Malaysia Showed ASEAN Leadership on Gender Issues on Climate Change

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim

Malaysian Youth Climate Change Society (Persatuan Belia Perubahan Iklim), welcomes the statement made by Minister at the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim. She said, “Asean must implement a standard operating procedure (SOP) to mitigate climate change”, during the recent “ASEAN Regional Workshop On Gender Issues On Climate Change And Its Adaptation” in Langkawi.

The poor and other marginalized segments of society (e.g. women, children and indigenous peoples) are usually more vulnerable to climate change impacts because they are likely to have fewer resources—and hence low adaptive capacities—and lesser access to policy and decision making processes. Studies have found that women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men during disasters.

We are already seeing impacts of climate change in the Southeast Asia region with only 0.8℃ of global average warming. Widespread of coral bleaching is recorded, increased vulnerability of Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Bangkok, because of their exposure to sea level rise. The northern part of the Philippines was also particularly vulnerable, being at high risk from tropical cyclones. We cannot imagine how the world will be with 1.5℃, or 2℃ or 4℃ temperature increase.

Women make considerable contributions to livelihoods, family well-being, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, health and food security, which are all important assets that ASEAN policymakers should draw upon to inform climate change responses.

Being the Chair of ASEAN for 2015, Malaysia should take leadership on tackling climate change seriously. While putting pressure to ASEAN’s members state to implement the mitigation and adaptation plans, Malaysia must demonstrate how it can be done effectively locally.

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