Before getting started into the topic, I would like to tell you that I believe in global warming (The reason is because Cambodia temperature is boiling hot nowadays – I always have to put on sun block or BB cream everyday to school to avoid being burned as I drive my motor).
This environmental issue is a global problem! So everyone needs to take action and please don’t take it for granted; we ought to bear in mind that not only the environmentalists who are responsible for saving this mother earth, but also everyone in this planet!!!
I, myself, is a business student but I’ve been into environmental problem when I helped my friends doing research on how global warming impact the economy in Cambodia. With this topic, we decided to correlate Cambodia’s economy with the impact of global warming on the productivity of agriculture.
Because environmental problems strike my attention, I decided to apply for a summit in the Philippine.The program was called Climate Action Summit or Power Shift Philippine. It was a 4 days program.I’ve learnt a lot throughout the program and I see the difference between Cambodia and Philippines. We, as the citizen of the agricultural-based country, do not really think of environmental problems and I think the reason behind this is because the knowledge that our people or our citizen acquire is still low compared to that of the Filipinos. On top of that, it’s because of resourceful geology of Cambodia- we rarely have natural disaster or whatsoever, that’s why we don’t really care about the problem; we just adapt with whatever the climate is. Albeit, for the Philippine, this country is prompted to natural disaster, so without proper care for the mother nature, this country would be fallen as a severe victim of the nature.
Upon the arrival, I got to know a lot of people. We had a dinner together and a small chit chat. One ridiculous thing that happen to me was a Filipino guy came and talked to me in Tagalog and I was like “hmm hehehe I’m actually Cambodian” then he said “Oh sorry I thought you’re Filipino.” After that I had a small chat with that guys and other people so the arrival day actually went well.
During the first day of our summit which was March 10, 2017, we discussed about the overused of the energy resources, the carbon footprint, how serious the environmental problem is, how the water is now being polluted, how it affect marine biology, what champagne have the Philippine conduct to get the attention of the people on this specific issue, and other kind of important topics. I was really amazed on how Filipinos students circumspectly focused and discussed on this topic. I clearly saw how serious the Filipino students focus on the environmental problem.
After a long full day summit had passed, the beautiful night came. I and other Cambodian participants wandered around the resort and attentively watched the live performance of the artists in the resort. hmm after a while, the lady owner came and requested us to sing a song. However, none of use could sing, so we decided to dance instead. And yeah dancing was a huge success; our foreign friends came and joined us. It was an amazing time to remember. We danced until 2 am, I think (I literally danced like a mad woman and thankfully our foreign friends enjoyed it).
A second day came. It was a day to remember-maybe because I was excited as I was interviewed by a local newspaper called Rappler. After spending half a day listening to the trainer and asked questions, we got to go the a community to talk to the villagers about how they feel living in the vulnerable places like this and what kind of adaptation strategies have they used. After that we went to plant the mangrove. The vibes in the beach at Legazpi was actually the same as the vibe in Kep province, Cambodia. But Kep is cleaner than Legazpi and the sand is actually a little bit whiter than that in Legazpi.
At night, there was a cultural performance. Every team did a good job on illustrating their culture to other countries. It was nice. After the cultural performance, here came dancing again.
Third day came. We did not have any training in that day, but instead we just had a site seeing activity. We went to a preservative place, the place where there are some old construction from the day that the Philippine was under the colonial. I was actually impressed by how they try to preserve the site because if the site were to be in Cambodia, then we wouldn’t really take care of it. So yeah it was amazing and quit touching that the Philippines always try to sustain things that they have. After that we went to the old church. I forgot the name of the church, but it was built long long ago. I learnt a lot from my Filipinos about how to behave in the church and other this and that. Then we went to the Japanese tunnel. I have learnt about the history of the tunnel like how many people were staying in the dark minute inclement tunnel, how they dig this tunnel and other sort of story. It was so nice there. Adjacent to the tunnel, there was a kind of resort (I’m not sure whether it is or not as they have like a wide beautiful green grass all over the place with a kind of one storied building. We ate our lunch there and enjoy the magnificent view of legazpi city. From the climax of the mountain (not sure if it’s the climax or just the slope of the mountain), I saw the scenic view of the beach and the amazing Mayon mountain- gotta say that the shape of the mountain is so sumptuous. It’s so elegant; I just can’t find words to describe that.
Morning had passed. Afternoon came. It was a sorrowful afternoon as we got to depart. Despite knowing all those amazing people for only several days, the friendship bonds that we shared are so tied. We all never wanted to depart; we wanna be with one another and went to other places, explored this city, but sadly we can’t. Reality was kind of cruel to us.
In short, climate action summit has taught me a lot. It taught me not only about climate change but also the Filipino’s the culture. It was a great experience for me. I would like to go there with my friends and explore more about this city.[
One things that I thought was a bit unfair to Cambodia was we are not allowed to use our own resources, I asked the lecturer on the program whether Cambodia should extract the oil from the sea or not. The lecturer just responded simultaneously that no, we shouldn’t because it pollutes the environment and such. Yeah, that’s true, even me I think we shouldn’t; however, another thought popped up into my mind. We, Cambodian, haven’t used our resources properly yet and the outsiders are now complaining that we shouldn’t use it, while they already destroy and use their own natural resources. On top of that, while condemning on Cambodia using their own natural resources, the other countries should have suggested or found out other strategies for Cambodia to use to boost our economics as we can’t use our natural resources. Like they can providing fund or give us some forest protected money or whatsoever. But yeah, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of using that scarce and harmful natural resources. If we overuse the resources right now, we would face a lot of disaster in the next few years, so preserve it rather than damaging it or we can just use it in a very safe way.]