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An outreach programme to build local and community resilience to climate change in the Lakshadweep Archipelago

Communities in the Lakshwadeep Archipelago face an increasing threat of climate change and the long-term habitability and well-being of their communities. The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) climate change education and outreach project aims to establish durable communication networks with influential local groups and institutions in the Lakshadweep Archipelago, and use these ties to bridge the prevalent cause-and-effect information gap around climate change.

The project will be initiated on Kavaratti and Agatti islands by selecting around 10 suitable individuals on each island from across the administration, youth groups, fisherfolk, educational institutions, women collectives and influential civil society members. Using different outreach materials, four workshops will be conducted over a two-month period with these members to instil in them pride and awareness on the rich biodiversity surrounding their islands and make visible the increasing threats of climate change.

Post the workshops, the NCF will support the selected cohort to organise open biodiversity exhibitions in Kavaratti and Agatti and share their knowledge. The eventual goal of the NCF climate change and outreach project is to empower, educate, and mobilise the entire island populace. The project will be subsequently refined and replicated in the remaining eight islands of the archipelago in the future.

Researchers

KEVIN GEORGE


Kevin George is a firm believer in social development through knowledge sharing, He has contributed to multiple community development and content dissemination platforms over a seven year-long professional career. His varied range of interests and passions has allowed him to work in multiple disciplines across diverse domains. He started as a liaison between alternate-energy innovators and the government electricity board of Kerala during a tenure at Startup Village, India’s first public-private powered startup incubator. He later spearheaded the operations and community engagement function of a non-profit organisation that worked across the country to raise awareness and participation in hardware maker culture. A parallel interest in wildlife and nature led to a periodic engagement in various conservation efforts in his hometown and ultimately inspired him to join NCF. He now work with the Oceans and Coasts Programme of NCF in Lakshadweep, leading efforts to initiate dialogue and foster action with the local community around climate change and its impact on the islands.

SOMESH S. MENON


Somesh S Menon works with the Oceans and Coasts Programme at Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mysuru, and is currently engaged in executing a holistic community outreach project focussed on preserving local biodiversity and communicating climate change in the Lakshadweep Islands. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Madras Christian College, Chennai and a Master’s in Development from Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. His academic background has enabled him to engage with communities in diverse geographies of India, including villagers affected by human-elephant conflict in the villages of Sonitpur district in Assam and members of the Gond and Juang tribes in rural Odisha. He began his career with the Government of Gujarat’s Higher Education Department where he worked as a Research and Innovations Lead to implement the MHRD’s RUSA scheme in Gujarat. His experience in the development sector included organising community-level interventions with vulnerable youth affected by Gender Based Violence (GBV) across Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Bhopal through a UN-Habitat supported project. Prior to joining NCF, he worked as an editor with one of India’s largest education services company, writing on critical issues in the country’s higher education sector and counselling thousands of students through multiple digital platforms.



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