ASEAN ESD Film Festival

The ASEAN ESD Film Festival was held on 18 October 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and was attended by ASEAN Plus Three Ministers responsible for environment. The ASEAN ESD Film Festival aims to inspire and promote awareness of ASEAN citizens on the importance of multi-stakeholders’ participation in addressing climate change. The video clips provide brief highlights of unique, creative, indigenous and impactful initiatives taken by various stakeholders in ASEAN countries, ranging from government, private sector, international organizations, civil society groups, to academia, to contribute to ASEAN’s collective efforts in tackling climate change.

Thailand is acknowledged for taking the lead and initiative in laying the groundwork for the Film Festival, and Hanns Seidel Foundation for supporting ASEAN’s efforts in environmental education.


(Excerpted from Message from the Secretary-General of ASEAN in ASEAN ESD Film Festival Booklet)



Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Initiatives in Brunei Darussalam

The video titled “Climate Change: Causes, Impacts and Initiatives in Brunei Darussalam” covers information about the science and impacts climate change has brought to the globe and regions in general context. It also entails a number of evidences relating to climate change and its catastrophic outcomes: sea level rise, droughts, floods, ice melting in the arctic, heat waves, forest fires and the El Nino phenomenon.

Within the context of Brunei Darussalam, the video highlights the causes and impacts of climate change with key pollution sources from oil and gas industry, transport sector, landfills and agricultural activities. Due to the government’s subsidy on oil, Brunei Darussalam is highly dependent on oil and gas industry, having the highest fuel consumption in the transportation sector and electricity. Development of infrastructure also necessitates the clearing of land; therefore deforestation is inevitable.

Brunei Darussalam, as a country in the global community, is inevitably exposed to climate change and its impacts.  The video highlights the impacts of climate change in Brunei Darussalam, such as forest fires, floods and landslides. In the past decades, Brunei experienced some unusual and extreme weather patterns. The severe drought in 1997 and 1998 led to forest fires, unhealthy air quality, haze pollution and destroyed natural forested areas. Moreover, erratic rainfall pattern led to major floods and landslides that damaged houses and public utilities.

The video also highlights national programmes and actions on mitigation and adaptation measures, which are carried out through environmental, economic and social activities by the government in collaboration with private stakeholders. Mitigation measures include promoting energy efficiency, conservation and protection of forests and trees planting, which are only a few of the efforts initiated by the government. Adaptation measures include flood mitigation projects, coastal protection, water conservation and management programmes, which are being carried out to address the possible weather challenges.

 Think of Climate, Think to Change!


Climate Change in Cambodia

Cambodia’s Background

 The kingdom of Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, between the longitude of 102 to 108 east and the latitude of 10 to 15 north. Cambodia, with the territory of 181,035 square kilometers and coastline of 440 kilometers, is rich in natural resources including forests, mangroves, water, coral reefs, fishery, wildlife and mines, making most of the Cambodian people’s livelihoods depend on agriculture sector, mainly rice production, fishery, and non-wood forest products. About 80% of the population practices agriculture, while the rest works on service and public administration.

 Cambodia’s agriculture practice depends largely on natural rainfalls, resulting in many difficulties faced by farmers such as scarcity of water supply for growing crops during dry season, and, excess of water supply during rainy season. These difficulties cause drastic decrease in agriculture production which in turn can cause food insecurity. Moreover, climate change has put high pressure on Cambodia’s food production due to, among others, irregular rainfalls, shortage of rainfalls, floods, droughts, marginalization of land and increasing pest.

 Establishing National Mechanisms

Due to climate change challenges, the Royal Government of Cambodia established national mechanisms to address climate change-related issues through consultation workshops, seminars and other national capacity building activities.

The Royal Government of Cambodia is also developing and adapting the national strategy, action plans and other frameworks for climate change management in Cambodia.

Practicing to Change the Climate Change

 Cambodia also initiated national policies and programmes for mitigation and adaptation to climate change such as Solid Waste Management Program, Liquid Waste Management Program, National Biodigester Program, Community Forestry Program, and Renewable Energy Policy.

 In conclusion, the Royal Government of Cambodia is trying her best to actively work together with the world community in addressing climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gases based on capacity, availability, technologies and resources. For instance, Cambodia has ratified many international conventions/treaties, development of strategies, action plans and national programs that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, reforestation and environmentally sound management of wastes in order to ensure national economic growth and poverty reduction.


A Tale from a Big City

Climate change has become a serious threat throughout the world including Indonesia. Indonesia today is experiencing the effects of climate change. The earth’s temperature is rising, the rainfall patterns are changing drastically, and extreme weather conditions are upon us. This can only mean one thing: we are now experiencing climate change. A 2007 study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that global temperature rise by more than 2 c will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme climate occurrences.

As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia boasts a vast array of natural resources and abundant biodiversity. However, Indonesia is also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Various climate-related disasters have already occurred in Indonesia. National food security is being threatened by changing climate patterns. Unpredictable rainfall and rising temperature are responsible for prolonged droughts and flash floods, wreaking havoc with crops and harvests.

 ‘A Tale from a Big City Facing Climate Change’ is a story about Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. It is often stated that Jakarta has suffered from floods since it was first established as Batavia in the 16th century. Jakarta, as everyone knows, is below sea level. Flooding has always been a part of Jakarta for a long time. The increase in population has exploited almost every inch of the land.

The increasing number of various climate-related disasters indicates that Jakarta is more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than any other cities in Indonesia. Jakarta’s rising temperature is, of course, also influenced by other factors, including land-use-patterns, the growing population, various industrial and metropolitan areas, the transportation system and the city’s infrastructure.

In coping with climate change, there are attempts to address associated environmental problems, such as waste management through a methane-based power plant, and transformation of public transport system towards Mass Rapid Transit system.

 ‘A Tale from the Papuan Forestry Threatened by Climate Change’ visualizes the Papuans who consider themselves related to the Earth. Papuans, whether they live on coasts, in deep valleys or on mountaintops, believe that human life is deeply embedded in nature. The story goes that there were once two tribes related to each other in neighbouring villages. They considered themselves related to the earth and were very friendly towards Mother Nature. They had never heard of climate change, although they certainly had already experienced its impacts. They lived modestly with Mother Nature, without hostility, taking just enough for their needs, never excessively. The forest was their place to live and water was their basic need. They did not cut trees irresponsibly as trees mean abundant water.


A Little Change

Fa, a modern Lao woman from the city, was on her way to visit her hometown, a small village in Xiang Kuang province in the northern part of Lao PDR where she used to live during her childhood. Her car unfortunately broke down before she got to the village. it was when she met her old friend, Nam, a local man who lived in the same village as her when they were young. Nam offered her a lift back to the village by his bicycle.

Unfortunately, the village was recently affected by flood, which caused a huge loss to the villagers, including Nam’s house. Nam took Fa a quick tour around the village; Fa could not recognize most of the places due to a lot of changes since she left.

Nam took Fa to the playground near the rice field where they used to hang out together and was their favorite place. The flood also ruined it as well. Then they started to talk about what were the causes of the floods, which brought so many damages to their village.

Fa raised the issue that “cut and burn” lifestyle of some locals was the main cause of the flood. Nam disagreed with her opinion and started to argue back that the main causes were from the people in the city. Their lifestyle of over-consumption, waste and pollution generating activities were the real causesof climate change. They started to blame each other and were both upset at each other. And then they both remained silent.

Suddenly, they noticed a young local boy, Din, was passing by. Din was carrying a bamboo basket full of small plants in his back. Nam curiously asked Din what he was doing. Din replied that he was on his way to plant those trees so that in the future his family would not suffer from flood again.

Both Fa and Nam stoped arguing and began to look at each other shamefully, and decided to follow Din to plant the trees.


Stop Blaming, Just do it

It is the year 2046! The world is now in the period of highly-advanced technologies, but alas, at the expense of Mother Earth. Climatic changes around the world have reached the most critical level.

Two Secret Agents from the World Environment Protection Agency, Jack and Steven, have been assigned the urgent task to tackle this environmental crisis. After a thorough investigation, they find out that the main cause of this catastrophe is actually all men’s fault. Their lifestyle! And the main culprit is the present world leader called Einstein Tan. In his aggresive pursuit of power and progress for the world, he has totally neglected the well-being of the environment and unwittingly led the people to abuse it, causing severe climate changes which lead to global-warming.

Thus, in a desperate bid to save the environment, Jack sends Steven go back to the past, to 2011, when Einstein Tan, the world leader, is only 19 years old. Steven’s mission is to correct Einstein’s negative attitude about environment protection, so that when he takes over the world leadership in the future, he would care for the environment and protect it. At his young age, Einstein is leading a life with little regard to the environment. He wastes energy resources by leaving all kinds of electrical appliances on although they are not in use; he drives everywhere in his car while considering information from the medias about the people’s lifestyle being the cause of the crisis as nonsensical.

One day, while Einstein is driving around an industrial area, Steven suddenly appears in his car, travelling from the future, and explains that he has come to save the world. Einstein gets angry with him and even chases him away. On reaching home, Einstein does his usual distasteful habits of wasting electricity and other resources and takes a nap after that. While sleeping,  he dreams. In the dream, the weather has become intensely hot. Steven appears once again to ask Einstein to take a look at the adverse weather condition outside. When he does so, he faints and collapses as he succumbs to the unbearable heat outside. When he recovers, Steven tells him that this is really happening in the year 2046, and as the future world leader, he is the only person who has the power to prevent this disaster.

Einstein wakes up! He is greatly relieved to find that the weather is normal and it is just a dream. He realises his mistake and decides to change his attitude and lifestyle immediately. Later on, Einstein chances upon a boy who is beaten up by a group of hooligans for trying to stop them from carrying out open burning. Einstein manages to rescue the boy and stops the open burning. By doing that, he has played his role in creating awareness to change one’s lifestyle to prevent the calamity of climate change and will continue to do so even when he becomes  a world leader. Steven has accomplished his assignment and Mother Earth will be saved.


The First Step Towards Facing the Future; Climate Change Initiative in Myanmar

With compelling personal stories, expert testimonies, and vivid footage, ‘The First Step Towards Facing the Future; Climate Change Initiative in Myanmar’ illustrates some of the ways that communities are working with the government and non-governmental organizations to surmount the challenges that climate change has brought.

In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed over 150,000 people and left millions of homeless people in Myanmar. Climate Change has resulted in the increase in natural disasters, severe weather and other crises. The regions that once had temperate, torrential rains are now turning to baking heat. Other regions that were once supported by diverse ecosystems have been dried up, leaving only arid dirt behind. Natural disasters and shifting weather patterns magnify preexisting problems, such as deforestation and erosion.

Many of the Myanmar people live in rural areas and depend their lives on farming. Though their livelihoods are highly sensitive to natural disasters, changing weather patterns and environmental conditions, most of these people do not have an active understanding about climate change. And with so many people to educate, it can be difficult to select the best method to disseminate the information. Some people watch television, while others listen to the radio. The challenge is to pursue the most effective way to reach the largest audience.

Integrative programs help addressing the specific needs in the areas and also educating rural communities through trainings, participatory videos, and other methods. In one community, community forestry offers an opportunity to reduce the effects of the changing climate. Though many programs are successful, each community has different needs and faces different challenges. It will take local initiatives and adaptive action plans to overcome the region specific challenges faced by the people of Myanmar.


The Bale Philippines Experience

This is the story of the people in Baler, the Philippines, who are struggling in coping with climate change and in overturning the challenges into opportunities and use them for their advantages.

Baler is a coastal town constantly threatened by weather disturbances that are caused by climate change. The area is also threatened by storm surges and the rise of sea level, due to its geographical location, which makes it extra vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

To protect themselves from raging seawater, coastal residents turn to mangrove plantation and a protection from “gasang” – a natural barrier in the sea.

Lowland farmers, on the other hand, have turned to science and alternate farming as well as various researches on climate changes.

The local government of Baler uses coconut trees to stabilize soil in the areas, which are prone to landslide; constructs sea walls to protect coastal residents from storm surges and the rise of sea level; establishes fish hatcheries to increase fish catch and conducted researches and experiments on crops various weather resistance abilities to improve farm productivities.


Energy and Water Saving Practices

Climate change and water resource availability are serious global environmental challenges. In Singapore, being more energy and water efficient helps mitigate climate change and prevent wasteful energy and water consumption.

The video highlights the importance that households in Singapore practice these energy and water efficiency tips. Besides saving on household bills, the public should do its part in addressing the environmental challenges caused by wasteful consumption.

The video consists of four main segments that highlight energy and water saving tips that households can practice in each of the main areas within a typical household.

The living room and bedroom: Energy and water efficiency tips for air-conditioners, lighting, computers and home electronics.

The kitchen: Energy and water efficiency tips for refrigerators, washing machine, cooking appliances and sink.

The bathroom:  Energy and water efficiency tips for water heaters, cisterns, sink.

The outdoor and others: Energy and water efficiency tips for car washing and watering


The World

“The World” is the video clip of the winner of the Short Film/Video Clip “Change the Climate Change” Contest in Thailand. The contest aims to give people an opportunity to expose their own environmental knowledge, increase understanding and appreciation for environmental issues.

The clay animation “The World” illustrates our solar system, including the nine planets. And the Earth is also in this wonderful and cheerful system. However, there are some changes inside “The World”, so that it becomes sick. This inspirational story presents an easy-to-understand guide about the causes and consequences of Climate Change. Greenhouse effect and several causes of the current global warming have been demonstrated with an attractive reflection. Since humans’ activities have been changing the natural greenhouse system, it causes rising temperatures and the change of regional wind systems and melting icebergs. And it also brings about higher frequency of floods, droughts, forest fires, coral bleaching, etc. Climate change could cause more extreme weather events in ASEAN countries; for example, the 2008 cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, unusual snowfall in Vietnam and high frequency of floods in Thailand.

In the “The World”, the results of “Climate Change” have been obviously explained; and the conclusion urges the audience to consider how we can “Change the Climate change”.


Participatory Video: Voice from Children of Ethnic Minority

The video tells a story about a community in a mountainous and ethnic area in Quang Tri province, where people face natural disasters, such as flood, flash flood, and drought every year. Most of the people live on agriculture as their main income. The local people are rich in tradition and culture. However, their lives are not that peaceful.

A group of six children of the ethnic minority share with the audience about their own village and their daily lives with the sound of their traditional songs. The kids remember the last typhoon and flood in the area. They share about the actions of their parents and neighbors. When the flood come, most of them only have time for evacuation. All of the houses in the villages are flooded in the next morning. The children are aware of the fact that lack of environmental protection and deforestation cause the severe flooding issues in their communities. They realize that the increasing droughts, floods and fogs are part of the climate change impacts.

The children interview a local woman about the impact of the flood on children. One of the obvious impacts is the health problem due to the fact that children drink contaminated water, without knowledge of and access to healthcare services and traditional way of water treatment in ethnic minority areas.

At the end of the video, the children come up with their recommendations to solve the problems. They encourage people to store clean water in protected water tanks, to store food in safe places, or to take the children to commune clinics.

In general, the video is a strong awareness raising and advocacy initiated by the children themselves. It also provides them the opportunity to speak out and share their concerns and suggestions in order to cope with climate change and disaster risks.

About Participatory Video

Participatory video (PV) is an innovative methodology, which amplifies the voices of traditionally excluded groups who are greatly affected by disasters. These marginalized groups are rarely included in decision-making processes, which determine policies and programs that directly impact their lives.

Participatory video is an innovative methodology in Disaster Risk Reduction because it not only gathers data for a broad understanding of grassroots’ concerns and needs, but it also supports beneficiaries’ own efforts to address their issues locally. The participatory approach allows the children to develop their own video, while media experts provide initial training and on going support as needed by the children.

The goal of the participatory video was for filmmaking process to be used as a mean to empower and strengthen the voice of ethnic minority children in understanding and advocating for climate change and disaster risk reduction strategies in their communities.