National Youth Forum on Green Solutions in India


ICIMOD and the YUVA Foundation, together with Plant a Tree India, the Asia Pacific Youth Task Force on Rio+20, and SEED, organized a National Youth Forum on Green Solutions in Rishikesh, India 9-11 December. About 40 youth participants from seven mountain states of India – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Mizoram - attended talks by various mountain experts, made presentations on issues facing their states, participated in team building and leadership activities, and explored their role in shaping the emerging green economy. The event, which coincided with International Mountain Day, culminated with a Youth Declaration on Green Solutions in India, which will guide youth activities across the Indian Himalayas.

Shantanu Gupta, founder and director of the YUVA foundation, briefed participants on the objectives and expected outputs of the Youth Forum. Speakers from various institutes presented on a range of topics including:

  • impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems;
  • the need to change consumption habits to reduce our carbon footprint;
  • challenges facing mountain agriculture due to climate change and various adaptation and mitigation measures;
  • issues, challenges, and solutions to address pollution of the Ganges River;
  • the importance of corporate social responsibility and its implications; and
  • linkages between the sustainable mountain development agenda and the movement toward a greener economy.
The main highlight of the event was a series of presentations by youth on their role in the emerging green economy. Presentations were followed by a knowledge café on identification and prioritization of climate change and adaptation-related challenges and issues in the context of the Indian Himalayas from a youth perspective. 

On the last day, a field trip to the Ganges River led by Dr K.K. Upreti gave participants an opportunity to interact with a groups of villagers that had led a participatory 37-day hunger strike for their right to access various government services.