Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My City My Responsibility - Sustainable 2020 in the making!!!

Dear All,

In my last blog, I mentioned about all our initiatives that enabled us to have a Sustainable 2019. Taking this forward, we are heading towards a more action oriented Sustainable 2020. Here's a quick review of a smashing start of year, full of new ventures!!!

Firstly I would like to mention our collaboration with Sahapedia a Delhi based organisation, involved in mapping Pune's Cultural and Natural Heritage. We host them in our office :) On 28th January 2020 we conducted our #ChallengingThanos event in collaboration with Sahapedia and Lokshahi Utsav Samiti during the Lokshahi Utsav that takes place every year in the week of 26 Jan. In this event we spoke about how Pune can challenge Climate change - both in terms of addressing climate vulnerabilities and going carbon-neutral. We received an overwhelming response, more than 100 people turned up for the event. I am glad to be part of the Lokshahi Utsav, thank you very much for hosting us! Not only this, post event our studies got highlighted in several local newspapers both English and Marathi. Check out the compilation of all the news coverage! Thanks a ton to all the newspaper agencies (Lokmat, Maharashtra Times, Times of India and Sakal) and the reporters for covering this issue extensively. Reaching to the larger audience on the seriousness of how climate change is impacting us is crucial and indeed all the reporters did a great job!!! Thank you to all the corresponding media persons and the editors! 

Another highlight of the month was the publishing of the Policy paper on Carbon Neutral PMR by 2030 by Pune International Centre (PIC) and Climate Collective Pune (CCP) through the hands of our young Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, on the 29th Jan, 2020. The inputs presented by Dr Gurudas Nulkar, Dr Priyadarshini Karve and Dr Nitant Mate, were very well taken by our minister. He calmly listened and commented on the inputs and suggestions given by the experts in the round table discussion. This is first time ever any minister/bureaucrat has given so much time for this alarming issue and yes it had to be a young politician :) I was glad to be part of this round table and witnessing these discussions. Aaditya Thackeray suggested monthly follow up meets on the Carbon
Neutral planning and development of PMR and intends to make the entire Maharashtra Carbon Neutral! Hope this to be the beginning of a new era!!!

Another recent initiative of ours is about Cooking for Climate where Samuchit Enviro Tech promoting improved BIOMASS based cookstoves and renewable charcoal, Vaayu Mitra promoting kitchen waste and wastewater based BIOGAS plant systems and OrjaBox promoting SOLAR based cooking have come together to showcase renewable energy based cooking options. We had successfully conducted our first event in December 2019 at Cafe Climate run by Priyadarshan Sahasrabuddhe (VaayuMitra) and another event at AISSMS, Electrical Engineering campus, Pune with the help of Vishaka Chandhere (OrjaBox). Both the events were well received by the audience. Food is the heart of our survival and cooking is an enabler. In this fossil fuel challenged future where reducing our carbon emissions is a must, we need to make the shift to renewable sources of cooking energy. We will conduct these workshops every month, and invite collaborators to host us! Let us know if you are interested, or know of anyone who might be interested! Check out a video of our workshop here!

Being a member of INECC and part of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) agenda we got an opportunity to design a training manual for trainers on some of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) last year for PRATYeK. PRATYeK is a non governmental organization working on child rights and earth rights through various advocacy mediums with technical support from UNICEF. They invited me and my colleague, Myron Mendes, to train their trainers based in Mumbai and Delhi on the manual. Highlight of this visit were the kids from an underprivileged section of the society in Delhi who are now SDG ministers having a ministry for each SDG. The kids aged between 10 to 16 years of age literally taught us a lot, I was amazed with their enthusiasm, charisma, general knowledge, consciousness, ability to grasp the concept and put in action. I learnt a lot more than I thought possible, Thanks to INECC and PRATYeK for a amazing experience. Not to mention I enjoyed every bit of my visit to Delhi with some close friends!
As I said 2020 is going to be an action packed year, more such exciting opportunities in the pipeline. Check out our upcoming events on 26th Feb and on 1st March 2020 on our social media handles!

Pournima Agarkar. 

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