Youth Raised their Voices and Discussed Solutions during Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change 2017 in Gunung Leuser National Park
The “Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change 2017” (second series) took place in Gunung Leuser National Park, 18-20 February 2017. The event is organized by UNESCO Office Jakarta, in collaboration with UN CC:Learn (The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership) through UNITAR and the Climate Reality Project Indonesia (TCRPI) with the support from Youth Fro Climate Change (YFCC).
The 3-day event is attended by 50 participants consisting of students from a range of educational background (forestry, biology, chemistry, fishery, animal science, mining, politics, teaching, international relations, English literature, and law) from universities around Sumatra (Medan, Riau, Bengkulu, Padang, Palembang) and eastern part of Indonesia (Ambon), as well as teachers, all in the range of 17-25 years old youth category.
The students had gone through a tight selection process from almost 300 applicants, and had been carefully screened based on organisational experience and motivation letters. The event was opened by Mr Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Office Jakarta, Ms Cristina Rekakavas, UN CC: Learn, and Mrs Amanda Katili Niode, the Climate Reality Project Indonesia.
The training on climate change provided by TCRP Indonesia, presented by the Indonesian alumni of The Climate Change Reality trained by Al Gore. In addition, UNESOC Office, Jakarta also shared the climate change and conservation programmes implemented by UNESCO Office Jakarta, and UN CC:Learn informed the range of educational materials on climate change freely available in their website. These presentation inspired further discussions among participants on how climate change has affected them and how can these be addressed. Some of the participants highlighted the unpredictable weather observed due to climate change, such as heavy floods in Medan.
Picture 1. Presentation on UNESCO’s Programme on climate change and conservation through UNESCO designated sites
Picture 2. Participants from Medan raised their concern on unpredictable weather felt by them
Among the issues raised by the participants include the needs for further research on renewable energy, such as biofuel, and the ideal opportunity and channel for raising their concerns on marine pollution due to underwater mining activities in Maluku.
Participants further elaborated visions for 2030 in their respective city. Some of their visions include zero waste through, inter alia, no plastics policy; reduced unnecessary transportation through online shopping system and program for vegetables planting in own backyard; green city through vertical hydroponic gardens and programs for tree planting; illegal vendors by the side of the road to be regulated; and renewable energy-powered city. The means identified by them include awareness programme, education programme including inclusion into school’s curriculum since early age, economic/business sector intervention and policy development.
Picture 3. Participants from Padang sharing their vision for 2030.
Participants were then asked to focus on one main problem of their concern for focus group discussions in order to identify solutions and the plan for their follow up activities to contribute to the solution as part of the post-camp activities required in this event. The problems identified include: waste management, energy conservation, high-carbon footprint lifestyle. The solutions identified include a range of steps, starting from influencing their juniors in university, to conducting outreach activities in free public places.
During the site visit to Bukit Lawang, Gunung Leuser National Park, which is part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatera (TRHS), a world heritage site, the participants observed the different function of trees and plants for the ecosystem and the behaviour of Sumatran orangutan, in their natural habitat. Bukit Lawang is one of the conservation areas for the Sumatran orangutan and used to be a rehabilitation site for orangutans. In the past, the park provided food for the orangutans twice a day during their rehabilitation period. Since the past few years, the orangutans have been considered adaptable to their natural habitat and can survive on their own.
Picture 4. Participants from Riau identified that bad lifestyles contribute to environmental problems due to lack of awareness, and thus the solution is to come up with unique-but-easy campaign, starting with their own peers.
During this site visit, the participants met three orangutans. Participants also learned that orangutans display similar intelligence and behaviour compared to humans and conservation of the ecosystem is important for the protection of orangutan. <br/>During the site-visit, participants also exercised their video-taking skills after a short course on video-taking before departing for the site visit. The last session of the camp agenda is the movie-making exercises. Having taken video shots, participants then developed a draft short film that they could use as part of their outreach activities. The themes and clips highlighted in this film include littering behaviour destroying the nature, apology to future generation, orangutan thanking you to care for the environment.
Picture 5. Closing by UNESCO Office Jakarta
The event was closed by the Climate Reality Project Indonesia, UN CC: Learn, and UNESCO Office Jakarta.
Contact for further information: Mr. Shahbaz Khan (s.khan(at)unesco.org)
Facebook: Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change Indonesia (@ylcccid)
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