Green habits for Green Future: ICFRE-HFRI Conducts Mission LiFe Programme in Ladakh

Mission LiFe (Lifestyle for Environment) envisions a circular economy, which is cultivated by mindful choices. These mindful choices are made each day and in each everyday activity. In order to make students aware of the concept, the ICFRE-Himalayan Forest Research Institute, under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) organized an awareness programme with the students of Government Senior Secondary School (Girls), Leh (Ladakh UT). A total of 82 students, faculty, and HFRI staff participated in this programme on 11th September 2023. I was the resource person for delivering the talk under the programme, and was assisted by Ms. Haseena Bano (Ph. D Scholar) and Ajay Thakur (Forester, HFRI).

Deliberations on the importance of Himalaya Day (September, 9), Climate change, and sustainable lifestyle under Mission LiFe, were among the key topics discussed, besides throwing light on the just concluded India’s G20 presidency at New Delhi. The concept of LiFE was introduced by India at COP 26 in Glasgow on 1st November 2021. Later, on the occasion of World Environment Day, on 5th June 2022, India furthered the vision of LiFE by launching the LiFE Global Movement.

India has been pressing ‘Mission LiFE’ into a global movement, placing it a key green development pact. All across the country, numerous programmes are being conducted on this theme, however, the students here in Ladakh were not aware of Mission LiFe. The ICFRE-HFRI too has been conducting various programmes under Mission LiFe across Himachal, Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh UTs.

Here, my presentation was titled “Green Skills and Green Spaces in Mitigating Climate Change & Youth in Climate Activism”. It focussed on the green transition that the planet has embarked upon. This shift towards an environmentally sustainable and environment-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by 2030. The overall success of this transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills, among the youth in particular. Green Skills are also termed as “skills for the future” and “skills for green jobs”. The students were informed that in the future, millions of jobs would be created for the youth from this transition to a greener planet.

The students were also educated about the G20, how it was formed and what are its objectives in this fast-developing world. The countries under G20 account for two-thirds of the global population and 80 % of the Gross World Product (GWP). It works to address major issues related to the global economy, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.

Very recently, Himalaya Day was celebrated on 9th September, and the students were apprised of the importance of the Himalayas to the region. The Himalayas comprise the most dominating geographical feature of India and no other mountain range anywhere has affected the life of people, and shaped the destiny of a nation as the Himalayas have with respect to India. Students were educated about the Himalayan Ecosystem, which provides us with things that we benefit from and depend on – the ecosystem goods and services.

To make the talk interesting for the students, numerous questions regarding the Himalayas, Mission LiFe, and other environment-related were put to the students. Students were encouraged to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, shun single-use plastic, and work towards a green campus and at home. At the end of the programme, the Principal Mrs. Dechan Angmo was grateful to ICFRE-HFRI for choosing their school and imparting valuable information and knowledge sharing. She also requested us to conduct awareness programmes on the environment in the future too. The entire programme was coordinated by Mrs. Kunzes Dolma, Senior Lecturer (Botany), at the school.

Mission LiFe – a sustainable mission of every student of India

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

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