About The IECA
The IECA was established in 2011 to foster effective and inspiring communication that alleviates environmental issues and conflicts, and solves the problems that cause them. The association brings together and supports practitioners, teachers, scholars, students, artists and organizations that share these goals.
This year's conference (COCE 2017) themed Democracy, Borders and Public/Political Engagement: Challenges for Environmental Communication, explored the challenges faced by environmental communication as political landscapes and boundaries experience major upheavals and change, seemingly driven by widespread discontent with conventional politics and its institutions.
In my capacity as Head of the Expert Team at the Office of the President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change as well as the Manager of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, I had the pleasure of talking about “Empowering Youth through Environmental Communication. Indonesia Practice Reflections" as a keynote speaker.
Since Indonesia is a country vulnerable to climate change, some of its youth has experienced impacts such as floods, droughts, crops failure, and changes in lifestyle. To increase awareness and actions in addressing climate change, a continuous program for youth is of necessity.
Youth is also part of non-state actors. The recognition of actions by non-state actors is one of the key outcomes of The Paris Climate Agreement. State actors and non-state actors (national governments, cities, regions and other sub national entities, international organizations, civil societies, indigenous peoples, women, youth, academic institutions, as well as businesses) should work as individual entities or in partnerships to accelerate actions – both pre 2020 and afterwards.
COCE 2017 was open for scholarly papers and practice reflections in the formats of keynote encounters, art and posters exhibition, workshops, and panel presentations. Ample time during coffee breaks and lunches created excellent networking opportunities for participants from all over the world.
Scholars and practitioners presented a myriad of topics in 68 sessions, categorized into among others: digital sites/social media, journalism and the environment, sustainability and communication, ethics and reflection, the anthropocene, food, religion and climate change, visual environmental communication, post-truth and fake-news, de/repoliticization, and managing stakeholders.
The IECA is an official non-governmental organization observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its members attended the Conference of Parties in Paris and Marrakech.
Hence, at COCE 2017 there was a session on IECA Members’ Observations of Conference of the Parties 21 & 22 (Paris & Marrakech), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, chaired by Stacey Sowards of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Gregg Walker of the Oregon State University, a seasoned COP observer, gave an overview regarding the process of IECA members attending the UNFCCC as well as the Convention history and progress. Members who went to COPs then shared their insights on participating at IECA’s promotional booth, press conferences, main events, side events, and parallel sessions in Paris and Marrakech.
Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change
The IECA website says “It should be noted that former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his work in communicating about climate change. That makes him the most distinguished environmental communicator today.”
On that account, I am delighted to be able to present about The Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change at COCE 2017. A series of trainings for 150 Indonesian university students on climate change, it is an exemplary multi-stakeholder collaboration that brought together UNESCO Office Jakarta, UN CC: Learn, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Youth for Climate Change Indonesia, Office of the President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and The Climate Reality Project Indonesia,
The Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, is a diverse group of passionate individuals committed to spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working for solutions to the challenge. Currently there are more than 12,000 climate reality leaders, in the age range of 6 to 84, who have been trained by Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project, representing 135 countries.
It is my hope that at COP 23 UNFCCC, to be held this year in Bonn, the IECA will have a bigger role in a number of available opportunities, either through its exhibit booth, or organized events at country pavilions.
Text: Amanda Katili Niode PhD. Manager, The Climate Reality Project Indonesia.
Images: The IECA, Rizza Sacra.