PETALING JAYA: Two young Malaysians will represent the country at the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition conference this month in Milan, Italy.
Hosted by the Italian government, the three-day conference will start on Sept 28 as a prelude to the United Nations Conference of Parties Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.
Sahana Kaur, 17, and Mogesh Sababathy, 23, will be the Malaysian flagbearers at the youth climate conference hosted by Britain in partnership with Italy.
Italian Ambassador to Malaysia, Cristiano Maggipinto, and the UK Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, David Thomas, have extended their congratulations to Sahana and Mogesh.
At a recent videoconference, they said Malaysian youths had contributed to climate action and solutions, and the voices of young people can be a powerful catalyst for driving forward an increased climate ambition that keeps alive the goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5°C.
“Due to their proven dedication and experience despite their young age, Sahana and Mogesh will testify in the best possible way to the commitment of young Malaysians in the fight against climate change at the coming Youth4Climate conference,” said Maggipinto.
He added that he is confident that the duo will contribute to raise Malaysia’s public awareness of environmental sustainability and climate change.
Sahana, who is still attending school, has co-organised Youngo’s (Youth NGOs) 2021 Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Youth Forum, which produced policy outputs for the new ACE Work Programme to be negotiated at COP26.
Serving as the chair of Amnesty International Malaysia’s youth committee, Sahana is also the founder of Project All For All, a youth-led nonprofit organisation empowering young people to participate in civic engagement and advance sustainable development goals (SDG) progress, through which she has reached more than 5,000 people from over 100 countries.
“I am excited to work with young people from around the world to co-develop climate-related solutions, particularly in terms of climate education reform, sustainable recovery, and making the review of the Nationally Determined Contributions (to fight climate change) more transparent,” Sahana added.
Mogesh, a graduate in marine biology from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, is currently a PhD candidate at Universiti Putra Malaysia and a finalist for the Commonwealth Youth Award 2021.
He also co-founded Project Ocean Hope in 2017, and has since hosted a series of webinars around ocean literacy, reaching more than 10,000 people from 15 countries.
Mogesh also ran a waste management forum in 2018, stressing the need for marine conservation.
“I am so thrilled to help elevate the voices of Malaysian youth and use the opportunity of Youth4Climate to exchange views and discuss potential solutions, particularly on ways to bridge the gap between climate science and society with other young people from across the world,” Mogesh said in a statement released by the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Sahana and Mogesh will be among some 400 young participants from nations all over the world, aged between 18 and 29 years old.
At Youth4Climate, delegates will be split into four working groups: youth driving ambition; sustainable recovery; non-state actor engagement; and climate-conscious society.
They are also expected to come up with a youth declaration.
They will then engage in a dialogue with negotiators and ministers attending the Pre-COP, a preparatory meeting for COP26, which will also be held in Milan from Sept 30 to Oct 2.