KAMY has been invited by Commonwealth Youth Council to discuss the 'Impacts & opportunity of climate change on youth involvement and engagement in the Asian region' with six other panels from different countries. Panels consists of:
Qasim Farasat - Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC)
Wendy Gilmour - High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan
James Tan - Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, University of Malaysia Terengganu
Taha Ayhan - Presiden ICYF
Heeta Lakhani - YOUNGO Global Focal Point for 2020 UN MGCY
Aroe Ajoeni - KAMY, Asia Climate Rally
Archana Soreng - Secretary General Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change United Nations
Fsahat Ul Hassan - Convenor SAARCYP
During this session, Aroe shared her experience working with youth from different Asian regions that led to Asia Climate Rally.
FIVE THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM ORGANIZING WITH YOUTH ONLINE:
1. Asia Climate Rally has proven that youth in Asia together, can build resistance, organize resilience.
The sudden shift from protesting on the streets to mobilizing fully online shows that we can still organize meaningfully from everywhere. For example; the weekly Digital Strikes and other campaigns that's been happening all over the world including KAMY's fight to save the Kuala Langat Forest.
We have learned that our phone cameras and online toolkits are tools for change, Zoom and Google Meets are places for us to strategize.
2. Online platform provides an alternative space to speak up.
Doesn't matter your level of education, or your understanding about the climate, wether you are from Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, Nepal, Bangladesh, or India; you can be part of something and contribute in any way.
Going online has provided a unique opportunity to connect with people that we would not normally get the chance to meet, especially among environmental activists.
3. Youth involvement have paved a new way of climate activism.
This year marked as the most online time we have been.
Before this, we couldn't stand 2 hours of Facebook livestreams, let alone one-hour Instagram livestreams. Who would have thought that we can use TikTok as a medium to educate people on environmental issues or use Zoom to organize climate workshops. Now it has become the norm.
We will never go back to 'normal' digitally as online platforms have opened new spaces to advocate urgent issues.
4. Understanding that with everything going online, it did not make things easier.
We still have to learn to adapt, tolerate and work together, and on top of that learn how to use the right tools to communicate effectively. Nothing can replace face-to-face and physical communication, especially when conveying important issues. Work from home has burnt us out and decreased our productivity.
It is also crucial to acknowledge that a digital divide still exists and it has limited access to certain groups and communities. However, we have to utilize what we have now and keep the momentum going, organize, and prepare ourselves before going back to the streets.
5. Train the youth
The youth should not be used as tokens anymore. There is no use of organizing hundreds of webinars about youth when they are not able to access funding and resources needed to amplify their work.
We need support in terms of equipping us with the right skills; writing, communication, persuasion, etc. This is important because at the end of the day, we have to speak to our community in a language that they can understand.
Watch the full livestream here