Mool, The Village Academy Host Event On Climate Change

Srinagar– The impact of climate change is well recognized. It is critical that immediate steps are taken to implement the recommended long term policies and actions to mitigate its adverse impact and the consequential economic downturn. This must include work for awareness, mitigation and preparedness.

Youth are among the most impacted stakeholders and are also a huge resource who can be inspired and trained to act and build sustainable businesses and social systems.

Towards this end, on November 21, 2022, Mool Sustainability Research and Training Center (Mool) and The Village Academy hosted a joint event on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) at Sagg Eco Village, Ganderbal. Supported by Kargil Development Project (KDP), a charity based in Ladakh, the event brought together scholars and students from diverse fields of study including from Business Studies, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, faculty, and the team from Directorate of Research and Development (R&D) at CUK.

In the form of a panel discussion followed by an extensive QnA session, the event helped bring grassroots understanding and practicable knowledge on climate change, sustainable development, and the role of youth to engage the audience. The panel comprised of Fayaz Ahmad Dar, Ecological Entrepreneur and Founder – Mool and The Village Academy, Dr. Mir Insha Farooq, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, CUK, and Dr. Khalid Wasim Hassan, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Governance, CUK.

The program began with a welcome address and brief introductions by Dr. Shaheena Parveen, Executive Director – Mool Sustainability Research and Training Center. This was followed by presentations by the panel.

Fayaz Ahmad Dar deliberated on Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Role of Youth. Dar stressed upon the imperative and uncompromising role of the choices we make in our daily lives and how those can go a long way in bringing a desired change including in our environment and ecology or quality of life in general. He encouraged students to delve deeper into three important questions – who am I, where do I need to go, and when. And build a vision for their lives with goals to achieve to beat conformism and bring the desired change. Dar also spoke about how collaborations with impactful initiatives on ground can cater to the human need for novelty, creativity, and innovation among students and add value to their academic experience.

Next, Dr. Mir Insha Farooq deliberated on the adaptation of Climate Friendly Curriculum and Careers for Youth. While presenting a brief summary of why the mainstream model of development has not worked, Dr. Insha stressed upon development of critical engagement and green skills to reverse the impact, and the development of initiatives with an aim to aid circular economies. She also encouraged students to explore sustainable entrepreneurships as a career option especially in agriculture, clothing and attire, and architecture if we are to attain sustainable development. In this direction, Dr. Insha cited examples of the local initiatives and startups with which students can also go for internships or traineeships to learn green skills and accumulate experience for their own ideas and projects.

In his presentation, Dr. Khalid Wasim Hassan stressed upon the need to critically engage with all models of development. About collaborations and a way forward, Dr. Khalid spoke about joint ventures in research, knowledge dissemination, and publications wherein the experience of Mool, The Village Academy, and the CUK can converge and add great value to the work. Dr. Khalid also discussed the value such field experience, such as that of Mool, can bring to processes of teaching and learning at the varsity, such as through curriculum design and participatory capacity building workshops on research methodologies, pedagogy, and skills development among students.

Dr. Ibraq Khurshid and Dr. Tariq Shah from the executive team at R&D also participated in the event and shared their thoughts with the students.

CUK Chapter of The Sustainable Kashmir Club Launched.

The event also witnessed the launch of the CUK chapter of The Sustainable Kashmir Club (SKC) a collaborative program of Mool and The Village Academy. SKC brings the community perspective to aid their formal education particularly delivering mindset training and promoting ecological entrepreneurship. The areas of reflection include education, economy, culture, ecology, responsibilities, rights and sustainable development. The goal is to share ideas, experiences and learnings to build critical knowledge among participants and sustain the engagement for deeper and wider impact. This is also a space for students to engage in personal growth and develop personal and professional competence through their participation in result oriented coaching programs on success mindset and critical future skills.

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