In 2021, Commonwealth Alumni were invited to design and deliver a climate action themed community-focused activity to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on their chosen community and share information on adaptation and mitigation measures which can be implemented.
Between 31 October – 13 November 2021, the UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). The summit brought parties together from all over the world to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Coinciding with COP26, the CSC delivered a range of climate-related activities to showcase the many ways in which Commonwealth Scholars and Alumni are working to tackle the worst effects of climate change. Alumni were also invited to design and deliver a climate action themed community focused ACEF activity.
Climate action ACEF activities
You can read about the climate action themed ACEF activities delivered by Commonwealth Alumni below – as well as the impact these activities had on their chosen community.
Between 24-25 February, Commonwealth Alumnus Bensolo Ken delivered awareness sessions on climate change to two communities in the Fayantina Local Level Government (LLG) of Henganofi District, Eastern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea. Being from the area, Bensolo’s activity shared information on locally experienced climate change effects and practical adaptation and mitigation measures. Bensolo is currently working with the United Nations Development Programme as Deputy Team Leader on the project Building Resilience to Climate Change.
On 11 February 2022, Commonwealth Alumnus Suzan Chawe organised a workshop to raise awareness around the impacts of climate change on forest resources used in basketry in Mlowa Village, Iringa Region, Tanzania. The workshop introduced the need to develop processes for the sustainable sourcing of grass reeds that protect both the forest ecosystem and the income of women basket weavers. Suzan is a Sociologist at the National Environment Management Council.
In March 2022, Commonwealth Alumnus Dr Naveen Pandey delivered a workshop titled ‘We Can Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change Through Education (WeMAC-e)’ in Kaziranga, northeast India. The aim of the ACEF workshop was to raise awareness of climate change in Kaziranga, inform residents about the far-reaching impact of climate change on humans and animals, and how they can increase their resilience and adapt to climate change.
Commonwealth Alumnus Gomezgani Nyasulu’s ACEF activity sought to raise awareness of the impact of improper waste management on climate change in Zomba, Malawi and the ways in which communities can adapt their waste management practices to address this. Working with Zomba City Council’s Patrick Manyalo, an Environmental Health Officer at the city council, Gomezgani’s activity highlighted the direct link between poor waste management practices and climate related disasters in Zomba. Gomezgani is an Environmental Health Officer in Zomba.
In February 2022, Commonwealth Alumnus Samwel Odongo Ouko delivered three dialogue sessions to representatives of community Water Management Committees (WMCs) and Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in Bunyala Sub-county in Kenya. The sessions were designed to strengthen the climate resilience management capacities of these two groups through the use of Community Score Cards (CSC). Samwel is a Program Manager working with a local NGO that promotes increased access to safe drinking water amongst vulnerable communities targeting girls and women. He was supported by Pascal Ondato Wanyama, Chairman of Bunyala Water Users Association, and Victor Magina, Water Officer in Bunyala sub-county, Kenya.
From 4 November 2021 to 30 January 2022, Commonwealth Alumni Farwa Tassaduq and Sana Ilyas delivered a short virtual course titled ‘Understanding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Respond to Climate Change’. The course was designed to equip new graduates and young professionals in Pakistan from different fields with the skills and knowledge to address climate change in their projects by focusing on the SDGs. The course was delivered over 12 sessions, with each session lasting two hours.
The Right to Repair is a global movement to ensure everyone has the right to fix the products they own and supports sustainable and responsible consumerism. Commonwealth Alumnus Dr Badziili Nthubu organised a Repairs Ecosystem Workshop in Gaborone, Botswana, to bring together entrepreneurs in the country working in the service and manufacturing industries. The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate discussion amongst entrepreneurs on the repairs ecosystem and how repairs can support efforts geared towards protecting our environment.
Throughout February 2022, Commonwealth Alumnus Beauty Kumari led a virtual cycle rally, ‘FebXCyclothon’ in Patna, Bihar. The cycle rally was aimed at young people and participants were encouraged to ride a bicycle anytime and anywhere during the weekends in February.