Students of classes 8-12 from Kolkata and the Sundarbans came together for the conference of schools (COS) 2023 on Saturday afternoon to discuss how to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to them. The purpose of this event was to provide pupils the chance to demonstrate their problem-solving abilities and to network with influential decision-makers and sustainability specialists.
Around 26 schools from all around Kolkata and 54 students from the Sundarbans attended the conference. The theme for COS 2023 was ‘Mitigation and Adaptation Solutions’ proposed by youth to Climate Change Challenges in Kolkata and Sunderbans.
The topics of focus of this conference included Urban greenery, Blue Infrastructure (waterbodies, lake systems, wetlands and rivers), traffic congestion, air pollution, waste (upcycling, recycling, management, segregation), sustainable mobility (electric vehicles, nonmotorised transport), survival of Sundarbans, and natural disasters. Students presented their insights and solutions in English, Hindi or Bengali.
The innovative platform provided students with an unprecedented opportunity to learn practical skills like critical thinking, writing and research, teamwork, problem solving, and public speaking in order to deepen their understanding of topics related to climate change, research local issues, and design solutions that can be replicated at scale.
Under the direction of mentors, the school delegates worked on the subject and brainstormed together to identify the best methods and ideas to address climate change.
“It was important to share the voices of youths on how to tackle climate change challenges at local and regional levels. It was more important because we all will face the consequences of climate change today or tomorrow. We need strength and power for this as the youths have the capacity to tackle this and that is the reason we were all here today to listen to them,” said Pauline Laravoire, co-founder, Y-East.
The winners of Conference of Schools 2023 were Techno India Group Public School, Garia (winner), Shri Shikshayatan School (first runner-up) and Mahadevi Birla World Academy (second runner-up).