By Shweta Aggarwal
With a looming climate emergency and increasing frequency of natural disasters as a backdrop, a virtual conference involving eminent journalists, environment experts and diplomats called for an acceleration of global efforts to combat the scourge of global warming.
Canada’s Deputy High Commissioner to India Deirdre Kent set the tone for the webinar by underlining shared global responsibility to protect the humanity from ravages of climate change. “We share this one habitable planet and also share a responsibility to protect it,” Ms Kent said at the webinar entitled “Covid-19 and Beyond: Environment in the Media” on February 26.
“Water, air pollution, chemical exposure, biodiversity loss and impact of climate change have exacerbated the impact of the pandemic,” she said while alluding to the impact of Covid-19 on the environment.
“I can assure you the Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment and combating climate change for present and future generations,” she said.
“In particular, Canada is supporting initiatives to address climate change in the Arctic, spearheading the ocean plastic struggle to ensure global cooperation and tackling ocean plastic waste and providing water treatment solutions, particularly vulnerable populations,” said the Canadian diplomat.
The webinar was co-organised by the High Commission of Canada in India and India Writes Network, an emerging think tank and media-publishing organization. The discussion was moderated by Mr Daniel Holton, Head, Political and Economic Division, at the High Commission of Canada in India.
Calling for a revision of policy on plastic, Bharati Chaturvedi, Founder and Director, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, stressed that “it’s time to move away from Delhi-centric reportage on environment and focus more on villages.”
2021: A Defining Year for Climate Diplomacy
In his welcome address, Manish Chand, Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and the World magazine, highlighted the role and responsibility of the media in analyzing and reporting the existential dangers posed by climate change. He stressed that it’s time to take a closer look at whether the media is doing enough and what more it can do to raise awareness about environment-related issues.
Placing the debate on environment and climate change in the larger international context, he said: “2021 is a defining year for global climate negotiations, which have acquired a new resonance with the return of the US to the Paris Accord,” he said while alluding to the global climate summit to be hosted US President Joe Biden, the G7 summit in UK and the COP in November.
“The scale of the climate challenge is such that no nation can afford the luxury of living in spending isolation. In this journey, we sail and sink together. This spirit of global solidarity and caring for the environment is deeply embedded in the Indian ethos of “Vaudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the world is one family,” he said.
“All the types of social, economic, industrial and urbanization activity comes with a responsibility & risk mitigation plan,” said Pradeep Sangwan, Founder, Healing Himalayas.
Neha Sinha spoke about de-jargonizing reporting and writing on environment issues. “Cut through the clutter. Let a hundred thoughts bloom,” said Sinha, a well-known conservationist.
The panelists at the webinar included: Mr Pankaj Doval, Senior Editor, Times of India; Mr Richard Mahapatra, Managing Director, Down to Earth; Ms Neha Sinha, Freelance Journalist, Conservation Biologist; Ms Nivedita Khandekar, Independent journalist; Mr Pradeep Sangwan, Founder, Healing Himalayas; and Mrs Bharati Chaturvedi, Founder and Director, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group.
(With inputs from Palak Chhabra)
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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