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Over two hundred farmers, fishermen, and activists today gathered outside of the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, as negotiators reach the finishing line of the Climate Change Conference.

Organised largely by ActionAid and 350.org, the protest gathered organisations such as Asian People’s Movement for Debt and Development, (APMDD) Asia Climate Change Consortium, and International Youth Climate Movement (YOUNGO).

“It’s important for civil society organisations and activists to come out and show the gap, the gulf, that we are seeing between reality and [the negotiations]. It’s about communicating the challenges that people are facing on the ground,” said Harjeet Singh, ActionAid’s global lead on climate change.

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid’s global lead on climate change.

Farmers also came out to voice how climate change is affecting their lives.
Khun Ari, a 58-year old farmer, pleaded, “What we want to demand is that right now, we want the to government to include laws about coastal erosion into the national disaster plan. We are only poor people and local people. That is why we need to ask the government all over the world that we need a climate change fund, to have resources. We are already poor, we don’t have any resources to use.”
Other farmers discussed the need for the government to respond effectively during disasters. “Our farms are affected by drought and floods,” said one farmer from the Patum Thani region. “We want to see change. My house is right near the Chao Phraya river. When there is a flood, I cannot move at all,” he said.

Khun Ari, a 58-year old farmer and community organiser. 

Farmers from Patum Thani region came to Bangkok for the protest. 

Also present at the protest was Lidy Nacpil, veteran Filipino activist and Coordinator of APMDD.
“No climate justice without gender justice!” she chanted with the crowd.
Mickey Eva, the East Asia Regional Field Organiser of 350.org, called for leaders to pay attention.
“I think there is always a space, an avenue for public pressure, for our leaders to listen to us. We are not separate from them. These are leaders that are accountable to us. We are their constituency, and we elect them, after all,” he said.
Mickey Eva, the East Asia Regional Field Organiser of 350.org
Back in the conference centre, it’s business as usual. The mood is tense as negotiators attempt to drive discussions to a conclusion before tomorrow’s closing plenary.
Considered a pivotal week for driving climate action, the key outcome of Bangkok was to produce a functioning legal text that could serve as the basis for negotiations at December’s COP24 in Katowice, Poland.
Still, many issues remain blocked, preventing progress on the Paris Rulebook.
“Developed countries are playing the same tactics to delay the process of preparing the rulebook which is so fundamental to make the Paris agreement real. There is no progress on finance, they are blocking, and if it continues to get blocked, how can we see the promise of the Paris Agreement delivering on its promise to keep us below 1.5 degrees?” Harjeet asked.
Lily Jamaludin

About Lily Jamaludin

Lily Jamaludin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she helped design education opportunities for stateless youth in Borneo, and assisted in eviction-prevention initiatives in the Bronx. She’s excited to mobilise more young writers from developing countries to influence national debate around climate change.