'WildRoots-INDIA' organised the '1st Youth Climate & Conservation Fellowship Programme of INDIA', from July 9th to 16th, 2022 in Guwahati, Assam and at Seijosa, District Pakke Kesang, Arunachal Pradesh. The first of its kind 'Fellowship Programme' was designed and coordinated by Biswajit De, Founder President of WildRoots-INDIA, who is an active member of the IUCN Commission on Education & Communication (CEC) and the International Steering Committee of IUCN #NatureForAll.
The Programme, funded by IUCN - CEC, was inspired by IUCN #NatureForAll, which is a Global Movement to inspire love of 'Nature'. As an inclusive IUCN-led coalition of partners, #NatureForAll brings together a diversity of players to share actions, collaborate, and amplify the collective reach to engage new audiences to connect with and fall in love with nature, and ignite action for Conservation. WildRoots-INDIA is an organizational member of #NatureForAll. 'Student Participants from 10 Indian Schools were trained to be Youth Climate & Conservation Fellows at Guwahati, Assam and Seijosa, Arunachal Pradesh, where they were exposed to various pedagogies related to Climate & Conservation Education and were trained via environmental educational modules that aimed to build a collective task force to address local & global environmental problems, brainstorm on solutions, mitigation ideas, actions and connect with the local communities', said De. The programme was co-mentored by students from University of Calcutta & Student Executive Members of WildRoots -INDIA: Suparna Das, Anuleka Dutta, Anushka Dutta & Aindri Mukherjee. Benjamin August Everett-Lane, UG Student of Dept. of Environmental Studies, Yale University, USA had joined the programme as an International Student Intern. Mr. Suresh Pait, PRT, Govt. Residential School, District Pakke Kesang, Seijosa, Arunachal Pradesh, had provided the local coordination & support for the programme.
The ten participating students Trisha Pandit and Aashita Singh (Delhi Public School, Raipur), Sudeeksha Anal and Samriddha Duari (St. Agnes School, Kharagpur), Aaron Chaudhury (St. Francis De Sales Higher Secondary School, Guwahati), Aadishree Avinash Shirsath (Lakshadham High School, Mumbai), Vidushi Shandilya and Jash Modi (Chatrabhuj Narsee Memorial School & N.D. Parekh Pre-Primary School, Mumbai), Hem Dodhia (Gokuldham High School & Junior College, Mumbai), Swanand Mandar Kulkarni (Yashodham High School & Junior College, Mumbai) have now taken up the responsibility to cascade the learning outcomes to their respective schools and communities via 'Action Plans' related to Environmental Awareness, Sustainability & Conservation which were brainstormed and designed during the execution of the programme.
'It is wonderful to see organizations like Wildroots spreading our environmental reach to students across India. Dr. De’s fellowship programme was a major success in engaging youth and growing our #NatureForAll network. I’m eager to see how De’s programmes and participants continue to develop, grow and change the lives of a critical generation for conservation. The Youth Climate & Conservation Fellowship is a pathway to inspire the young students of India to create a regional group which can represent India in upcoming International Conferences. Thanks to Dr. De for designing the 1st IUCN CEC supported programme in India, which has already become a success story and pathway for other organizations to follow', said Sean Southey, Chair, IUCN CEC. Dr. Cheryl Charles, one of three international Co-Chairs of #NatureForAll, said, 'The Youth Climate and Conservation Fellowship is an exciting, worthwhile, and exemplary programme that will surely inspire others throughout the world. We look forward to the continuing results and positive actions that will be taken by the participants and those they in turn inspire in the years to come.'