BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Green Brunei, with the support of the British High Commission, recently attended Singapore Power Shift, a kickstarter workshop to build up climate change knowledge and learn how to run successful campaigns. Representing Green Brunei in the two-day programme last weekend was the Community Engagement Director, Khairunnisa Ash’ari.
Acting British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, Sunny Ahmed said, “We were delighted to support Green Brunei’s attendance at this event. Climate change is one of the greatest common challenges facing the common world.
“Youth NGOs like Green Brunei can be excellent advocates for change, leading to reduced carbon emissions and climate stability. I am pleased Khariunnisa has retuned inspired and look forward to future Green Brunei campaigns.”
Over 50 young people from Singapore were joined by 350.org friends and supporters from Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam, for the Singapore Power Shift, which was held on July 12-13.
The two-day climate action workshop focussed on educating and empowering the group on topics such as Climate Change & Singapore, Local & Overseas Youths Movements, Coordinated Global Efforts, as well as Campaigning skills.
According to Khairunnisa, the workshop gave her an insight into practical solutions implemented by agencies in Singapore, by both the public and private sector.
“The campaigning workshop was especially useful, as a lot of the skills discussed were quite new to me and will be relevant for the future activities under Green Brunei. I especially enjoyed the examples given by the speakers and shared by the participants, regarding practices from both the policy and grassroots level. President Nasheed was quite inspiring in his work promoting climate change advocacy. He has also advised me, and the rest of the participants, ‘Don’t be part of the margins, but be the mainstream’, if we wanted to make a real difference.”
Nor Lastrina from 350.org Singapore gave her opening speech where she shared about their experience in Istanbul with 500 young climate leaders from more than 135 countries to learn more about climate change and the youth movement. 350.org is an organisation dedicated to building a global climate movement. Their online campaigns, grassroots organising, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries.
The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million to below 350 ppm.
The participants were exposed to a wide variety of skills and techniques of campaigning through a number of case studies presented by different NGOs within and outside Singapore. As an outcome of the discussions, five campaign proposals had been formulated, ranging from tackling food waste, wildlife trading and sustainable consumption, amongst others.
Khairunnisa added “The talks and discussions have given me some really great ideas on future activities that Green Brunei can be involved in the future. A lot of the issues faced in Singapore are similar to what we have in Brunei, namely waste management including food waste.
“In particular, the work done on grassroots level by the NGOs and university students are also to be admired.
“They gave examples on the fantastic campaign ideas they have done utilising creative media, such as the awareness on endangered marine wildife, or how one university has worked towards banning styrofoam on campus and encouraging the use of alternative packaging and bringing own containers. Perhaps in the future-we can make use of some of these ideas in Brunei.
“Additionally, Green Brunei can include modules on campaigning in our future workshops. Jam sure the knowledge will be beneficial for other, groups with an interest to run their own campaigns in Brunei.”
The participants also had a surprise visit from former President of Maldives, Mohamed- Nasheed, who shared with his experience leading climate change movements in Maldives. He shared how he started in setting out his campaign and pointed out that his country, his home, is the motivating factor. He talked about climate change and how he is pushing for and supporting the use of renewable energy to be a priority to address.
Singapore Power Shift is part of Phase 2 of Global Power Shift organised by 350.org, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013.