Asean River Watch Groups Decide Focusing on Environmental Protection in the Region

Youth leaders of environmental conservation groups from the Asean region have decided to boost their advocacy for environmental conservation in Asean countries.

The youth leaders of river watch groups from the Asean region attended the 2nd Regional River Watch Groups Forum at Thoo Moei Kee School in Phop Phra District of Tak Province in Thailand on August 1-3.

“Our decision is to go to the ASEAN People Forum. We will go there and make the Asean region become more aware on what’s happening in the region. We will discuss with the youths on what strategies we will use [at the forum] and gather their recommendations,” Saw Thar Boe from the Karen Rivers Watch Network who helped organized the forum.

He continued that they want to talk about how the future generations will lose their rights and suffer if the natural resources become used up instead of leaving them behind for the future generations.

During the three-day forum, delegates from the river watch groups discussed the environmental conservation issues that are being faced in respective countries and consequences of building dams, coal-powered energy production, and climate change.

International experts have also shared the disadvantages of using plastic and how the future generations will lose their rights due to environmental harms.

Filipino youth delegate Ms. Rara told the forum that wide use of plastic and development projects in the Asean region is only beneficial for the businessmen and it is not beneficial for the public and they only have to face the consequences and face challenges in handing down environmental heritages to the future generations due to the development projects.

Saw Thar Boe said Burma has been hit by flooding and it is suffering from huge losses due to improper extraction of natural resources and climate change.

The government needs to conduct researches and set down good policies for the country in order to give an immediate response to the situation instead of delaying it, he added.

Over 60 representatives of river watch groups from seven Southeast Asian countries attended the River Watch Groups Forum, which was held under the slogan “Our River, Our Life”. The forum is held every two years and the first forum was held in Cambodia in 2016.

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