest; glacier melting has become a serious concern. Of all these, she appreciates the Nepal government initiatives by supporting REDD+ and is a member of UN REDD program. This approach aims to empower local communities with funding and capacity building for conserving existing forests and fostering community forests.

Regarding youth participation in Nepal, Bindu explains that although there is an appreciative attitude in participation among the urban youth in Nepal; however, participation is still lacking when it comes to climate change movements in villages and sub-urban areas. Bindu feels that the Nepalese government should include youth in the national delegation so that the youth can feel that they are part of it as well as enhance exposure to really understand the happenings in COP. She also thinks that it is more effective for the youth to engage and lobby their respective national negotiators or ministers compare to meeting up them back in respective countries.

IMG_3693Kristina Yasuda, Japan- Climate Youth Japan (CYJ)

Kristina Yasuda from Climate Youth Japan (CYJ) shared that COP21 was her first COP and she felt very lucky to be here as Japan is very strict on giving out accreditations. As the only representative from CYJ in COP21 for the first week, she fully utilised this opportunity to attend different types of side events, workshops and of course observing the negotiations.

Among the side events, Kristina found the initiatives done by private sectors to combat climate change very inspiring. As an example, there was an event that talked about hundreds of banks from around the world form alliance not to fund companies with high carbon footprint. She also raised her concern on gender equity in climate change where she saw that women are still marginalised. Thus, she hope to see more equal representation of both gender in the future, especially in Japan itself.

Through following the negotiations, she was very surprised to find out at how similar the negotiations actually are as compared to the debates in colleges. It was however a bit saddening to see Japan being not influential enough in the negotiations. She also thinks that youth involvement and participation in Japan is not sufficient which definitely need more work on it- to mobilise the government as well as to engage with universities who provide accreditations.

Kristina thinks that her biggest achievement in COP21 was to be able of positioning herself in an active international youth network. She explained that previously she stopped volunteering in environmental activities due to the lack of activeness in volunteering culture in Japan. However, meeting youth from different parts of world inspired her to return and she thinks COP21 further enhanced her motivation. She was also happy to see how her social updates being recognised and acknowledged by people and she feel that was essential because  not everyone can go to blue zone!

Qin Yuanyuan, China- China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN)


Yuan Yuan is a member of China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN)- COP Youth Delegation. CYCAN have been working on the “low-carbon campus” project back in China for years which conducts carbon accounting investigations on campus and coming up with effective solutions to reduce carbon emission. In COP21, Yuan Yuan aims to stretch out for more people and knowledge relevant to tackling climate change in various fields. She is keen to learn and witness the negotiation process, as well as to interact with people inside COP to understand their concerns’ on this issue.

In COP21, she had the chance to be part of the presenter in a press conference to issue ‘Sino-U.S. Youth Declaration on Climate Change’ with members from Sierra Student Coalition and it was recorded by UN press! Besides that, she managed to attend side events organised by Climate Strike or Climates that were held to unite young people around the world to articulate their concerns and demonstrate their efforts. She found these events were very encouraging and promising.

When it comes to youth participation in COP21, Yuan Yuan had her say on it- she personally believe that the overall youth participation has to be enhanced and enlarged, including youth participation back in China. In COP21, youths don’t get enough discourse rights in the conference, especially in the decision-making area; where she self-experienced it and it struck her hard. She thinks that the current existing platforms such as YOUNGO could be regarded as informational channels, yet still need space for improvement. To mobilise on this, she thinks that joint project is a way to engage more youths and exerting youth power in the process.

**View Part 2 of the interview here 🙂

Interview done by: Emily

p.s. I have wrote a tribute to my beloved interviewees too on how I got inspired by them and what I learnt from them. Check it out here!

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Jolene Journe T, Pt. 1

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Jolene Journe T, Pt. 1

liaHello, I am Hilyatuz Zakiyyah (Lia) from Indonesia. I work at the Office of President’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Indonesia. I am a communication specialists who concern about environmental issues especially climate change. I grew up in a family of musician who also loves nature and it gave me big influence for me. My passion for environmental conservation developed more and more as I get older. I also love to sing and dance as well, just like my family.

At Paris COP21: What is your role and what you are looking forward at COP21?

I was part of the committee members for Indonesia Pavilion at COP21. I helped organizing the seminar sessions in the Pavilions and also in charge of the Youth Session which gathered youth leaders from several countries. As COP21 was my first COP, I was particularly interested in making contacts with various organizations and learn more about events organized in COP21.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

As an archipelago country with more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Based on data from National Agency for Disaster Relief, almost 80% of the disasters in Indonesia are climate related. A record from 1982 – 2012, the disasters in Indonesia were dominated by flood (4121 cases), landslide (1983 cases), typhoon (1903 cases), and drought (1414 cases). Furthermore, as 60% of Indonesians live in coastal areas, sea inundation from the sea level rise will threat tens of millions of people to be displaced.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The youth for climate change focuses on awareness raising campaigns as well as capacity building for members and youth in the network. It discusses about the basic of climate change and climate actions that can be done locally by youth. We have established several branches in Indonesia which all have developed their own program and initiatives.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us?

As I have to stand by at the Indonesia Pavilion, I listened and learn a lot from the 55 seminars and lectures organized in the Indonesia Pavilion. I am intrigued by several clean technologies displayed and installed in the area of COP21 and several public spaces in Paris. Some of them are quite interesting such as the charging stations which energy derived from the cycling activity; rented electric cars, solar panel to light up an installation in Champs Elysees, etc.

Do you have any upcoming events happening at COP or Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

With fellow young Indonesians from Youth for Climate Change, we will organize a panel discussion to discuss about youth actions on climate change according to Paris Agreement. Several of us will also join the training by Al Gore from the Climate Reality Project Philippine in March 14-16, 2016.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21?

I was attending the Transport Day on Sunday, December 6th at International Union of Railway in Paris where I can attend several sessions related to sustainable transport. I was particularly interested in the topic of creating a walk able city.

JedHello, I am Joseph Edward Alegado or Jed from the Philippine. I am currently a student at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. I was a former Media and Communications Officer of Oxfam in the Philippines. As a Media and Communications Officer, I did some campaigning for food and climate justice as part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign.

At Paris COP21,  I am a Climate Tracker for the Adopt a Negotiator Project, a group of 10-15 young climate trackers from around the world who are tracking the negotiations and ensuring that negotiators will come up with a fair and binding agreement in Paris.

What are the major climate change induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Extreme weather events like Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 have frequented the Philippines. We also have experienced slow-onset impacts like El Nino,

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The Philippine government is quite active in climate change adaptation especially that we are not one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. We have a Climate Change Commission which is tasked to implement the National Climate Change Action Plans and oversee the Local Climate Action Plans of local government units.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

It pays if you brush up on the geo-politics and history of the UNFCCC.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP21 that you would like to share with us?

None as of the moment. But I am trying to help Adopt a Negotiator build a youth network here in The Netherlands.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • Climate Vulnerability Forum – During the first day of COP 21, the Philippines led the Climate Vulnerability Forum High Level Meeting in Hall 6 where UNFCCC’s Cristina Figueres led the meeting.
  • ASEAN High-Level Meeting with the ASEAN Secretary-General Thailand Pavillion December 8, 2015 It was a meeting of ASEAN youths in COP 21 with the ASEAN SG.
  • Sustainable Practices in the Dutch Workplace – December 4, 2015. This event shows how sustainable practices in the workplace can be implemented.

niodeKarida Niode, Indonesia. I am currently a Masters of Sustainability Management student at Columbia University in the City of New York. I have been active in volunteering for sustainable development and environment related practices since I was 14. I work closely with climate change and environmental protection NGOs, particularly the Climate Reality Foundation in Indonesia.

I wanted to participate in the Indonesian youth for climate change event to share my experiences on youth and sustainable development in Indonesia and abroad. I volunteered with the Indonesian Delegation to help out with the pavilion. I also felt that it was highly important for me to take part in this historic climate conference (so far), not only because it is related to my passion of sustainable development but also to refine my network and knowledge about climate change.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Flooding, droughts and forest fires

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The organization I am volunteering for i.e. The Climate Reality Project work to educate the public about the reality of climate change and promote both local and global solutions. Our members have diverse backgrounds which includes business leaders, professionals, educators, athletes, musicians, scientists, actors, students and religious leaders.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

It is very useful to attend side events from different organizations/ countries because based on personal experience, you can gain so many useful knowledge regarding policies, technologies, etcetera. It also enables me to meet new people and expand my network generally.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

Ones that I am directly involved – no solid plan yet currently. I am currently just focusing on my education. But I can contact you once something comes up.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? 

  • Youth session at the Indonesian Pavilion, Friday 11 December: Discussion and sharing of best practices of youth actions on climate change between youths from all over the world
  • Nature Knows Best at the Indonesian Pavilion, Wednesday 9 December: The Sugar Palm Potential for Energy and Reforestation
  • Sustainable Landscape in Sumatra at the Indonesian Pavilion, Monday 7 December: Discussion of processes mainly for for-profit companies to turn pledge into practice.



William Cheng, Taiwan. 程煒倫 – 就讀台大農藝學系(Dept. of Agronomy, National Taiwan University),現任台灣青年氣候聯盟公關籌募長,以農業糧食角度關注氣候變遷,並重視國際與台灣未來能源發展。

2015年前往米蘭世博『Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life』2015年底前往巴黎聯合國氣候變遷大會以環團申請觀察員(Observer)進入會場。



What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that are affecting your country?


What are you or your organisation doing in your country on climate change issues?

台灣青年氣候聯盟TWYCC(Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition)為台灣第一個以青年為主運作的環境NGO,同時也以台灣環境議題的青年交流平台為宗旨,擴展青年氣候行動。國際上我們研究各國政策,並且撰寫文章、發起活動推廣,透過青年與媒體網路的力量去影響政府與大眾。


青年氣候培力營TPS(Taiwan Power Shift) 與 合作,舉辦 Taiwan Power Shift 氣候行動培訓營,把國際氣候行動之力量帶回台灣。邀請亞洲友好青年組織,透過議題探討、培訓工作坊、國際氣候談判實境遊戲、氣候行動創意提案競賽等豐富的兩天活動,在台灣激發更多青年瞭解國際氣候議題,進而為氣候變遷起身行動。


How active is youth participation in your country?


Any tips about environment / your learning at COP21 that you would like to share to us?


Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP21 that you would like to share with us?

會在七月暑假舉辦青年氣候培訓營Taiwan Power Shift,敬邀各國青年共同參與,營隊將模擬COP談判會場實境,並且結合遊戲與表演,還原COP現場。透過工作坊與講者演講讓大塚體會了解相關氣候變遷知識。誠摯邀請國際青年一同參與。

Written by Jolene

What’s the Youths’ says? – Part II

What’s the Youths’ says? – Part II

Liang-Yi Chang from Taiwan

Liang-Yi Chang from Taiwan

“My first COY was in 2009 and our purpose was to learn how YOUNGO work and how the international youth climate movement works. My purpose to COY-Tokyo was to help and facilitate a COY in East Asia and strategically to support the march in Tokyo for Global Climate March moment, which is part of Road through Paris plan with Now there are more than 10+ student clubs working with Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition which is the national youth climate organization and is the first youth-led environmental NGO. We had trained more than 1000 youths to our yearly youth climate gathering in July.

Taiwan is yet an official member of UNFCCC which is improper, we hope we can loop Taiwan in the Framework to keep Taiwan’s Carbon emission to Paris Agreement and more to have its legally binding to international community. Youth power and consistence are both keys for me to maintain myself to climate issue. It is hard for everyone to attend all the COP/COY meetings, but we can follow from the previous participants to learn before we are heading.

We just had our 1st NO Coal march in Taiwan aiming for the Presidential election in Jan 2016, and soon we will have Anti-coal youth trainings around Taiwan in 2016 on planning.We want to face out fossil fuel through divestment approach and saving electricity to push government toward 100% renewables and green investment.”

– Liang-Yi Chang from Taiwan


Yew Aun from Malaysia

“I’m a MSc student. My purpose in COP21 is to show support to the cause at COP and prove that impossible things can be done. Intensification of El Nino and other climate effects leading to annual floods/more storms/intense drought is happening in my country. I am not well read on this but government has allocated budget in 2016 to establish National Disaster Management Agency and flood mitigation projects.

I think we can improve the youth participation in UNFCCC by improve awareness through dialogues with local youth groups. I feel youth participation is important but not necessarily involving sending youth to COP, there is much work to be done in the ASEAN/Asian region.”

– Quek Yew Aun from Malaysia


Melissa from Singapore

“I am a former environment reporter with Channel News Asia and graduate from the London School of Economics. Currently running a start-up consultancy for NGOs, Game Changerz, she is focused on running effective advocacy campaigns, recognising that first-world urbanites have every role to play in the fight against global issues, from climate change to extreme poverty.

My team went to COP21 to connect with other civil society groups, engage with our negotiators and ministers, attend side events that are of relevance to the Singapore context and communicate our insights of being there in the COP event. Personally, I was very keen to meet the 10,000+ climate heroes who flew to Paris from around the world. It is a rare opportunity to learn from experts! As a low-lying island state, we will have to adapt to sea level rise, which will be very costly. This year, we saw an extended El Nino which gave us a bad bout of haze. Singapore will be affected by food security issues too.

From COP21, I learnt that there are so many ways to join this fight against climate change! You don’t even need to be a nature-lover. For example, the divestment movement, or green finance, are all relatively new movements which has great potential to change things — but isn’t considered ‘environmental movement’ in the traditional sense. There are many exciting things brewing in other societies which Singapore can learn from.”

– Chong Youwen (Melissa) from Singapore


Beatriz from Brazil

“I’m a climate activist in Brazil, and my purpose of going to COP21 is to work with YOUNGO. Brazil faces droughts and floods that are induced by climate change. My organization, Engajamundo works to empower young people on the ground and to increase youth political influence in decision making processes.

I think the youth participation in Brazil is increasingly active. To increase youth participation in UNFCCC, we should translate how climate change will impact youth in their realities and get more funding so that we (the youths) can participate at negotiations.”

– Beatriz Azevedo de Araujo from Brazil

Interview done by Elaine