The third Annual Climate Asia Conference convened in Bengaluru highlighted our planet’s pressing challenges

From access to sign language interpreters to serving organically sourced cuisine, the conference introduced innovative initiatives

April 29, 2024 10:00 pm | Updated 10:17 pm IST - Bengaluru

Panel discussions from the third Annual Climate Conference.

Panel discussions from the third Annual Climate Conference. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRAGEMENT

Themed “Accelerating Climate Action: Bridging the Gap from Dialogue to Action,” the third Annual Climate Asia Conference that took place in the city recently, saw leaders and experts from diverse sectors speaking on our planet’s pressing challenges. Spread across two days, participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions spanning critical topics, including the feminist perspective on climate, mental health, capacity building in agriculture and many more. From access to sign language interpreters to serving organically sourced cuisine, the conference introduced innovative initiatives.

Feminist perspective

The opening panel, ‘Climate Action is at Crossroads: Why Does it Need a Feminist Approach,’ highlighted the urgent need for a feminist perspective in climate discourse. The panel featured insights from leaders such as Anjalli Ravi Kumar of Zomato Limited, Neha Saigal from Asar Social Impact Advisors, Uthara Narayanan of Buzz Women, and Aiswarya Ananthapadmanabhan of EquiLead, Climate Asia. They collectively underscored the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and marginalized groups and the necessity of including these communities in decision-making processes.

The second panel, ‘Climate Change and Mental Health in Marginalised Communities,’ co-hosted by Mariwala Health Initiative had speakers like Pranav Sethi from Geohazards Society, Ishwar Singh from Ek Potlee Ret Ki, Kalki Subramaniam from Sahodari Foundation, and Ruby Hembrom from Adivaani, revealed how climate change deeply affects marginalized groups, showing how lack of readiness, economic gaps, and exclusion compound their vulnerabilities.

The panel on ‘Bridging Climate Science and Action: The Essential Role of Capacity Building in Climate Adaptation,’ co-hosted by the Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy, focused on the urgent capacity-building needs among India’s small and marginal farmers. The speakers for this panel were Pramel Kumar Gupta from the National Coalition for Natural Farming, Dr. Indu K Murthy from CSTEP, and Koushik Yanamandram from Climate Asia. Pramel Kumar Gupta, said, “In India, 86% of the 15 crore farmers are small or marginal, and half of these farm mainly for their own consumption. This highlights the urgent need for CSOs to help bridge the gaps in livelihood and consumption.”

Green Skills

Day two kicked off with the panel ‘Empowering the Green Workforce: Cultivating Sustainable Skills for Impact,’ co-hosted by EY Global Delivery Services. The discussion, featuring Rumi Mallick Mitra from EY GDS, Dr. Mukund Raj from NABARD Consultancy Services, Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan from Sambhav Foundation & Labour Net, and Satyam Vyas from Climate Asia, highlighted the essential role of green skills in today’s job market. They emphasized reskilling through technology, sustainable practices for organizations, and the support of climate finance like green bonds. Satyam Vyas underlined the integration of climate awareness in every role.

The panel ‘Scaling Up Climate-Smart Agriculture in India: Opportunities for Entrepreneurs across the Value Chain,’ co-hosted by NSRCEL, featured insights from Archana Stalin of myHarvest Farms, Binu Cherian from HarvestPlus, Abhilash Sethi from Omnivore, and Vijaylaxmi Patil from NSRCEL. They explored sustainable agricultural practices, emphasizing the need for bio-fortification, reducing post-harvest losses, and improving technology adoption among smallholder farmers. Archana Stalin shared, “We support smallholder farmers by revitalizing their farming methods. Initially, we transitioned them from monocropping to a diverse ‘food forest’ model and introduced integrated livestock practices, natural pest controls, and improved water management.”

Apart from the panel discussion there was also an interactive workshop, which dealt with themes like climate action. From discussions on talent development towards climate future to exploring the significant role of digital solutions in agriculture, each workshop provided invaluable perspectives and actionable strategies for driving positive change in the face of climate challenges.

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