Humans and nature are always connected. Just imagine our daily life. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the beauty of nature we see. It should be natural, then, for human being to feel heartbroken upon hearing the catastrophic environmental impacts caused by climate change. Climate change already impacted food production and triggered catastrophic disasters like drought, deluge, and disease. It also seriously threatens biodiversity, the highlighted theme of World Environment Day (WED) 2020. These facts should alarm us to wake up and question ourselves, what actions can we do to strive for a better world?
Enter ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT), the first project that aims to improve the coherence between energy and climate policies, and contribute to more climate-friendly energy development in ASEAN. Its activities can be scrutinized under the framework of Learn, Share, and Act, as advocated by the UNEP’s WED 2020 Practical Guide. Internal capacity building, effective and creative use of digital platforms, and involvement of key stakeholders are the glimpse of key actions that could inspire similar projects or institutions.
Knowledge should always be the basis for any action. ACCEPT builds knowledge through collected news, learning more the linkage between energy and climate. In climate change setting, we learned that ASEAN member states have committed to combat climate change through GHG emissions reduction, solidified by Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under Paris Agreement. The spirit of learning also leads ACCEPT to conduct capacity building to inspire and build awareness on energy-climate within ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), done through informative sharing sessions. The more you know, the more you will be motivated to protect the environment for our next generation. The project also learned about the energy and climate policies in ASEAN through direct interview sessions with energy leaders. Derived insights then become references for project activities including research and public awareness.
Sharing is caring! The adage cannot be truer in sharing the learned knowledge and engaging people to caring more on the environment. ACCEPT fully optimizes its website and social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to share news, studies, and insights, inspiring people on energy and climate linkage and how to contribute in making the world a better place. In daily basis, ACCEPT builds awareness on energy and climate nexus by feeding insightful contents through its social media platforms. Moreover, publications produced by the project are open for the public, including academic paper, factsheet, insight, sharing session slides, and blog article. More than plain written articles, ACCEPT also creatively delivers messages through infographics and videos. Such approaches are proven effective to help the audience understanding the message easier. Further, weekly clipping news is publicly disseminated as the neat source to get updates and insights on energy-climate nexus in the Southeast Asia region.
“Act” is the most crucial keyword. Without action, impacts would be limited. With the spirit of climate-friendly energy system, ACCEPT has been conducting a lot of activities, such as participating in key meetings with decision makers. Through research activities, ACCEPT produces policy briefs and other publications on energy and climate nexus, which provide recommendations for the ASEAN member states to improve their policies. Swiftly responding to the pandemic, ACCEPT also establishes dedicated page on COVID-19, compiling and developing various news, analyses, and insights, to assist the key stakeholders on navigating through the pandemic. Through close discussions with key stakeholders, supported by solid studies, ACCEPT moves forward on improving the regional energy sector to be more climate-friendly and sustainable.
“Learn, Share, and Act” are keys to show our commitment to do something #ForNature. The stories above are a glance of how the project can contribute to saving the environment. We should not limit activities to achieve the short-term project goal only, but also aim to contribute to sustainable development. In short, we must fight for the only choice we have, a better planet for our next generation.
The World Environment Day 2020 on 5th June is a good moment for us to remind each other that it is time to contribute back to the planet and its people. We might have shown some references from the perspective of a project. However, we believe that caring for nature should not be shouldered by related institutions and specific projects. It needs strong collaboration, between government, municipal governments, faith groups, youth community, among others. But in the end, the most vital component is the individual. We as humans play crucial roles in our environment as our relationship with nature is inseparable. Celebrating #WED2020, why don’t you share your stories about your actions #ForNature?