International Climate Challenge: Calling Youth to Take Action in India
The International Climate Challenge Project encourages students aged 16–20 to take action to mitigate climate change. It works through schools and colleges in India, Kenya and the United Kingdom. This news story is from project organizer and CEC member Subbalakshmi Kumar of India's Centre for Development Education.
The International Climate Challenge (ICC) is a global initiative based on educational activities for young people aged 16-20. The purpose of the programme is to build an interacting global network of young people who, in the course of their studies, formal or informal, will analyse the impact of climate change on their communities and work out practical ways of addressing the emerging problems.
ICC works with schools and other groups of young people, both directly and through partners in India, Kenya and the United Kingdom. It aims to:
- Make them aware about the impact of climate change locally and globally
- Help them take action locally to combat climate change through their curriculum
- Share information and learning with the teams of young people in the other countries
- Support them in taking those ideas forward by helping them gain access to a network of professionals, in many different fields
- Showcase inspiring projects on the website
- Provide further support for a number of them to take their projects further if appropriate
Sharing of information and ideas, via the website and an annual conference, will enable Northern and Southern perspectives to come together to highlight the challenges and develop innovative remedies that will enrich our total approach to climate change.
The Project delivers the following benefits:
For young people:
- An exciting and stimulating way of engaging with an issue of real importance to their future
- A focus on searching for solutions to the challenges of climate change, not just identifying problems
- Contact with peers from other countries and other cultures which will bring different perspectives and be good preparation for future work and co-existence in a global society
- An opportunity to get exposure for a worthwhile project for the climate change challenge
For schools and teachers:
- Support in a complex field not yet well understood by teachers
- A ready-made vehicle for cross curricular teamwork
- The chance to share and learn from teachers in other countries and other local teachers in the project
- The skills required to integrate climate change issues within the curriculum
For local communities:
- Awareness about climate change issues and the need to take action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate
- Strong ties between schools and the communities they serve
In India, the project is managed by the Centre for Development Education, Pune. ICC works in Mumbai and Pune with 20 Colleges with 2000 students aged 16 – 20 in the process of registering for the project. Teachers are trained by the project managers Subbalakshmi Kumar (India) and Jayashree Inbaraj (Mumbai) to help students take up action projects to mitigate climate change as a part of their environment science project. Students and teachers also learn skills of reporting their actions, presenting and carrying out campaigns etc for climate change as a part of this project.
Websites are gearing up to provide support to these colleges to carry out their projects effectively. Students can register for the project and will soon be able to download supporting materials for their project from the site. The website will also provide a platform to share their projects and discuss with their counterparts in Kenya and the UK.
Jayashree Inbaraj, Project Manager, Mumbai