TODAY -

Young delegates deliver 'Delhi Declaration 2020' for environmental conservation
Date : 26th May 2020 , Hosted by WWF India

 Young delegates deliver 'Delhi Declaration 2020' for environmental conservation



Young delegates deliver the first ever ‘Delhi Declaration 2020’, setting out 3 key thematic areas prioritizing 12 issues at national level to be met by 2022 for environmental conservation in India
o Students from 28 States and 7 UTs of India sign the Delhi Declaration 2020 during the inaugural Model Conference of Parties –I (MCOP-1) hosted by WWF India
o The Declaration will be sent to the MoEF&CC and other environmental organizations around the world


The Model Conference of Parties - I (MCOP-I) is the first ever digital conference on nature conservation for students, hosted by WWF India (World Wide Fund for Nature) in association with its partners- MoEF&CC, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), UNDP, UNEP, IUCN-CEC and outreach partner, CEE on 22nd and 23rd of May, 2020 to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 and 2020 as a Super Year for nature and biodiversity.

The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and attended by several other dignitaries and organizations working in the sector.

The conference aimed to put the power of decision making in the hands of children and youth, those whose futures will be directly impacted by environmental crisis and allow them an opportunity to propose solutions addressing the issues being faced in the country today.

Prior to the main event, the young conservationists participated in preparatory sessions for three days, where they learned about the Convention on Biological Diversity’s governance body and functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP). Three new goals were proposed for the party of student delegates to lay the roadmap for bending the curve of nature loss by 2030:

Goal A: No loss of freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystems by 2030.
Goal B: Halve the footprint of production and consumption by 2030.
Goal C: Healthy natural ecosystems to provide benefits to all people. (Food and improved nutrition for 1.3 billion, safe drinking water and fresh air, reduce health risks, healthy environment)

From inquisitive beginnings on the 18th, the students had come a long way from the 3-day prep sessions to the 2-day conference on 22nd and 23rd May, 2020. The student delegates engaged in several discussions around the key environmental concerns at state and national level and identified priority areas that needed immediate attention.

An emphasis was put on teaching the students how to develop SMART targets. The delegates set targets under the identified national priorities towards the three proposed goals for 2030.

While working together, the delegates concluded that it had to be a collective endeavor at the national level that would help them achieve these goals in the most efficient way for all. This is the essence of the MCOP-I and what these young environmentalists depicted so beautifully with their statements and commitments.

With the confidence given to them through addresses from Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Dr. Sujit Bajpayee, Joint Secretary, MoEFCC. On the final day of the conference, the contributions and the commitments made by the young student delegates were compiled in structured document listing the different environmental goals that India as a nation must hope to achieve in the coming decade and thus was signed the Delhi Declaration 2020.

Within these goals, the delegates initially noted 180 thematic issues, which was then narrowed down to 49 national environmental priority areas that needed action in the coming decade by 2030 through polling and a consensus building exercise.

However, they then further prioritized 12 areas for immediate action that needed to be met as early as 2022. The student delegates presented the Declaration to Ms. Uma Devi, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Dr. V.B. Mathur, Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority and Mr. Ravi Singh, SG and CEO of WWF, India.

Speaking about the MCOP and the Delhi Declaration, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF India, said, “Given the current environmental situation we face, it demands an all hands on deck approach and that also includes our younger generation. Despite the uncertainties this generation faces about their environmental future, they have a unique advantage – access to information.

The internet has allowed widespread dissemination of knowledge and information, which has given rise to innovative and creative thinking in the current youth population.

Platforms like the MCOP are essential to the development of these ideas. Having the opportunity to learn about SMART targets and how international environmental governance works provides these young conservationists the direction they require to organize their innovative ideas to fit real world possibilities.

The Delhi Declaration is a clear indication of this. I wish the students all the best and believe that they will be able to translate the goals they have set out for themselves into positive conservation action on ground.”

MCOP 2020 provided students and youth an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in environmental problem solving.

The MCOP Delhi Declaration is an outcome of this exercise, the modus operandi on how to take these dialogues forward in their respective states while involving the administration to take action. These actions will determine the future of environment in not just the states that these brilliant young minds hail from, but for the future of the environment in the country as well.

The MCoP-I was a transformative week in the lives of these young delegates and the thousands of students who attended the conference online. During the closing stages of the conference, many students recognized that even though the government had a big role to play, the people of this country have an equal responsibility in creating change.

In doing so, they pledged to uphold 8 environmental commitments to be the ‘agents of change’ who actively support the SDGs.

While the first cohort of the WWF India MCOP-I came together from all across the country as strangers to each other, they have worked together to create a meaningful document outlining the path to a greener India and intend to continue this partnership into the future and see their goals turn into impactful positive outcomes for the country.


* This information is sent by Archita Baruah Bhattacharyya (Coordinator, Assam Arunachal Pradesh State Office, WWF India ) who can be contacted at abaruah(AT)wwfindia(DOT)net
This Post is webcasted on May 28 2020

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