JAKARTA, 30 November 2021 – The ASEAN Secretariat hosted an interactive webinar to commemorate ASEAN Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day on 25 November.

The webinar brought together ASEAN stakeholders, youth leaders and champions, under the theme “Teaming Up with You(th) for a Disaster Resilient and Climate-Friendly ASEAN”. Representatives of NGOs, CSOs and private sectors in the field of youth development and empowerment, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction were also present.

Alexa Danielle C. Dayanghirang, Commissioner of the Philippines National Youth Commission, delivered opening remarks to kick-start the virtual event. She emphasised the importance of prioritising youth’s participation and empowerment, considering the crucial role of youth in realising a climate-friendly and disaster-resilient ASEAN.

An intergenerational dialogue titled ‘Teaming up with You(th) for a Disaster-Resilient and Climate-Friendly ASEAN’, was moderated by the ASEAN Youth Forum’s Programme Manager, Rastra Yasland. The session also featured two pairs of youth and policymaker speakers, dubbed as ‘Team Climate Actions’ and ‘Team Disaster Resilience’.

Joshua Anak Belayan from ASEANYouCAN Brunei Darussalam, along with Emily Low and Imran Nordin, participants of AHAckathon 2021 Competition by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA) Centre, represented the youth.

Meanwhile, the policymakers were represented by Deputy Director Dr. San Win, from Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, and Director AC Yazid Abdullah, from the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

In his presentation, Yohanes Paulus from the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA)/ AHAckathon 2021 core team, highlighted the success story of AHAckathon 2021, a flagship initiative by the AHA Centre that enables young people to contribute to efforts in solving humanitarian logistics issues through digital solutions.

The webinar also included a Call-to-Action session, featuring Secretary-General of U-INSPIRE Dr. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, Head of Brunei Darussalam’s Climate Change Secretariat Noordina Yahya and Mila Lomarda, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Action, and Rapid Response Officer of the Embassy of Switzerland in Thailand.

In the wrap-up sessions, the webinar delivered six call-to-action points:

  • To provide more inclusive, democratic and safe platforms and accesses for youth to policy-making spaces and decision-making forums.
  • To highlight the vulnerability of the marginalised groups, especially those who are prone to more violence, hardships, and challenges during disasters and crises.
  • To call on ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Secretariat to promote more programmes, activities, initiatives that are intersectional, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary, to encourage collaborations among ASEAN Youth.
  • For youth to make use of the information and communication technology in climate action and disaster resilience initiatives, and for the government to facilitate and address hindrances that youth are facing concerning climate change and disaster resilience.
  • For government and youth to encourage more action-oriented collaborations in dealing with threats and issues related to climate actions and disasters resilience.
  • To ensure the people-centred and rights-based approach in seeking out the solution and building up initiatives and programs, which is in line with the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and ASEAN Charters.

In 2018, led by the Philippines through the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth, and coordination with the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management, ASEAN Leaders adopted a declaration to designate 25 November of each year as the ASEAN Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day.

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