BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 4 December 2013 – The ASEAN Plus Three Youth Environment Forum (AYEF) closed today with the youth participants making a pledge to take on environmental protection as a personal responsibility and demonstrate it through their daily activities to inspire other youths in their respective countries.
In his opening speech, the Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam, called for environmental transformation by the youth for the benefit of Mother Nature. “The youth are the future. Their participation in and contribution to the environment is therefore of immense importance. Young citizens constitute the most active element of any society, the element that is most receptive to new ideas for positive change. They are not only the leaders of tomorrow who will share the future of societies an cultures, but already today are playing a key role in all aspects of the dialogue through diverse initiatives for social change,” he emphasized.
About 80 youths between the ages of 11-25 from ASEAN along with China and Japan gathered in Bandar Seri Begawan to interact among themselves, exchange their experiences at the national level, explore new ways to collaborate, network and innovate, discuss ways and means to motivate other youths, and to reach out and spread the environmental message to all other stakeholders.
The AYEF is one of several activities contained in the ASEAN Environment Education Action Plan 2008-2012 and 2014-2018 adopted by ASEAN Environment Ministers to promote environmental education, awareness, advocacy and activism in the region. As chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education, Brunei Darussalam is taking the lead in and coordinating the implementing the Action Plan.
Over the past three days, the youths exchanged their national experiences on environment, brainstormed to develop a plan to adopt and implement best practices at the national and regional levels and came up with catchy messages to generate interest and actions among the general public, and delivered cultural performances to convey environmental messages through dance, music and sketches.
The AYEF is hosted and organized by the Government of Brunei Darussalam in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat. The Forum is co-sponsored by the Government of Brunei Darussalam and Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The ASEAN Plus Three Youth Environment 2013 Pledge can be accessed here.