Climate change keeps widening the effects, it is not only about the change of the climate that affects farmers, fishers, but also economy, health, education, and almost every aspect of our lives. Living in Southeast Asia makes us one of the most vulnerable communities in the world. I see that some parties are aware and doing actions, some governments have the policy that connects in reducing global footprint, but we are still experiencing climate change. That is not the only thing we need, we need understanding, we need commitment, we need everything in sync, and collaboration between parties.
Attending ASEAN Power Shift in Singapore as one of the delegates from Indonesia was a very good opportunity I had. Discussing the challenges we have all around ASEAN countries in tackling climate change issue provides us better pictures what has been happening around ASEAN countries. People in Singapore and Malaysia might be more aware about the climate change issue, but they don’t put much concern on it because they haven’t felt it directly. The issue in Thailand, Cambodia, and some other countries are more to the freedom of speech and expression. Public won’t know much about climate change, if some parties who are aware and understand can’t even share the information and knowledge. Mostly the issue is that not many people understand the urgency of climate change in this world. A country can’t stand alone to fight an issue, we all should unite and support one another.
Though most of the countries throughout Southeast Asia are developing countries, we still have different cultures and regulation, that make the challenges and approaches are different too. During the 3-day discussion in Singapore, I learn that collaboration between countries is really important as well as between youths and governments. The negotiation process in the discussion mostly focusing on the challenges and what we propose to fight them, but I personally believe that focusing on our different strengths to cover our different weaknesses would help better.
Three-day discussion is just not enough, even we had midnight meetings. Ten ASEAN countries with up to eleven delegates in each country who have different backgrounds, have different perceptions. To finally agree on how to tackle the issue, we need deeper understanding about the background of each country. Then we can go to commitment and collaboration.