The Malaysian Youth Delegation’s (MYD) Local Climate Conference 2018 has really been an eye opener for me. On the first day, I remembered that we came in anxiously as delegates, not knowing what to expect. But at the end of Day 2, we left with a great amount of knowledge, all pumped up to make a change in the world.
Before attending this conference, I was interested in the topics of resilience and climate change but I never met people of my age with whom I could discuss, debate and reason these topics with. At times, it felt like I was a lone ranger, in a field dominated by those in their 40s and 50s. MYDxLCOY totally changed that. I was able to connect and interact with young people who were similarly concerned about climate change and, like me, wanted to make a change in the environment we lived in. I learned so much from casual conversations between the sessions alone!
As part of my personal learning, I found the sharing session on youth participation in the Conference of Parties (COP) very exciting. It was empowering to know how today’s youth are involved to shape the decisions of tomorrow. Having the assurance that, I know that if we really wanted to get involved, there are ways to do so, like being part of MYD. Another exciting thing I took away from this conference was learning about the interconnectivity sectors. Food security, sustainable cities, biodiversity and green finance are factors that can make or break climate action. As a part-time activist who is more concerned about hill-protection in my home state Penang, I constantly advocate for the preservation of tree cover under climate action. Listening to the topics shared, like the importance of seas in regulating climate, was eye-opening and I now have new interests to find out more on the benefits of environmental protection. The experience that appealed to me was one shared by the Artivists, Angus and his friend. They took us on a creative ride through the world of art, and showed how they made impacts by raising awareness and causing the right kind of ‘disruption’. I sure did get a few creative ideas from them!
All in all, this conference was a roller coaster ride for me into the reality of the climate crisis. More importantly, the experience made me realize how important it is for the young to be involved in climate decisions that influence our shared future. After all, climate is more likely to impact us than it is likely to impact a 60 something year old from a developed nation.
Edited by Tan Cai May