CALD moves forward with the Liberal Climate Change Agenda

September 12, 2013 3:16 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When we combine leadership with best practices, these will become a driver for a more democratic & environmentally sustainable region.”

Keeping a tight hold to this line by CALD Secretary General Hon. Neric Acosta, around twenty-four (24) international participants coming from political parties, research institutes and civil society organizations in the Asian region gathered in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from 6-9 September 2013 for a three-day conference that presented best practices in Climate Change Adaptation. With the theme Adapting to Climate Change: Issues and Strategies, the event focused on what political leaders, policy-makers, political parties and civil society organizations can do to foster sound environmental governance, particularly in terms of developing capacity to deal with climactic changes.

The conference commenced with a Welcome Dinner Reception hosted by the Kaohsiung City Government. Kaohsiung City Deputy Mayor Shyh-Fang Liu warmly received the delegates. Present also in the evening gathering were former CALD Secretary-General Hon. Bi-Khim Hsiao MP, Democratic Progressive Party Department of International Affairs Director Mr. Shih-Chung Liu, and American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Branch Chief Mr. John Hartman.

Conference meetings immediately began the following day with an opening session graced by Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Vice-President Ms. Maysing Yang, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) for Freedom Regional Directory for Southeast and East Asia Dr. Rainer Adam, Philippine Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and CALD Secretary General Hon. Neric Acosta, and Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau Deputy Director Ms. Jennifer Chen.

Moving forward to the core agenda of the conference, the international leaders convened on a session on Best Practices in Governance and Legislation. Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Head of International Relations and Affairs Mr. Ng Lip Yong chaired the session with four (4) distinguished speakers: Former Deputy Governor of Bangkok Hon. Prakob Chirakiti, MP from the Democrat Party of Thailand; Senior Adviser to the Senate and House of Representatives Commissions on Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand Dr. Monthip Sriratana; National Consultant to Climate Change Adaptation Project of UNDP for the Ministry of Green Development and Environment, Mongolia Ms. Onon Bayasgalan; and Hon. Marie Anne Pernes, MP from the Liberal Party of the Philippines.

Apart from governance and legislation, a session was also devoted to Best Practices in Political Party and Civil Society initiatives. Ms. Jaslyn Go of the Women Democrats from the Singapore Democratic Party chaired. Speakers were Environmental Conservation Committee Advisor Mr. Tun Lwin from the National League for Democracy, Burma; and Ecological Agricultural Development Foundation, Inc., Philippines Executive Director Mr. Aladino Moraca.

After an enriching morning, the afternoon had the conference delegates’ breakout to working group sessions. The sessions aimed to serve as a platform where relevant experiences can be shared and where a set of policy recommendations on what reforms/initiatives can be lobbied in each area to foster climate change adaptation and resilience can be drawn.

While the main agenda has been substantially accomplished in the conference proceedings of day 1, business was far from over on to the last day of conference meetings. Facilitated by Dr. Acosta, participants convened in a World Café on Common Strategies and Next Steps. Key questions to the discussions were: What can we do to promote climate change adaptation and resilience in the Asian region? What are the major issues and problems we foresee and how do we intend to address them? And how can we measure the success of our climate change activities?

The conference ended with a speech from the Democratic Progressive Party Chaiperson Hon. Su Tseng-chang, delivered by DPP’s Representative to the United States Dr. Joseph Wu. Chairperson Su pointed out in his speech that, “We need leaders to take charge in formulating climate change policy, and make the necessary investments towards sustainable development.” Hon. Yao Chia-wen, former CALD Secretary General was also present during the closing ceremonies.

After a long days’ hard work, delegates took a trip down to Pingtung County for site visits which showcased private companies’ venture to renewable energy for sustainable development and living.  Green houses which produce organic vegetables and solar panels fields were the main attraction of the site areas.

According to Hon. Yao Chia-wen, “Environment is a political issue.” And in the course of a 3-day conference, leaders tackled the political issue with the approach of staging best practices.CALD eagerly hopes for these practices to be replicated in possible key areas, and/or to serve as an inspiration for leaders, groups and organizations to undertake similar projects that would help advance the Climate Change Agenda.

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This post was written by CALD

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The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.
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