Crown Prince Engages in Dialogue with Executive Director of USA Pavilion, Discusses Youth’s Role in Working Towards a Green Future
23 AUGUST 2017, Astana, Kazakhstan - Education, creating an ecosystem and providing the necessary tools are key to galvanizing the young to be environmentally-conscious.
This was the consensus of the Crown Prince of the Malaysian state of Selangor, His Highness Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Idris Shah, and the Executive Director of the USA Pavilion at EXPO 2017, Andrew Snowhite, at a special dialogue session with youth during the #MyButterflyEffect & Youth Week at EXPO 2017.
The panel session entitled “In Conversation with the Crown Prince on a Green Future for Us” was part of Malaysia’s programmes to spread green growth conversations with the public.
Both opined that a system and platform needed to be created to enable the young to come together as a community as environmental literacy would produce a society that is environmentally conscious from young.
“We need to rethink our education system, not just in Malaysia, but all over the world,” said Tengku Amir Shah, who is actively involved with youth empowerment initiatives through the Selangor Youth Community (SAY), which he founded to catalyse youth engagement and development.
Speaking on his youth engagements, Tengku Amir said he envisioned to create an ecosystem and environment to make the young more responsible and productive by creating a platform for them to collaborate with each other.
“We are going to the people first. We want to know their issues of concern and to know what they want. Of course our role is also to guide them and provide leadership,” he said.
Snowhite said the correct tools and right environment were important to educate the society on green concerns.
“One example is a matrix in smart buildings to show people how much energy and water is being wasted. This will make the people more conscious of wastage and the need to conserve energy and our natural resources,”
“Some of the public schools in the USA are mandated to teach students things that they need to apply in the real world, including green issues. Creating awareness is one thing, but when people actually take action, it causes them to be hyperaware,” he continued.
And to effectively spread the adoption of green lifestyle, both Tengku Amir and Snowhite propagate the theory of demonstration effect or through #MyButterflyEffect, where small actions can lead to big impact elsewhere.
“Even if you do small things, like switching off the lights when not used, if one person does it and tells a friend and your family to do it, this positive action will catch on,” said Tengku Amir.
He added that as Malaysia heads for more progress under the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) initiatives, he envisions for Malaysia to be a more sustainable country where the rainforest and oceans are not sacrificed for the sake of development.
“Our cities should not be built by exploiting our nature, our forests and oceans. I would like to see Malaysia bolstering and promoting ecotourism for us and the world to enjoy, rather than promoting tourism by building even more and bigger concrete malls,” he said.
Snowhite also said that as the world population increases and more people move from rural to urban areas, more cities would have to be created which may lead to more carbon emissions. “There is no choice but to choose the smart city model if we want sustainable growth for our future,” he said.
The engaging dialogue session between Tengku Amir Shah and Snowhite was moderated by Afiq Johar, President of the Future Innovation Council (FIC), and actively participated by youth from Kazakhstan, including social media influencers and bloggers as well as youth leaders from the Mayor’s Office of Astana.
Also present were the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Syed Mohamad Bakri Syed Abdul Rahman; Ambassador of Costa Rica to Russia, H.E. Arturo Fournier Facio; Datuk Loo Took Gee, Deputy Commissioner of the Malaysia Pavilion at EXPO 2017 cum Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia; Datin Badriyah Ab Malek, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia and Dr. Mohd Azman Zainul Abidin, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Green Technology Corporation. The event was also attended by Commissioners and Pavilion Directors from the various countries participating at EXPO 2017.
Through the #MyButterflyEffect campaign, Malaysia has committed to add one watt of solar generation for every one social media post on Green Growth with the hashtags #MyButterflyEffect and #Wattif based on the simple question of “Watt If?”
Malaysia’s participation at EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan is organised by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia and implemented by its agency GreenTech Malaysia. For more information on Malaysia at EXPO 2017, visit http://www.greenfuturemalaysia.com or www.facebook.com/EXPO17Malaysia