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. 🙂