In conjunction with Human rights Day 2019, and the end of 2019, a year full of ups and downs and big moments for climate activists and global rise of youth activists, lead to a large part by 16 year old Greta Thunberg, the newly formed formed Youth Subcommittee of HAKAM, HAKAM Youth held their very first forum on the topic of Climate Crisis and Youth Activism on Sunday 15 December 2019.
The forum which was well-attended by youth and activists from climate action and environmental non-government bodies, was held with three panel members, Professor Dr Fredolin Tangang @ Tajudin Mahmud who is the Chairperson of Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Science and Technology Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Aaliyah Abdullah from the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), and Aroe Ajoeni Sulistyorieni, the co-founder of Klima Action Youth (KAMY).
Some of the key points, among others, raised during the forum included:
- The need to expand climate activism to rural and non-English speaking Malaysia to increase awareness and effectiveness,
- Effectiveness of youth activism in Malaysia, similar to other parts of the world, despite cultural differences and attitudes towards young people getting involved in public debates. It was asserted by both Aliyah and Aro that Malaysian youth are getting more and more involved in climate activism and they are getting their voice heard, and that the government is being more receptive of the views and involvement of the youth,
- The dire conditions of climate crisis with a very narrow window for action demands more awareness and involvement, and young Malaysians are and must get involved and draw attention to these issues and demand change,
- Government initiatives regarding climate actions should be widely, and preferably in other languages than English, be promoted so that the public can better understand these movements and the reasons behind them, and
- There is a need for climate science to be made more understandable for the public, and this can be done through platforms that gathers scientists, activists, non-profits, and policy-makers together. For the public to be more engaged and the policy-makers to effectively address climate crisis, the science behind climate change and its implications should be conveyed in understandable language and this can be achieved by increasing collaborations between scientists and youth activists who then engage the public.
The forum which ended at 12 pm. We hope more discussions and forums could be held on these topics in Malaysia, and we applaud HAKAM Youth for their efforts in making this forum possible. For more information and photos of the event please check HAKAM Youth’s Facebook page.
See you next time!