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Campus Leaders for Sustainable Development Programme Set to Kick Off

Thiruvananthapuram: In a bid to identify and mould young leaders from university and college campuses so as to lead the youth in various realms of sustainability, the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Thiruvananthapuram, acknowledged by United Nations University with its headquarters at Centre for Innovation and Social Action (CISSA), will kick start an innovative programme called Campus Leaders for Sustainable Development.

Dr Vandana Siva, renowned environmental thinker, philosopher of science and policy advocate, will formally launch the Campus Leaders for Sustainable Development programme at the Senate Chamber, University of Kerala at 930 am on December 23 (Saturday).  Sri T P Sreenivasan, Former Indian Ambassador, will preside over the function.

RCE Thiruvananthapuram, CISSA and the Department of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries, University of Kerala, will be partnering various government organizations, private entities and civil society organisations in addition to individual mentors committed to the cause of sustainable development, to implement and carry forward the programme.

Campus Leaders Programme ensures and widens youth participation in the process at a time when the whole concept of sustainable development has seldom become a topic of effective discussion in the campuses of India.  Among the many aims of the Campus Leaders Programme, one is to promote the principle of sustainability deep rooted in Indian culture through promoting the philosophy of ecological civilization. The focus will be centered on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At the regional level, the campus leaders will work on sustainability related to environment, economy and society with a strong focus on education for sustainable development.

As per the programme, a team of passionate youth leaders will be selected from each campus to take up and address sustainable development issues. They shall work actively towards spreading the message of sustainability in their milieu. They will act as the flag bearers of change by spreading the knowledge to the rest of the youth community. The campus leaders will be trained to create and facilitate changes and future change makers respectively.

UNURCEThe Campus Leaders will initiate activities such as analyzing and studying sustainability issues; action programmes channelising youth power; represent the collective voice of youth to authorities and policy makers; working and field immersion with communities; open discussions and debates; capacity building programmes; creating networks for sustainability; and creating resource materials and social media platforms for education for sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and agreed upon by the nations across the world, suggest an ambitious set of universal goals and targets to tackle the developmental challenges of humanity. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform the world are unique in that they call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

The Campus Leaders for Sustainable Development programme believes that the youth can serve as the catalysts for change not only for popularizing the philosophy of sustainable development, but also for implementing the programmes inevitable for sustainable future.