The echo of ‘save the world from global warming’ has suddenly started resonating across the borders. The caution of ‘climate change’ has finally reached the desired ears, after several bells and devastating signals of record-breaking droughts, cyclones and floods. Every year is being declared as the ‘hottest year ever’, or at least has a hottest month or day! Travellers who used to plan tours to greener areas or hill stations to seek the solace that their metropolitan homes lack, are however disappointedly returning: witnessing the reduced snowfall, melted ice, evaporating rivers and the disappearing greenery.
So, will all our natural beauty vanish completely one-day? Would we not have anything left for our future generation to be calm at? Bigger question: are we going to DIE soon? If so, how soon? Do we NOT have any solution to ‘seal’ the depleting Ozone layer?
Well, if we look into what the recognized organizations and leaders are contributing into, it seems we certainly have some solution. Their work and proposals itself are enough to extract the required optimism here.
United Nations’ Paris Pact
Climate change primarily was discussed as an international concern in the Rio Earth Summit (1992), where the ‘Rio Convention’ adopted UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), yet it was somehow not given due attention. The UNFCCC itself came into force in 1994 (March 21). However, after several negotiations at every annual COPs (Conference of Parties), it was in 2015 that the COP21 aimed to achieve a legal binding and universal agreement on climate, to target the global warming to be kept below two degrees centigrade. As per an official statement, the Paris Agreement is considered to be a milestone in global climate cooperation. “It is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention (UNFCCC) and recognizes the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances,” the official statement said.
It has now about 190 signatory countries (till December 2015), excluding India that signed it on April 22 at New York with about 150 more countries.
Navdanya Biodiversity Farm
Navdanya Biodiversity Farm, also known as Bija Vidyapeeth was founded by the world-famous eco-feminist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, in 1987. Located at Dehradoon, it is a large farm focusing on organic farming, and saving biological and cultural diversity. They condemn the use of chemicals and fertilizers like urea that although increases the production, however depletes the soil quality and restrain the part of the land for farming in late future.
It is an exemplary example in itself of how they have utilized Indian heritage and mythological stories to empower local farmers and women to contribute to their ‘mother nature’. They have purposely connected the relevance of organic farming with the Gods and Goddesses to yield maximum efforts by the localites in pursuing it. More than the men, their movement is more relied upon the women, as they strongly believe on:
“Educate a Man, and you educate an individual
educate a woman, and you educate a family, thereby a society, and so on.”
At its Dehradoon base centre, it has succeeded in rising the water level from 120 ft to 60 ft, by natural farming techniques. Navdanya, apart from fearlessly voicing out the danger of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has been fighting against the corporate patenting of seeds, plants and all forms of other lives, which affects the farmers’ livelihood who cultivate them.
To spread the best practices, it has been inviting students: both national and international to pursue their courses and internship. Not only that, they also offer a guided site tour at minimal Rs. 400/- per head, which includes an organic lunch.
Seed Bank. Navdanya has about 111 community seed banks spread across 17 states of India. It provides good quality seeds to the poor farmers, who cannot afford to buy them otherwise. In exchange, it asks for certain percentage of the yielded seeds after the cultivation period is over. They claim to have been preserving the seeds with utmost care, however when observed closely the seed jars had insects in it. On asking about the same, one of the attendant responded that the seeds are coated with wood ashes due to which the insects cannot destroy them.
Delhi’s Odd-Even Formula
AAP leader and Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has been in news for various reasons: gimmick or not, the political analysts will decide. However, the world definitely recognizes him for his firmness on the ‘Odd-Even’ formula ran in Delhi in two sessions for 15 days each. Despite of the various criticisms: corruption in issuing CNG stickers, unsuccessful in pollution control claims etc., the first session was comparatively well-sung for its contribution in controlling traffic by encouraging public transport and car-pooling. With the advent of the second session, there is already much hue and cry from the opposition and the vehicle owners. The latter find it inconvenient to travel through public transport or shared vehicles, regardless how that little inconvenience is still better than the smoggy air we breathe in, and nevertheless the slow and suffocating death.
Seems the judiciary has realized the criticality of climate change and thus it has not discontinued the Delhi Government’s Odd-Even experiment; and also, on continuing the ban on registration of diesel SUVs and cars over 2000cc, the SC has once scolded the car manufacturers like Toyota, Mahindra and Mercedes, pleading to lift the ban: if their vehicles emit Oxygen!
However, the government has not folded its sleeves as much as, it should have by now. Deforestation, smoking, use of generators at factories and functions have not yet fallen into the strict radar, as it should have been. Yet, we can’t be relaxing at our sofas criticizing the government only. We got to do our bit too: avoiding smoking, consumption of beef or pork (as they emit methane and carbon dioxide), using CNG vehicles only and maximum of public transports and most importantly planting more trees. In fact, planting should be religiously followed and celebrated, such that replacing it with lamp-lightning at functions, cake-cutting at birthday or wedding ceremonies, ribbon cutting at inaugurals etc. So, hopefully we would soon have a parallel market blooming for ideas of planting invitation styles. Till then, wish you all Happy Oxygen! Happy Planting! Happy Nature!