On 20th April 2012, over 70 students and teachers from different schools and institutions in Delhi attended the Earth Day celebrations held at the Development Alternatives headquarters. Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the earth's natural environment.Children had loads of fun participating in story writing, painting and photography competitions aimed at helping them to understand ways of adapting to climate change. A special workshop was conducted to teach the children on how to weave a story on climate change adaptation using innovative concepts such as bio-mimicry. Bio-mimicry encourages people to design and implement sustainable solutions by emulating nature's time-tested patterns. A classic example is learning about the principles of natural air cooling from termite mounds.
The Earth Day event also served as a platform for Development Alternatives to launch the ‘iADAPT -for a carbon CLEAN-India campaign’. The campaign aims to provide children and youth with a platform to find innovative solutions for urban adaptation to climate change such as bio mimicry concepts, green roofing, dry gardening etc. As part of the campaign, a core team of 25 Youth Ambassadors for Urban Adaptation will be formed from amongst school and college students selected from 100 institutions of Delhi. These Youth Ambassadors will act as ‘agents of change’ by demonstrating climate change adaptation projects in different urban areas including slums. Based on their interaction with the community, they would come out with policy recommendations for urban adaptation to climate change.
This Earth Day event was organised by CLEAN-India (Community Led Environment Action Network), a nationwide programme of Development Alternatives in partnership with Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) and Earth Day Network. Dignitaries like Dr. Ashok Khosla, Chairman-Development Alternatives and President-International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Dr. B.C Sabata- Senior Scientific Officer- Department of Environment, Govt. of Delhi and Ms. Usha Srinivasan - Senior Consultant- Environment were also a part of this event to reinforce ‘our’ shared responsibility to protect the planet.
Towards the end of the event, each participant pledged to take positive steps to save ‘Mother Earth’. Some pledges from the youth and children:
”I will recycle more and research more on green life style and bio-mimicry. I will also help CLEAN-India.”- Apoorva Singhal, Bluebells School
“I am going to walk short distances rather than taking a vehicle. I am going to adopt the easiest way of reducing carbon and that would be by planting trees every month.”-Sanya Kapoor, Bluebells International School
“I will save food, water, electricity and every little thing that I’m capable of. When I grow-up, my home is going to be a Green Building like DA Headquarters.”- Srishti Vats