Post-COP21: Coming Together to Mitigate Global Warming
HKAC worked with Asia Society to organize an Evening Panel Discussion on Dec 15 to review the outcome of COP21.
Program details are as follow:
Video: Watch the complete program (1 hr., 24 min.)
Understanding Paris 2015
UN Climate Change Conference
The United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, to be held from November 30 through December 11, 2015 is the most important international meeting dealing with global warming since the Copenhagen Conference in 2009. 196 countries would participate in the Paris Conference, with each country being asked to pledge its own “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)” to reduce carbon emissions. The purpose of the Conference is to reach an agreement that would at a minimum at least slow the pace of global warming. Since the Hong Kong SAR includes many islands, Hong Kong would likely be among the areas in the world most affected by global warming.
In this program, the Hong Kong America Center has provided university students in Hong Kong and Macau the opportunity to learn by both listening and participating about this important meeting. This was a three-part program:
- UNFCCC briefing session on October 24:
A full-day briefing by distinguished Hong Kong diplomatic and international experts that has provided, for our student participants, key information about climate change and the UN process leading up to this year’s conference.
- Student policy simulation on November 14-15:
A two day-long simulation which student teams has played roles of key countries, based on their actual positions. The objective of the simulation would be to take Conference’s draft text, as it then exists, as the point of departure for debate and discussion, in an attempt to reach an agreement consistent with the actual positions of the countries represented.
- Paris results & evaluation on December 15:
Part three would be a speech by Consul General Eric Berti, Consul General of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau. Followed by an interactive panel discussion with delegates in Paris just as the Conference closes. This event will be a charged event at the Asia Society, but there will be no charge for students who enroll and participate in Parts 1 and 2 of our program.
The HKAC has enrolled 56 students from universities in Hong Kong and Macau, Postgraduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines.
This program is organized by the Hong Kong-America Center, sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, supported by Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Asia Society, the Law School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Policy Simulation Series – East Asia Maritime Issues
On March 21 & 22, 2015, students from 6 universities in Hong Kong participated in a Policy Simulation on East Asian Maritime Issues. Following discussion by a panel of experts, student teams played the roles of country/area representatives in an attempt to negotiate peaceful resolutions for disputes regarding the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, and the Dokdo/Takeshima Islands. The event was held at the campus in Central of the Law School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Permaculture Education: Changing the World from Daily Practice
A total of 29 students from different universities of Hong Kong and Macau signed up for this one day event, which was held on Saturday March 21, 2015. The event, a full-day permaculture workshop, was held at School of Everyday Life in Tai Po. Participants learnt the concept of permaculture through sharing by local farmer, visiting an organic farm, organic and local food jamming and organic bread making. The session ended with students exchanging ideas on how they as individuals could help practice permaculture in their daily life. Many participants mentioned that they would try to make use of their food waste at home for fertilizer or other purpose. Some students also said they would prefer eat less meat and reduce food waste in the future.
Policy Simulation Series – LegCo Mock Council Debate on Motion: Hong Kong’s Future Supply of Electricity
On February 14, 39 students enrolled in universities in Hong Kong participated in a briefing and mock Legislative Council (LegCo) debate on Hong Kong’s future supply of electricity. The briefing session was held at the Hong Kong branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The mock debate took place on the scene at the Legislative Council. Students played the role of representatives of different Geographical/Functional Constituencies and debated an issue that is crucial to Hong Kong’s future economic development.
Policy Simulation Series -
Negotiating an International Code of Conduct for South China Sea
On January 24 & 25, 2015, students from 6 universities in Hong Kong and Macau participated in a policy simulation entitled “Negotiating an International Code of Conduct for The South China Sea,”. The event was held at the City University, and co-sponsored by the university’s Department of Asian & International Studies. The students played the roles of country/area/organization representatives and learned first-hand the difficulties and intricacies of trying to negotiate an agreement to settle territorial and sovereignty disputes.
Webcast Presentation by President Jimmy Carter
U.S. – China Relations: 30 Years On
On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the United States and China, the National Committee on United States – China Relations (NCUSCR) sponsored a “China Town Hall” webcast in the United States on October 16, 2014, featuring former United States President Jimmy Carter. President Carter spoke on the topic of “Issues in U.S.-China Relations,” following which he responded to questions submitted by audience members in the United States.
In cooperation with the NCUSCR and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, the Hong Kong America Center arranged for a DVD of this webcast to be presented at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center on November 6, 2014. 20 students from 7 universities in Hong Kong and Macau attended, along with other invited guests. Hong Kong University Professor Richard Hu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Professor David Zweig, and HKAC Executive Director Holbrook participated in a panel discussion following the viewing of the DVD, and responded to questions from the audience.
Environment Sustainability and Social Justice:Experiential learning from Global to Local Context
Twenty three students from different universities of Hong Kong and Macau signed up for this one day event, which was held on Thursday October 30, 2014.
The event started at Oxfam HK with a participatory drama workshop – “A Cloud on the Horizon,” in which participants were put in an imaginary scenario where they had to attend a UN Climate Summit meetng. Participants represented one of the selected countries and spoke for their designated country. The session ended with students exchanging ideas on how they as individuals could help mitigate the effects of climate change. Some of them felt helpless,, but most participants said that they would make real efforts to change their wasteful living style. Participants then visited the “Food Grace” organization to learn about food waste in Hong Kong and to see first-hand the food waste collection process. They visited a local wet market, talked to the shop owners, and helped collect about 6 full boxes of edible food waste in 30 minutes. The session ended with a low-carbon dinner with the staff representatives of Food Grace, made from edible food that had been discarded
Interactive Seminar & Creative Training Workshop
Human Rights and Human Trafficking
On October 16 & 25, 2014, the Hong Kong America Center and the Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), along with Liberty Asia and the Mekong Club, jointly sponsored a program on “Human Rights and Human Trafficking”. Session I, on October 16 featured a presentation on “Slavery on Our Day and Age,” led by Matt Friedman, Chief Technical Advisor of The Mekong Club. Session II, on October 25, led by Liberty Asia staff representatives, was a training workshop on how to combat human trafficking.