Yogyakarta- Climate change is the hot issue currently talked about by everyone around the world, including 144 participants from 37 countries who are following the International Youth Conference (IYC) in Yogyakarta. They discuss about climate change issue and global warming to produce a resolution to contribute to the handling of climate change. “IYC is for the youth who care about climate change. They share experiences,” Deputy of Minister of Youth and Sport, Youth Empowerment Section, Alfitra Salam, told the press after opening IYC 2011 at Saphir Hotel, Monday (21/2).
The Representative of Ehime University, Prof. Roof Vergin claims that he was the one who invited Japanese students to join the KKN PPM program. The American PhD found out about this program 4 years ago and had been preparing it for some time. ''I think this program is very good, especially for Japanese students. With their participation, they can understand the world outside their own and bring along the mission of peace,'' he said.
Manabe Sayaka (21) and Sakamoto Takaaki (20) are among the Japanese students who are interested in knowing directly the condition of farming in this country. Takaaki claims that he has read books about Indonesia and wanted to know the way Indonesian people farms. Both Sayaka and Takaaki want to apply their newly gained knowledge to their country.
Additionally, Djagal said that UGM will send Indonesian students to Japan for 2-3 weeks to learn about their agriculture cooperative.
Meanwhile, Michael Zacheo, representative of United Nations Information Center in Jakarta, welcomed the conference initiated by Ministry of Youth and Sports, Provincial Government of Yogyakarta and Universitas Gadjah Mada. “Each participant will influence the policy making to handle climate change in this country,” he said. In many countries, climate change and global warming issues are the concerns for governments. This conference serves as an initial step for the youth to be more concerned to environment and climate change. However, another important thing is the establishment of dialogue and understanding between the youth in finding resolutions to climate change. “The conference in Yogyakarta also introduces the participants about recent disasters here, the Merapi eruption, so they understand and learn a lesson from the disasters in Indonesia,” he said.
In the first day, the participants are given opportunity to express ideas and share experience in climate change campaign. Elshan (27), participant from Azerbaijan, said he was active in an NGO, Green Biker Club. Since three years ago, they have been active in the campaign to preserve the environment by going anywhere on bicycle. In the beginning, Elshan said that the activity was very difficult to do. However, they do many seminars, trainings and socialization. “This movement can influence many people, including governments, to campaign green bike riding,” he said.
Beside Indonesia, the participants are from Thailand, Malaysia, Brunai Darussalam, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor Leste, South Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Bangladesh, Malawi, France, Ukraine, Suriname, Finland, Palestine, Afghanistan, China, Japan, Romania, Italy, Spain, India, Serbia, Madagascar, Uganda, Gambia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan, Samoa, Seychelles, and Yaman.