Over 35 climate champions from 16 countries — Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Finland, Slovenia, Japan, Greece, Bangladesh, Norway, Sweden, Uganda, Nepal, Nigeria, Maldives, Sri Lanka and India will participate in the third International Climate Champions Camp from 15th to 21st January at the International Centre Goa; organised by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational and cultural relations.
In keeping with its work in climate change, the British Council had organised two International Climate Champions Camps – one in Sunderbans in 2008 and in the Nilgiri Hills in 2010. Last year the focus was on the effects of climate change on the mountain ecosystem, while this year will focus on the oceans and the effects of climate change on the coastal ecosystem.
Goa provides a practical and unique location to study coastal ecosystems and their vulnerability to the impact of climate change. As sea levels rise due to global warming, the effects of climate change have affected agriculture, infrastructure and energy sectors. The region has been a witness to the unprecedented heat waves, cyclones, floods, salinization of the coastline and hence affected agriculture and fisheries.
Through the week-long camp, Climate Champions from across the world, aged between 18 to 35 years, will observe and experience first-hand the effects of climate change on Goa’s sensitive and fragile ecosystem. They will interact with local scientific, technical and social experts to learn about impact on Goa’s biodiversity, marine and coastal flora, fauna and human habitats. They will work closely with the National Institute of Oceanography to learn what role oceans play in mitigating the impacts of climate change and find out about latest researches being conducted.
British Council India Director Rob Lynes said: “It is crucially important for us to engage with the youth of today to tackle the challenge of climate change which they will face tomorrow. They are the agents of change who will decide what their world would look like in the future. The British Council climate champions from over 17 countries are participating in the camp at Goa in an attempt to inspire action amongst youth which I am sure will be a great learning experience”
He further informed: “This is the 3rd international camp that is being held in India and I am personally delighted that the project has achieved so much success. The overwhelming response is evident from the number of applications we receive each year for the climate champions’ programme. The project has nurtured over 100 young minds to create leaders of tomorrow. British Council is proud to be associated with these passionate champions who have been our ambassadors at various national and international platforms.”
Goa’s Environment Secretary V. K. Jha and West India British Council Director Sam Harvey will release a ‘Goa Declaration’ documenting the learning, views and suggestions of the champions using their diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences at the concluding ceremony on 21st January at 9.30 am at Mandovi Conference Hall, International Centre Goa.