Durban Report
Students from India at UNFCC COP 17

Student Delegation at Durban Climate Change Convention COP 17

Four Indian students were selected by Government of India, to participate in the 17th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chang at Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011. It was thought that Indian students would ably articulate the perspectives of the young generation from developing countries, with regard to issues of climate change, national development, lifestyles and consumption. This would also be a good way of sensitizing Indian children to the emerging international issues in climate change.

Process of Selecting the Student Delegation

The selection process was designed and carried out by CEE. The students were short listed from a nation wide online quiz competition. 965 students registered for the competition from which 515 appeared for the test. About 100 were selected for the next round based on the scores. The task for the students in the second round was to write an essay on “Climate Change is an effect and not the cause of environmental problems! The real problem is our lifestyles! Comment.” 69 students submitted their essays to CEE which helped the Ministry of Environment and Forests to make the selection for the next round. 20 students selected after this round were invited to the third round of selection at the CEE Ahmedabad campus.

18 students participated in the three days National Leadership Workshop. Four students were selected after this workshop, based on understanding and internalization of concepts, application and articulation of learnings, clarity and originality of thinking and expression, sensitivity and commitment to the issues, peer group interaction and interactions with resource persons than on information and knowledge alone. Two boys and two girls were finally selected to represent India at Durban.

For 16-year-old Vineeth Udaya Kumar, from Lakshadweep, the stalemate in the UN climate talks is a sign that individuals need to come up with innovative ways to help arrest greenhouse gases so that the earth’s temperature does not rise above 2 degrees Celsius.

“It was our first day and so we did not understand everything that was shown to us but we gained a broad perspective of the ongoing conflicts and discussions. We do hope to learn much more in the coming days.” Lakshay Rastogi

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