|Delegations from around the world held the shout-out globe. I was inside the crowd.|
In 2009, UNICEF cooperated with UNFCCC held the first climate forum for children, as a pre-event for COP15, a special meeting for our world leaders to make decision and solutions about what will we do as a human for this Earth’s sake.
I represented Indonesia for the first time, with two other colleagues, one from Jakarta (currently studying in a college at Australia) and other came from Bali (currently studying in a college). I went there as the youngest one, along with our chaperon, the Ministry of Environment’s representative, Ms. Aini. The event was held from 28th November until 5th December 2009, mostly indoor, at one of the most historical building in Copenhagen, the City Hall of Copenhagen. This forum was held in the middle city of Copenhagen, which was quite far from the COP15’s place itself.
There were 44 countries which sent usually three children as their representatives, mostly from 15 until 17 years old. Indonesia and Vietnam were the only countries which represented South East Asia. India, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea also represented Asia in this forum.
This forum was actually more similar like classes in college. We chose what subject (in this case, what problem) we desired, and we attended classes which discuss about the matters. For this forum, we discussed about matters which would affect our Climate, because we knew that Climate Change is one of the hottest issues around the world, and we knew, as the children of the world, we should take actions along with our leaders. Mostly to encourage our leaders to make a more wise decision rather than argue about each country’s matter.
Because I lived and grew up in Kalimantan, I chose matters which were the base one, such as forestry, biodiversity, etc. rather than population in a city, industry pollution, etc. Those classes were side one, because we had to choose the main team or group we wanted to be involved, and I chose the CAP (Climate Ambassador Program) team. In CAP, we were the team-matchmakers; we connected countries which have same issues, so they’ll figure other solutions and share what they had. Also, we made a toolkit for CAP, which has many great ideas about how to solve our community’s problems, individually and with our teammates back in the country. Other teams worked with their own tasks, so here, we also learned how to be a part of a team where you need to learn how to work together, but still become an active or dominant one, so you’ll make your voice being heard.
Aside from my main team, I joined forestry, which discussed about problems about our forest in the world, and how to solve those problems, again, individually or in groups. I joined Biodiversity class, and got a chance to represent the class in front of everybody to send what we had discussed in class. Gladly, I got great responses about what I’ve said, and this was a great start for us, the Indonesians, to be heard.
Luckily, Indonesia was one of the teams which got an overwhelming opportunity to visit the Copenhagen Zoo for our external visit. I saw some animals which I couldn’t here in Indonesia, such as penguins. We also got a chance for being interviewed by a youth-paper, and they encouraged us to make the same one here, in Indonesia. It was a great trip, because other teams probably went to companies which maybe weren’t as fun as ours, or went to a trip by boat, which is very unfavorable for those teams to have such a ride in the end of the year’s season, winter. I was and I am really glad that I am an Indonesian.
164 delegates around the world worked together to achieve our main goal: to pursue the world leaders and convince them to make better decisions about what the world have to do to prevent the Climate Change and to stop it as fast as we could, also to convince them that there are more than 100 youths who are ready and already made changes in our community, and we dare our leaders to do the same thing, for the earth and human’s sakes. Mostly, our main project was to make a declaration which be given to the COP15’s president. Other teams, such as my team, CAP, worked for the ambassadors’ toolkit, tools they could use to make project back home. We, as the representatives of our countries, would be Climate Ambassadors, the one who would take steps and break the silence to make changes.
In the last night, we had a great Cultural Night, when each country should represented local performances in their country, but sadly, Indonesia didn’t show any attractions, because of our time and lack of experiences. But the night was amazingly wonderful, and I didn’t regret anything that night.
I was crying when we departed from Copenhagen, because the environment and its people were really nice. But I was also spirited to make new moves in Indonesia. I do wish that someday, I can make Indonesia as nice as Copenhagen with its own way.
It’s our job, young generation, to make changes now. If we delay it today, then when?
We are the next world leaders, so why don’t we become the local and young leaders now?