Friday, August 28, 2009

Climate Sustainability Platform held in Malaysia Challenges the Current Climate Negotiations

A Climate Sustainability Training Workshop and the 1st Climate Sustainability PLATFORM meeting in Malaysia was conducted on 27th August 2008 in Petaling Jaya by Mr. Uchita de Zoysa of the Centre for Environment Development. The one day event brought representatives from representative's consumer organizations and networks in Malaysia. The event was a joint programme between the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Organizations (FOMCA), ERA Consumer, Global Sustainability Solutions (GLOSS) and the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Sri Lanka.

The main objective of the programme as to sensitive consumer protection leaders in Malysia on critical climate issues to be debated at the upcoming UNFCCC COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. de Zoysa introduced the subject in an introductory presentation themed "The Climate Challenge According to IPCC & the Scientific Community" which covered subjects including observed changes in climate, causes of climate change, impacts of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, cost of delaying action and the path ahead.

In his keynote presentation themed 'Right to Development in a Climate Change Agenda' de Zoysa challenged the current approach to handling the climate change negotiations and stressed that climate sustainability needs to be pursued as a way of breaking the impasse between climate responsibility and right to development. While climate change is presented as the greatest challenge faced by humanity, half of the world remains in poverty which makes the world wander what are the priorities of the international governance. De Zoysa concluded that we need to go beyond mitigation and adaptation debates and address Equity” based world order where global policies are designed to ensure equitable opportunities. He challenged that the western approach of efficiency based development paradigms would only prolonge the problems and proposed that Asia retracts back to ‘Sufficiency’ as in self-reliance & contentment. He stressed that the key objective of all agreements should be towards creating ‘Peace, Happiness & Wellbeing’ and the way to do it was by creating ‘Mindfulness’ to promote right livelihood and not consumerist lifestyles.

The platform was also addressed by leading Malaysian consumer activist Datuk Marimutu Nadasan who said that Malaysia needs to formulate a national climate change policy very soon. He was critical of the development path in Malaysia which is creating more consumerist lifestyles and said that consumers too should become more mindful and that climate change should commence first with the approach of "change in me first". The participants discussed the Malaysian climate challenge and planned strategies to create a consumer movement based climate campaign with immediate effect.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mellow Drama for Climate Change COP15 civil society preparations: A Report from Denmark on the Come2gether Climate Camps

The Come2gether Climate Camps ended on 15th August in Copenhagen with a roadshow. A very Scandinavian way of demonstrating their concerns on climate change, but have to state that it was somewhat confusing to many Southern participants as to what was intended to be achieved. There was no audience other than the participants themselves. Held on a Saturday afternoon, the streets too were not filled with shoppers or tourists, sans the politicians and administrators of Denmark. The intensity expected from climate campaign was absent, but as its name suggested a COME TOGETHER of climate interested people and not the experts or decision makers. Therefore, the day ended with a party!

The week prior to 15th August saw nine Danish folk high schools conducting simultaneous climate camps and finally making 7 promises to be presented during COP15 in December. This was a diverse group of people from across the world, mainly young and inexperienced in climate issues and negotiations. The different folk high schools had different approaches towards their interpretation of the climate challenge. Some schools were more focus on content and dialogue as well. The programmes had a more Danish flavour than being international. The issues were presented with a Western outlook, which falls short of bringing to focus the Southern issues in its deepest emotions and intricacies. The dialogues could have been longer and deeper, rather than spending more focus on long lectures by Danish NGOs, think tanks, academics and researchers. more time to debate the 7 promises would have been better, than spending time excessively on preparing climate songs, drama, demonstrations etc., that is if the 7 promises were to be the main outcome?

However, in a way the Come2gether Climate Camps provided a good setting for a climate sustainability PLATFORM, where opinion, ideas, suggestions and experiences from the common people from the world are shared. This group may not be able to influence the world leaders or the negotiators at the upcoming COP15 in December, but they certainly can take back some ideas to their own communities in preparation for the future climate challenges. Whether these would include the 7 promises is to be seen!

The 7 promises are on facebook as follows;
1. We promise to spread the message:
2. We promise to consume less and smarter:
3. We promise to advocate climate solutions:
4. We promise to learn from nature:
5. We promise to be the example:
6. We promise to care for people:
7. We promise to act now:

see more at Anyone wishing further details should contact Berit Asmussen ( or Line Ellemann-Jensen ( (reported by Uchita de Zoysa of the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM.)