USAID inspires Thailand’s youth to lead in tackling climate change

Release date: 

Jul 29 2016

Student Challenge second-place winners with Thai celebrity Tik at the USAID green-Y Summit in Bangkok. Photo credit: Richard Nyberg, USAID

The USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia, together with AECOM and other partners, hosted the first green-Y summit, "Convening Green Minds: A Conversation about Climate." The event drew several expert and celebrity speakers to inspire confidence in Thailand’s youth to lead in tackling the challenges of climate change.

Around 300 university students and climate change practitioners came together on June 11, 2016 at the Conrad Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand to learn about how climate change is already impacting communities in Southeast Asia and how everyone can get involved in efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change. The one-day summit featured talks interspersed with short videos, quizzes, music by “the Evergreens” from the NIST International School, and an awards presentation for innovative student ideas to combat climate change.

The list of speakers included U.S. Ambassador Glyn T. Davies, Filipino business start-up promoter Jude Defensor, Thai Associate Professor Seree Supratid, Buddhist nun Ven. Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta, green-Y celebrity guest and actor Jesdaporn (Tik) Pholdee, among others. They covered topics including incubating technology start-ups that tackle climate change, addressing climate-induced floods and droughts in Thailand, and investing in green energy.

The event closed with awards for the green-Y Student Challenge. After watching two-minute videos by the finalists, the audience voted and selected students from Assumption University’s Preservers Club for the top prize of THB100,000 for their proposal to organize youth camps to educate their peers about the environment and climate change and ways they can help protect the planet. Chiang Mai University’s Theatre for Social Change will use its THB 50,000 THB prize money for theater to relay important messages on taking action against pollution. Third place winners, Eastern Asia University’s Social Development and Environment Club, will use its THB 25,000 prize money to help restore plants and trees by building a natural checked dam to fight erosion. 

Torge Gerlach, president of AECOM International Development, who sponsored the awards, Ambassador Davies and Jesdaporn (Tik) Pholdee presented the Student Challenge prizes.

Acting USAID/Asia Mission Director Todd Sorenson acknowledged the work of USAID’s project teams, which have carried out vital work around Asia to help address the effects of climate change. They include: USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific implemented by AECOM; USAID Low Emissions Asian Development implemented by ICF; USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia's Forests implemented by Winrock International; USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change implemented by DAI; and USAID Private Financing Advisory Network-Asia implemented by Deloitte.

View photos of the green-Y event here:

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