Friday, January 31, 2020

My City My Responsibility - A look back at Sustainable 2019!!!

Dear All, 

New year pledge for a Carbon Neutral and Climate Resilient Pune

I know its been quite a long time since I last wrote, nevertheless I am glad to be back and want to keep writing more often!!!

Let me just wish everyone a Happy and Sustainable year ahead!!!

For us at Samuchit and Laya resource center 2019 had been an exciting year. We could initiate some new approaches for imparting climate and sustainability literacy programs. We could also take some of our initiatives to other cities apart from Pune which is one of the goals of this entire study. This blog is about a quick flasback of activities conducted in 2019.  

End of the first phase of Sustainably SMART pune study - In December 2018 we completed the first phase of our Sustainably SMART Pune study and published the report which was well received by the Puneites. The softcopy of the report is available online. Let me know if anyone would like to have it.

Citizens charter for Sustainable Pune - In January 2019, as part of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project we could publish a compilation of citizens inputs for making the city sustainable based on Sustainable development goals (SDG) 11 targets. Marathi version of the same will be available soon.

Sustainable initiatives in Thane  - In March 2019, we were invited by a couple of environmental enthusiasts from Thane through Prasad Dandekar who attended our workshops in Pune. We conducted a full day workshop where we presented our work on Sustainably SMART Pune and Climate Friendly Lifestyle. The discussions later rolled on as to how we can make Thane a Sustainably SMART city. As a follow up from this, FERN, an environment focused citizen group in Thane invited Dr Priyadarshini Karve to speak on sustainable urbanisation at their annual Environmental Lecture Series in November 2019. The talk was very well attended. 

National Conference on Urban Sustainability - In April 2019 under the ESD project a national conference was organised by us in order to disseminate the citizens charter for Sustainable Pune across India. I was glad to have a few INECC members from different states coming all the way for this conference. 

Yuvadrishti handbook on Carbon Neutral campus - In June 2019 under the Yiuvadrishti initiative by INECC and in association with Pune Internatinal centre (PIC) and Climate Collective Pune's (CCP) vision of a Carbon Neutral Pune by 2030 we came up with this DIY kind of Handbook for making campuses carbon neutral. In order to make a city carbon neutral we believe the education sector should take the lead. Three colleges of Pune used this handbook under our guidance and also published their strategies to go low carbon. 

Sustainable Bhuj - In July 2019 we were invited by Aseem Mishra, Coordinator of Homes in the City (HIC), an initiative in Bhuj that works with citizens, NGOs and CSO's. We met him during our national conference and he wanted us to talk about Pune initiatives at their conference in Bhuj, Gujarat. It was an honor to be there but I felt terrible to see how they are struggling to make their city sustainable amidst all the challenges of cultural diversity, extreme climatic conditions coupled with rapid urbanization.  

Carbon neutral campus at Kopargaon - In August 2019 we were invited by Sanjivani group of Institutes, Kopargaon to undertake the carbon neutral campuses workshop. It was indeed a great step as an institute and good opportunity for us as well. They are already undertaking a lot of initiatives they just need to align them with carbon neutrality and validate the zero carbon character of their institution. 
Series of #Challenging Thanos - In September 2019 in order to reach out to those urbanites who would otherwise not talk about climate change and sustainability, we came up with this series of events where we talk about day to day issues in a cafe or a restaurant and then link the issues to the big picture. These events have received good response so far and there has been at least 30-40% of new faces in every Thanos event. However the goal is to reach out to maximum. So we want all of you to spread the word about this series of event among your friends and family. Watch out for the image of Thanos on our social media to know when the next event is happening! 

Vibrant Vizag and TECH conference - In December 2019 I got an opportunity to present our #ChallengingThanos initiative in the UNESCO MGIEP's TECH conference in Visakhapatnam. Though my presentation went well, I was disappointed to see the overwhelming focus given to app-based learning, video games and artificial intelligence (AI) without studying the long term psychological impacts on the youth.

This visit also gave me an opportunity to visit LAYA resource centre headquarters and its operations in the tribal areas of Andhra. I am grateful to LAYA for arranging the site visits at Addetegala and Paderu (formerly naxalite areas). I could not have imagined working in such difficult areas that too at a time when naxalite activities were at peak. The team at LAYA is indeed doing a great job!!!

Carbon Neutral PMRDA initiative - Throughout 2019, we contributed to the Roadmap for Carbon Neutral PMR, an initiative by Climate Collective Pune (CCP) and Pune International Centre (PIC). Today at the end of January 2020, I am glad that the goal to present this report to state government authorities has been fruitful. The Environment and Tourism minister Mr. Aaditya Thackeray gave open, informal and absolutely genuine feedback on the report and has committed to make it a reality. This is indeed a good start for 2020, and we hope to keep the momentum going!

That's all for now, keep checking out this space for more updates and experiences. Also please share your views or opinions with us on our work. Constructive Criticism is welcome too! :) 

Pournima Agarkar. 

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shri..! said...

Well written. For environment u r taking very good efforts. Thanks to Shere this beautiful things.

Helmut said...

Hi Pournima
Thanks for this report about Carbon Newtrality in Pune and Campuses all over India.

In Germany we have a similar Network that supports Universities to become greener. Its called Netzwerk-N and they organize via an plattform: Feel free to join...

I am working in the same area of Sustainable cities and with maps I try to make cities mores sustainable, especially with consumption.

pournima said...

Thank you.
Good to know about similar things happening in Germany!
I will get back to you on this.