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Four-panel discussions on ‘Climate Change’ held at Y20 Consultation at KU

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17 youth delegates from G20 countries participated in the event

Srinagar: As a part of India’s G20 Presidency, the Youth 20 (Y20) group’s Y20 Consultation was held at the University of Kashmir today to consult the youth of the nation on ideas for a better tomorrow and draft an agenda for action on ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Sustainability a Way of Life’, one of the five Y20 themes, PIB press release informed.

It said 17 youth delegates from G20 countries like Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Japan, Republic of Korea, United States, Brazil and Nigeria participated in the event, besides 108 students from University of Kashmir, 34 students from schools around J&K, 57 students from colleges around Srinagar, 11 students from colleges and universities in Jammu, 33 DoYA delegates, 25 Y20 Secretariat delegates and 25 student activists.

While yesterday (10th May), a heritage tour to Mughal Garden Nishat and Pari Mahal was organised by the varsity followed by a group dinner, on Thursday, the Y20 Consultation witnessed a healthy and interactive dialogue with all delegates present at the University’s Convocation Complex.

As a part of the inaugural session, a welcome address was delivered by Prof. Manzoor A. Shah, where he spelt out the broad objectives of the Y20 Consultation. It was followed by an address by Pankaj Kumar where he provided a brief context of Y20, which set the tone of the Y20 Consultation.

Guru Prakash Paswan highlighted the importance of the Y20 Consultation.  “The new capital is not going to be the economic capital alone; it is going to be the social capital and the capital of ideas. And Youth20 is one such platform for youth to share their ideas and contribute to policymaking on the important themes chosen for Y20 Consultation.”

Akash Jha, Secretary, Y20 India, also spoke on the occasion and mentioned that “it is important that the voice of youth should be heard in such global decisions because it impacts the youth stakeholders the most. India’s Presidency has not confined these discussions to the elite class, it is a people’s Presidency where Y20 is a leading partner.”

Prof. Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor, in her address said the University of Kashmir chose the theme of climate change for Y20 Consultation “because if anyone has more at stake in this fight against climate crisis, it is the youth. And if anyone can strongly help address this crisis, it is the youth who are the future of the nation.”

She thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, and Chancellor Manoj Sinha (J&K LG) for giving the University a chance to be part of the country’s G20 Presidency through the Y20 platform.

Four panel discussions were held on the theme: ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Sustainability a Way of Life’.

First plenary session was held on the theme ‘Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being’, which was moderated by Prof. Shakil A. Romshoo, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, J&K.

Speakers in this panel included Dr. Robert Pal (Montana Technological University, USA) highlighted that climate change is impacting biodiversity in multiple ways. He stressed upon devising ecological restoration strategies based on the multiple species, rather than monoculture plantations.

Dr. Ruchhit RD (National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India) talked about the increasing incidence of extreme rainfall events seen in Indian Monsoon.  He called for awareness among the farmers, particularly reorienting the sowing season as per changing climatic patterns.

Dr. Wazida Rahman (Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India) talked about the concept of environmental justice, which is akin to climate justice pitched by India vociferously during recent negotiations at multilateral forums.

Dr Remya, from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kerala, spoke on the issue of glacier melting in the Himalayas. She informed that the fast pace of snow melting has resulted into drastic decline of agricultural production in the hilly and downstream plain areas.

Ghulam Mustafa Ali, a student activist, cautioned about the likely impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on the tourism section in the region. He called for efforts to be made towards sustainable and responsible tourism by taking into consideration the carrying capacity of the tourism destinations.

The second plenary session was held on the theme of ‘Disaster Risk Reduction for Safe Tomorrow’, which was moderated by Prof. M. Sultan Bhat, University of Kashmir.

Speakers in the panel included Dr. Akhilesh Surjan (Charles Darwin University, Australia); Dr. Ajanta Goswami (Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India); Dr Ashim Sattar (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India; Dr Sandip Singh (Lovely Professional University, Punjab) and Farhana Bhat, an alumnus from University of Kashmir. It was a very engaging session on diverse aspects of the theme.

The third plenary session was on the theme ‘Green Energy- Innovations and Opportunities’, which was moderated by Prof. Seemin Rubab, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, India.

The panellists were Dr. Akhilesh Surjan (Charles Darwin University, Australia);  Dr. Siddhartha Khare (IIT, Roorkee, India); Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee (IIT Guwahati, India), Prasiddhi Singh, social entrepreneur and environmental activist and Vikas Pandey, entrepreneur with expertise on clean energy, who discussed very important aspects related to the theme and gave their valuable inputs.

The fourth plenary session was held on the theme ‘Water Resources: Challenges and Prospects’, which was moderated by Dr. G. Balachander, Krishi Bounty Biotech, Nandi Hills, Bangalore.

The panelists were: Dr. Julia Osterman (University of Gothenburg, Sweden); Dr. Vamsi Krishna Vema (NIT, Warangal, Telangana, India); Dr. Sunil Gurrapu (National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand); Dr. Shruti Singh (Sharda University, U.P, India) and Khalid Jehangir (Chairman, ICPS, Srinagar). The session saw insightful discussions on the theme with critical interventions by the panellists. (With inputs from PIB press release)

Photo: Javed Khan

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