The Malaysian Youth Delegation hosted the annual Retreat at EPIC Collective over the weekend of the 28th and 29th April 2018. New members were asked to reflect the activities they took part in, what they learned along the way, and what they took away from the experience. Here’s what our new members had to say:
As a person coming from a legal background, climate change is of a brand new area for me. During the session by Adrian Yeo on the history of UNFCCC, the session was not dull at all as he presented it with jokes and made us understand things easily. I learnt the term ‘protocol’ which refers to the mechanism (i.e. how to do it) and other terms such as global north which refers to developing countries. With reference to the Paris Agreement, I was made to understand that 197 countries signed the agreement, with only 175 countries ratifying it.
In the session by Ms Shakila on climate policies, I was made to understand yet another bunch of new terms. For instance, terms like geothermal and biofuel, which are new terms introduced to me. Thereafter, we were given a task to build a house which was to be weather resistant. We were given approximately 40 minutes to complete a house with newspaper and tape as the only materials given to us. Each of my group members discussed on methods to design a house within such a short period of time. We came up with an idea to roll the paper to make it strong for the house. What amazed me was that my group members worked really hard together and executed ideas on how to complete the house.
Right before dinner, we were asked to play a game in which we arranged the sequence of a set of climate change related logos. There were many logos which I had never heard of such as TWN, KETTHA and CETDEM – just to name a few.
The first day of the retreat ended with a screening of the movie “Before the Flood” starring Leonardo DiCaprio which was an eye opening experience for myself as I learnt that our diet as a human being can affect climate change through the consumption of beef. I personally think that everyone should watch this documentary to understand, care more and acknowledge the fact that we should do something to improve climate change.
On the second day, a few of the previous Malaysian Youth Delegation members shared their knowledge on the COP that they attended, which really inspired me to join the upcoming COP 24 in Poland. Phoenix pointed out that the Malaysian Youth Delegation journey is equally important if you cannot make it to attend COP. I truly understand that there is a lot of work needed to be done before attending this conference. Otherwise, efforts to attend COP would be futile. I could see so many capable youngsters within the Malaysian Youth Delegation who embody their achievements, which really amazed me.
Last but not least, the assignment on the ‘toilet agreement’ was where we were asked to create an agreement based on the scenario given, which proved to be quite challenging to myself. As my group members had to be split into two parties, we had to come to an agreement on the matter at hand. Negotiations skills are important in life to ensure that both parties come to an agreement. During the assignment we were “enemies”, but after the assignment we became friends again!
In conclusion, this retreat really amazed me with the fact that the younger generation does care about climate change, which is a good sign. From this retreat, I realized that there are many people out there who are better than us, who will then inspire us to be a better person in life as the knowledgeable individuals and amazing people come from different backgrounds. I cannot be thankful enough to be selected, to be part of the Malaysian Youth Delegation in 2018 and am looking forward to working together with all of you.