Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Planet, People and Profit Key to Environmental Campaign

Planet, People and Profit Key to Environmental Campaign
Syed Ali Mujtaba

“Planet, People and Profit are the three Ps that are central to the issues related to the protection of the environment. The profit or consumerism is the villain of the planet that’s getting spoiled by the people indulging into mindless consumerism,” said Mr.Jayaprasad, National Secretary, Service Civil International (SCI) India, at the youth workshop on Climate Change in Chennai, India.

Indian Community Welfare Organization (ICWO) with the support of Service Civil International (SCI) Italy and KMGNE Germany organized the day long workshop on August 6, 2011.

“Youth volunteering can be a medium for intertwining northern and southern campaigns on issues related to climate change because youth want to change the world,” said A.J.Hariharan , Secretary, Founder of ICWO.

Another speaker, Devanayyan, Director of Tholaizhmai Human rights organization passionately appealed for environmental friendly practices among the youth asking them to make it a part of their daily lives.

“Its necessary that youth need to focus on the environmental issue, because over a period of last 5 years, nearly 125 lakes has disappeared in Chennai and the space is occupied by concrete structures,” he said.

Students from Madras Christian College, Madras School of Social Work, Hindu College, Mohammed Sathak College, volunteers from Service Civil International SCI and international youth from Italy, Germany, Australia and USA participated in the workshop.

The workshop focused on the waste management, issues and made certain recommendations like massive balloons should be banned, use of fire crackers to be reduced, introduction of mobile toilets, to encourage people to volunteer to clean up toilets, cleaning up the streets. segregated dustbin should be kept in the streets, creating awareness on usage of waste bins, having the recycling bins with color coded baskets, usage of paper cups, use of cotton bags should be practiced, noise and smoke free festivals, fine those who throw the waste on the streets or spit on the roads, unnecessary use of horn on roads, ban on cremation of dead bodies on the river bed, encouragement of electrical cremation, less usage of electricity, use of cycles as mode of transportation, tree plantation to be encouraged, importance of self awareness in reducing the impact of climate change.

Some participants expressed their desire to pass on the message of how to tackle the issue of climate change discussed at the workshop to their family, friends and schoolmates. Some volunteered for starting an environment club or recycling project in schools and colleges. A pledge taken to make this world sustainable for the future generation

Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole earth.

The issue of Climate Change is a key element of the contemporary interconnections between North and South of the world. It involves the entire planet. The most affected countries are those of the Southern hemisphere, while in the North the majority of Co2 is produced as well as other gases responsible for global warming. It is therefore essential to deal with this issue in a holistic way and to train the youth in order to implement innovative strategies and campaigns against the causes of Climate Change.

The momentum of environmental campaign was further buttressed by organizing a cycle rally at the Marina Beach Chennai on August, 8 2011. The title of the rally was “Grounding Our Future” to stop global warming.

A large number of participants from social work department Stella Maris College, Mohammed Sathak College, Hindu College, Presidency College, C.N.P.T. Poly-Technical College and Volunteers from USA, Australia participated in the cycle rally.

Global warming is caused by green house gases, which trap in the sun’s infrared rays in the earth’s atmosphere, which in turn heat up the earth’s atmosphere.

These green house effect warming is called as global warming. The effects of green house effect are visible more prominently in the recent years, with number of natural calamities on the rise in the whole world. The global warming has happened in the past few years and is evident from the rise in mean temperature of the earth’s atmosphere.

The fight against global warming cannot be in isolation and it needs collaboration of different stakeholders, corporate houses, NGOs, CBOs, along with general public.

Many people and governments are already working hard to cut greenhouse gases, and each of us can help in this endeavor. In addition to reducing the gases we emit to the atmosphere, we can also increase the amount of gases we take out of the atmosphere. Plants and trees absorb CO2 as they grow, “sequestering” carbon naturally. Increasing forestlands and making changes to the way we farm could increase the amount of carbon we’re storing.

Some of these technologies have drawbacks, and different communities will make different decisions about how to power their lives, but the good news is that there are a variety of options to put us on a path toward a stable climate.

This is the first time a workshop on climate change and a cycle rally on environmental issues focusing youth was organized in Chennai. The main objective of the workshop is to enhance the youth capacity to promote volunteering as a tool to endorse sustainable life styles. The idea has to be developed further and enriched by the exchange of ideas of the people living in other areas of the world how they are dealing with such global issues.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba@yahoo.com

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