Asians out of Asia – Amalen

Whilst at COP21, I had the pleasure of organizing the ASIAN meet up. I met so many different people from different walks of life and a variety of  movements they are fighting for. Talking to these people has been eye opening and inspiring, to see the different problems other countries face and how they solve them.

Here’s a little info on some of the people I have met.

Photo coutesy of Bindhu - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1000283720031090&set=a.102811993111605.4596.100001484142591&type=3&theater

Bindhu Bandhari from Nepal

Bindu Bhandari from  CliMates and Tunza Eco-generation

Myself Bindu Bhandari, youth campaigner aged 23 from Nepal. Being from one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change despite contributing less than 0.1% of global emissions, I have realized many youths in my country have no idea about climate change and the vulnerability. So, I have been working with different national and international organizations to sensitize youths in different areas of Nepal about climate change.

I was accredited as an observer for COP21 by CliMates (International think and do tank for climate change). My objective was to build a network with youths around the world fight climate change, learn their best practices and share my experiences. The main reason for attending COP21 was to live the atmosphere of diplomatic negotiations and share the experiences with youths in my country and generate ideas of how to highlight the issues of youth inclusion in such high level conferences. My goal at COP21 was to track the negotiations and follow the commitments/status of least developed countries in the negotiation.

From COP21 I have learnt that where there is a will, there is a way and everything seems impossible until it’s done, as said by legendary Nelson Mandela. I learnt the techniques of ideation to implementation of any projects by interacting with youth change makers and officials of different organizations around the world. Moreover, I realized the crucial role of social media in building solidarity and synergy for any mission/goal. Of course the most amazing moment was when the text was adopted at COP21. I really loved Fossil of the Day event at COP21.

‘Meeting other Asians in COP21, do you think Youth from your country is under represented? ‘

I am much concerned that the youths from my country are under represented in COP21. I was the only girl observer from Nepal, though there were some females in governmental delegations. It reflects that youth participation esp. girls are lagging behind in getting space for such high conferences. I view that government should be pushing and addressing gender equity, ensure arrangements for including youth delegations with the governmental delegation so that a youth inclusive voice is represented at COP.

‘What’s next? ‘

I have been working on COP IN MY CITY project of CliMates for the last 3 years. It is a global project, simulation to bridge the gap between international negotiations and youths. As not every youths can gain accreditation to attend COP, this simulation gives of a touch of how the atmosphere of COP feels like.

Do check out  Bindhu’s work and progress via her social media :
Twitter: @Bindu_Bhandari
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bindu.bhandari.5
Instagram bindu_bhandari

Photo Courtesy of Sohara- https://www.facebook.com/1431572487145116/photos/pb.1431572487145116.-2207520000.1451363905./1487546154881082/?type=3&theater

Sohara Mehroze Shachi from Bangladesh

Sohara Mehroze Shachi  from Global Climate Change Alliance, GCCA.

I am a graduate of Yale University, currently working at UNDP Bangladesh on climate change, disaster management and environment. I was selected from 2000 applicants to be one of the 11 climate tracker youth fellow for COP 21.

Being a citizen of one of the most climate vulnerable nations of the world – Bangladesh – and seeing first hand the plight of thousands of climate refugees moving to my city Dhaka has played a big role in increasing my concern about climate change and motivated me to do something about it. And I believe the best way I can make a contribution is by spreading awareness on climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance through my writing. As such I have published articles on these issues on various publications including DW, Huffington Post, EcoWatch, OpenDemocracy and IPS.

I went to COP 21 as a Climate Tracker Adopt a Negotiator youth fellow to write articles in various publications on the negotiations and the myriad impacts of climate change on millions around the world.

As part of my Climate Tracker fellowship team, I analyzed the draft agreement texts multiple times and gained a thorough understanding of the various provisions of the agreement, specifically the climate finance segment.

My highlight was getting to know that 1.5 and loss and damage have been included in the agreement.

‘Meeting other Asians in COP21, do you think Youth from your country is under represented?’

The number of Asian youth at COP was definitely not representative of the Asian population or the impacts Asia is facing. Bangladesh for instance only had a handful of youth representatives in spite of our country being a poster-child for climate change impacts. Funding acts as a big impediment to youth’s participation.

‘And what’s next?’

I am currently developing articles on fossil fuel subsidies, loss and damage and fracking to pitch to Devex, Guardian and Good Magazine.

You can find out more about Sohara Mehroze on her social media sites :
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sohara.mehrozeshachi
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoharaMehroze

Photo courtesy of Nguyen - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1207796479236620&set=pb.100000188371937.-2207520000.1451364673.&type=3&theater

Nguyen Cao Danh from Vietnam

Nguyen Cao Danh (Yann Nguyen)  from World YMCA

I am Yann Nguyen, 22 years old. I come from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I have been volunteering with the YMCA since 2012. Currently, I am Youth Committee’s Representative from the YMCA of Vietnam.

I am a young volunteer leader of the YMCA of Vietnam and I want to inspire young people in my community about climate change via YMCA’s Work Camp and Training.

I was excited for my trip to Paris during the second week of negotiations.

I expected to make friends and get connected with youths around the world. Plus, I expect to gain efficient knowledge in international development and international relation during the time with YMCA in Paris. I want to raise youth voice to make a better world.

I have learnt that climate change is an important issue not only in Asia countries but worldwide. Young people is the one who will solve it. So, their voices have an extreme impact. I am a part of young generation and I want to do something about climate change because recently climate change is affecting not only my life but millions of others life’s.

I was personally impressed about how young people were engaging to the agreement via various actions in the green zone. As an Asian Youth, I felt that I was not isolated in the crowd. I joined various meetings and actions with my friends during COP21 especially the YMCA’s flash mob on the 11th December 2015.

‘Meeting other Asians in COP21, do you think Youth from your country is under represented? ‘

I don’t think so. Even though I didn’t meet any other Vietnamese Youths during the meeting, I still try my best to raise our voice. Coming to Paris is expensive but I was very happy to meet up with Asian Youths at Le Bourget to share our view, our idea and our problem.

‘What’s next? ‘

After Paris I plan to launch an exchange program in South East Asia Countries to raise the awareness of young leaders in sustainable development in 2016 called ASEAN VOLUNTEER EXCHANGE NETWORK (AVEN) within YMCA Network. It is a long term project. I hope that I will benefit not only youths but also the community.

You can check out Nguyen Yann on his social media sites for more on him :
Instagram: Yann.nguyen0404
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nguyen.caodanh

Photo courtesy of Avik - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206635979970718&set=a.1527996252390.70290.1609215837&type=3&theater

Avik Roy from India

Avik Roy from GCCA and Asian News International, Climate Home

I am an environmental journalist based in India. I have been a negotiator tracker/climate tracker for two consecutive years at Warsaw and Lima before going to Paris COP as a journalist tracking India. Before being a journalist I have been a Greenpeace activist in my country, a global power shifter and an online climate mobiliser. I have been featured by The Guardian as one of 12 young climate campaigners to watch in the lead up to COP21.

I went to COP21 to report on negotiations that shaped the global climate dialogue and the role countries like India played there. My objective was to highlight the global climate politics to local, grassroots audience in India and include them in the process.

My biggest takeaway from COP21 is that youth power and collective conscience of governments can pave the way for a safer, equitable planet for our future generation.

‘Meeting other Asians in COP21, do you think Youth from your country is under represented? ‘

India has an unrivalled youth demographic with 65 percent of its 1.2 billion population being under 35 years of age. Indian youth have been fairly representing at international discussions, especially at the UN process. But this representation has to grow manifold and a lot of marginalized communities who are direct stakeholders of environmental degradation needs to be provided the opportunity to place their voice at these conferences.

‘ What’s next? ‘

I don’t have any independent projects running right now. However, I have plans to create a media outreach platform for climate and environment stories from across India.

Do learn more about Avik via his social media platforms :
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avikroy0511
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avikroy5

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