By Epri Wahyu Pratiwi
Day 1 : Welcome (17th August 24, 2017)
East Asia Climate Leadership Camp (EACLC) is an offline training opportunity for young people in Asia region to learn from and exchange campaign ideas with each other. Being the participant of EACLC 2017 (East Asia Climate Leadership Camp 2017) and representing Indonesia is a grateful experience for me. This year, there were 8 countries and regions joining this program, namely: Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China. The camp was located in Feng Chia University, Taiwan from 17 to 21 August 2017. In total, there were 32 participants.
The Indonesian participants are consist of of 4 people; they were Dali, CJ, Arief, and Epri (Me). Dali is a student of Mechatronics Engineering who thinks that the air quality in Jakarta has worsened. CJ is an art performer who used a Taylor Swift Parody to tell story about environmental disaster caused by human. Arief is coming from Cirebon City – Jawa Barat, where has been impacted by the coal power plant. Then, there is me, currently working as a laboratory assistant and teaching physics laboratory in a private university in Indonesia (IULI Campus).
We were totally strangers the first time we met. Then, the committee invited us to play some games. The way we build engagement between participants was unique, for example, we were asked to pair up with one participant as a buddy. My buddy was Umika, a participant from Japan.
To spread the message that our goals is to stop fossil fuels and to go to 100% renewable energy, we made our own t-shirt written “Fossil Free”.
Day 2: Field trip and storytelling (18th August 2017)
Taiwan experienced three decades of rapid industrialization with little or no concern for the environment, and brought forth several problems, which have deteriorated both the quality of life and the environment. In the past twenty years, Taiwan has seen a surge in environmental organizations, which to a certain degree have enjoyed a remarkable success in fighting polluting industries or affecting environmental policies.
We had a session and an interview with the local communities and citizens who are affected by the Taichung coal power plant. They were Mrs. Hsin-Hsin Shu who has been doing a campaign “Air Clean Taiwan”, to fight air pollution, a doctor who gave information about the health record of the power plant’s employees, and a mom with her baby. They shared their experiences and the impacts of the coal power plant such lung cancer and other health problems. Taichung Coal Power Plant is one of the world’s largest and dirtiest coal power plant, accounts for 37% of the island’s electricity generation, which causes poor air quality in most cities in western Taiwan. The goal of this field trip was to collectively create storytelling elements about local struggles.
It was my first time to see a coastal area that was polluted by the coal power plant. I felt sad. I couldn’t imagine how this company could destroy the coastal ecosystem. What I don’t understand is that they painted the four big chimneys with colorful and fun design and they also put wind turbines along the coast. At the end of our field trip, we visited the dumping area of coal ash. The local people said that the company will use the dumping area to build a new plant.
Day 3: Skill Share and Vision Discussion (19th August 24, 2017)
The participants of this camp came from various background and experiences related to climate change campaigns. Hong had the longest involvement in climate change campaign. She has been doing the campaign against Vinh Tan, Vietnam power plant for 20 years. However, Yi Ming, she just joined climate change organization in China a month ago and has big motivation to build climate change awareness within the younger generation.
We also made a timeline of events from 2009 until 2017, done by each country as well. Even though Indonesia team only made a few events, we got a massive movement if we combined all the countries. The grassroots movement allows people who have the same mission about building climate change awareness could gather to spread their message.
I joined Hong’s story telling class and Amir’s media campaign class. I got a lot inspirations from them and how they run their campaigns. Hong started her campaign about 20 years ago. Then, Amir runs his campaign through art such as music, mural, and video about the campaign in South Africa. During their class, I shared my story when I run campaign in 2013 cycling from Surabaya to Jogjakarta which was about 337 km. Also, how I motivates IULI’s students to build awareness about climate change.
Day 4 : Distributed Campaign and Future Plan (20th August 2017)
During this session, we shared each country future’s plan. Then, each country gave support based on its strength. Each country has different capacity to build a long strategy with regional partners toward 2020. Indonesia Team has a target to increase public awareness through everyday conversation about social and climate change or environmental issues amongst the younger generation. How we will do it? Through social media, seminars, videos, etc. We had also a session about how digital tools can play a role in a campaign, by Chuck from Philippines. We then reached a conclusion that our goal was to increase the awareness of the younger generation on climate change. In the end of the camp, each of us made a promise about what we are going to do after EACLC. Then, we asked our friends to sign what we have promised.
From this camp I learned that a small group of committed people can make a difference in the world to fight climate change. By gathering people from across Asia, I believe that people in the region will hear our voice.
Day 5 : Taiwan Trip (21st August 2017)
We also had additional trip to see different places in Taiwan, the first place was Neiwan Old Street which located in south-eastern Hsinchu county. The village is quite remote and it is whys I like it so much. It is in the middle of a mountainous area, there’s also a beautiful river, great traditional food and even some more modern snacks that you’ll find in many Taiwan’s night markets. It’s great for a day trip especially if you want to get out of the city for some fresh air and good food.
Then, we went to Hexing Station. Apart from the quaint old station house itself, there were several vintage train carriages converted into the sort of place where you may order light meals, coffee, and tea. These can be found immediately next to the platform. They also have Japanese manga (comic book) , but written in Mandarin.
After that, we went to Gangnan Canal. It is located in the coastal area. I rent a bicycle to enjoy the view around. The local people provide four sits pedicab as well. The wind blew so strong and spread the sand. The view was beautiful with sophisticated sunset.
The place where we stayed for the night was located in Hakka Inherited House, a hostel which belongs to Liang Yi’s parents. This hostel was the first hostel that use solar panel to generate the electricity. Liang Yi’s dad becomes famous after he installed it. He encouraged the other villagers and temples as well, to install the solar panel.
In the end of our journey, we had dinner in a restaurant at the harbor. The place was unique. It was a two-floor building. On the first floor, there was the fresh fish market. On the second floor, the seafood restaurants were available. The cook was delicious. They vegetarian menu as well. This place is recommended for you who want to enjoy delicious seafood.