Young Water Leader’s Experience – Dk. Siti Zulaikha Pg Hj Ishak

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I have been privileged my entire life in terms of standard of living and quality of life as I was born into an extremely wealthy country. With every single necessity provided free to the citizen of the country (including water, education and housing), naturally the commitment towards understanding factors in mitigating climate change and the urgency of sustainability is largely left unaddressed, even when consequent issues arise. As a youth of the country and a university student, I know that I have an essential and significant responsibility in creating capacity building not just for myself but also youth of my intellect in preparing the country for when the administration falls into our hands in the future.

It has been a difficult journey insofar in reaching through the lack of transparency of the government and in achieving solid results with the projects done by youth in the country. I felt as though irregardless of whether or not the youth has sound ideas, they would always have minimal say in terms of influence and change.

In this conference, I have met countless individuals, officials and pioneers who stimulated me intellectually in many ways and aspects, but the people who overwhelmingly inspire me are the youth that I meet from my region of South East Asia. People like Pondet from Thailand, Iris and Gerald from the Philippines as well as Wanlee and Nang from Myanmar showed me just how a young person can reach out and network so much so that ripples can be created to create legitimate changes. These people are incredibly innovative, unmoving, committed, and constantly looking for new ideas and opportunities to advance towards sustainable and conscious development. Beyond that, I am impressed that they are able to maintain youth activities and balance it as a responsible citizen and an important and essential figure not just in their country, but in the international level as well.

I have underestimated the power of integration between nations on the youth level but I can now see for myself how essential and deeply significant it is to create relationships and trust in solving a problem, particularly if it is trans-boundary in essence for the long run. We are after all the future leaders and the key drivers for change. It is time for us to reach out beyond our political walls and begin to negotiate and integrate with other nations in achieving not only a nation-based solution but a global solution. Insofar of all the talks and discussions that I have sat for, I have become more and more open not only to new ideologies but also for methods and research that is important in the field. For a small country like Brunei Darussalam with minimal human resource, it is important to zone into specific fields of research to maximize the capacity building and measures that can be taken without wasting finance or other forms of resource that is largely insufficient in the country. The step forward is within reach and it is vital that we continue to keep up with the technological advancements and adaptations that the community is taking in achieving secure nations and a secure world.

By Dk. Siti Zulaikha Pg Hj Ishak
Brunei Darussalam

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