Pakistan’s ‘Journey of A Hundred Leaves’ highlighted at APAN 2018, ADB Manila

Ammara Farooq Malik

Manila- 17th-19th October 2018.

Over a thousand international climate change practitioners, engineers, policy makers and scientists gathered in ADB Regional Headquarters, Manila for the much awaited 6th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, hosted by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, with its secretariat at the United Nations Environment Programme in Thailand and co hosted by the Asian Development Bank, the Climate Change Commission Philippines and the Office of Climate Change Republic of  Palau.

A handful of climate change youth champions were also invited from Palau, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and the Marshal Islands. The highlight of the conference was the inter-generational opening plenary discussion and  the participation of 13 year old Dina Farooq Malik from Pakistan as the only speaker from Pakistan and the youngest delegate and international speaker who talked about her work under the SEPLAA Young Leaders’ Club and her upcoming book co- authored with her sister Amal Farooq Malik, called ‘ Journey of A Hundred Leaves’.

Watch pictures of the event here.

The panel was moderated by Rico Hizon, the energetic MC from BBC World News and the panel included extremely distinguished speakers such as M. Saleemul Haq, Director International Center for Climate Change & Development Bangladesh, H.E. Rachmat Witloelar, Presidential Special Envoy for Climate Change, Republic of Indonesia; Alex Rendall, Founder Environmental Education Center, Thailand; Antoinette Taus, Founder Planet CORA and UN Advocate for Life Below Water; Dina Farooq Malik, Co-Founder SEPLAA Young Leaders Club and International Author, Pakistan (youngest APAN delegate in Colombo, Sri Lanka 2016; and Miel Sequeira-Holm, Chairlady Heirs to Our Oceans, Palau.

The event was seamlessly organized with the discussions breaking out into several parallel discussion streams over the next three days on themes such as the impact of climate change, the role of science in managing erosion, the role of science tools and indigenous knowledge practices to enhance community resilience, innovative technologies to enhance ecosystem resilience, information infrastructure on adaptation measures and technologies, etc.

The event was organized by Ms. Isabelle Louie, Deputy Regional Director Environment Asia Pacific Office in Bangkok, Ms. Preety Bhandari, Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department at ADB, Mr. Saleemul Haq, Director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development, Mr. Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Change Coordinator UNEP, Mr. Masataka Watanabe, Professor at the Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University in Japan, Ms. Martha Fernandez UNEP and a number of experts and youth volunteers.

Dina Malik at the 6th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum.

The APAN forum has steadily increased over the past 10 years to become an important regional forum for discourse and discussions, with lessons learnt carried forward to the UNFCCC climate change conferences and to many parts of the world through the APAN participants.