To commemorate World Environment Day and raise awareness on the
increasingly harmful effects of air pollution, The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) School of Advanced Studies (SAS) organised a day-long workshop here.
TERI SAS, serving as the regional adviser for UN Environment Education and Youth Alliance, kicked-off a one-day World Environment Day 2019 workshop on 'Beat Air Pollution' at TERI SAS campus, here.
This is part of the four-month long engagement, an initiative to reach out to the community to make them aware about the problems emanating from air pollution and develop action plan to tackle it.
Atul Bagai, Head, UN Environment, India said, 'Research, sound policies, monitoring and effective implementation, forms the bulwark of any environmental action.
Education cuts across all these pillars. UN Environment's joint initiative with TERI SAS to
educate and raise awareness on air pollution with teachers and students is a great endeavour to help Beat Air Pollution.'
Mr Manjeet Singh Saluja, National Professional Officer (Environment and Public Health), WHO, India, emphasised upon the need to treat air pollution as a health emergency.
"We need to ensure everyone's involvement towards this multi-sectoral issue where youth
can be the torch-bearers of knowledge dissemination.
A community approach would bring in not just greater awareness but also people's participation to
combat pollution, in their homes, in the communities they live in and their workplaces," he said.
Mr Valentin Foltescu, Senior Programme and Science Officer, Climate & Clean Air Coalition
and UN Environment, India in his opening address reiterated the fact that air pollution is a
global urgency impacting all especially, unborn babies, children and women.
He further added that air pollution is now everyone's concern and each one is a stakeholder.
The economic costs involved are tremendous. Tackling air pollution requires concerted
and focused actions by making simple yet global, collective and sustainable choices.
Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced Studies, in her address lamented the lack of long-term strategy and a sustained effort to tackle air pollution in cities, including Delhi. 'This is despite the fact that air pollution touches our lives more closely and adversely than a number of other issues that bring us to the streets in protest or attracts political attentions'.
'Combating Air Pollution' panel discussion which was chaired by Mr Valentin Foltescu
comprised panelists--Dr Shashi Ranjan, Director, PERSAPIEN, Mr Sunil Dahiya,
Clean Air Campaigner, Greenpeace, Ms Ridhima Shukla, Correspondent, NDTV and
Ms Prerna Sharma, Project Officer, Clean Air Asia.
Teachers, youth and practitioners during the breakout sessions deliberated
on action each group can take at the institutional, community and individual levels to
combat air pollution.
While the workshop helped in developing an understanding of the cause and impact of air
pollution, it also created a sense of responsiveness among them to combat the issue
through improved technology, lifestyle, behavioral changes and integration of exercises on
environmental education with specific focus on air pollution in school and college curriculum.
Philips, one of the sponsors of the workshop and the ongoing campaign by TERI SAS and UN Environment organised live demonstrations of air quality monitoring equipment and air purifiers for the participants to get a real-time experience of the technology being used for measuring and abating air pollution.
Tide Turners-Young Leaders Plastic Challenge India, a youth initiative by UN Environment, WWF-India and Centre for Environment Education was alsolaunched to address the issue of plastic pollution on World Environment Day.
Ms Radhika Suri, Director of Environment Education, WWF and Mr Kartikeya
Sarabhai, CEE India were present during the launch and spoke about the initiative and its objectives.