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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 76

Swap Plants, Save Environment

By Ratan Saldi - Syndicate Features

On a sunny Sunday morning before Christmas, I saw a group of giggling young girls and boys in the Biodiversity Park in Hyderabad. Each one was carrying saplings of different varieties and sizes, carefully grown in pots of varied sizes and shapes.

The group spent over two hours discussing about the qualities of their saplings and how they would be grown into big plants, whether indoor or outdoor and how much sun shine or manure would be required.

What they were up to? Well, to swap saplings each one was carrying with others in order to grow more plants, Raina Kayshap, the event organizer told me, as I walked up to them while relishing the sweet fragrance of flora and fauna with my son and granddaughter Raina’s was a small effort to save environment from degradation.

The outcry to save environment is getting louder and louder by the day but precept and practice are separated by a large gap.

So, like Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon that proved to be a giant leap for mankind long years ago, Raina’s is a welcome stride to contain greenhouse gases – the first step to save the planet.

How did Raina mobilize the young brigade in what was the first ever such campaign in the city of Charminar.

“Instagram call, Uncle”, she said elaborating how she worked on ‘Swap Plants and Grow More’ mission. Besides swapping saplings, her group also distributes ‘seed balls’ to be sprayed in barren lands. This is a very cost effective method to increase green cover, according to experts.

Bengaluru, the city of gardens, witnessed similar effort in November under the aegis of Karvaan Foundation working in the perennially drought hit Latur belt of Maharashtra.

Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi will see a greening campaign later this month.

Cut to the Spanish city Madrid. On the very day – 15 December- the Hyderabad young brigade was demonstrating their resolve to save the climate, the Climate Change Conference, COP25 missed the woods for the trees. Leaders and experts from 197 countries could not go beyond the usual platitudes.

The final Madrid declaration merely drew global attention to urgently cut greenhouse gases in line with the 2015 Paris climate change agreement. No surprise the UN Secretary General has lamented that the international community has lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition to tackle the climate crisis.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, (IEA), Fatih Birol has echoed similar sentiments.

“The world urgently needs to put a laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions”, he observed and called for “a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is committed to tackling climate change.”

IEA expects a climate miracle from developed economies and fast developing nations like China and India. How? By reducing fossil fuel dependence for energy and development needs and thus checking large scale emission of carbon dioxide!

Asia accounts for 90 percent of all coal fired power plants, for instance.

How Asia addresses the issue is critical for the long-term success of any global effort to reduce emissions.

Hopefully, this December, the climate Ayatollahs meeting in Glasgow will address related issues such as long term financing, carbon market and higher mitigation targets to achieve zero emission level by 2050.

- Asian Tribune -

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