Founder HESCO Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, inaugurated the event as ‘Chief Guest’
By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 25th September 2020: UPES celebrated the United Nations’ International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone, World Ozone Day with its annual event ‘ATMOSFAIR 2K20’ – a student driven environment awareness program conducted under the aegis of the ‘Department of Health, Safety & Environment and Civil Engineering’ of the School of Engineering UPES. The events organized by ‘Green Up’ – a student-led club of the HSE Department, included a Webinar & Panel Discussion on ‘Climate Change, Risk Resilience & Livelihood Development in Contemporary World’. Renowned environmentalist and Founder & Head – Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), Padma Bhushan Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi inaugurated the event as Chief Guest and keynote speaker. Dr. Nihal Anwar Siddiqui, Program Director – HSE & Civil Engineering Department apprised that the celebrations were conducted in an online mode this year due to the prevalent pandemic. “No field activities were undertaken as part of the celebrations due to existing Covid-19 situation,” Dr. Nihal stated.
Briefing the media, Arun Dhand – Sr. Director, UPES informed that ‘ATMOSFAIR- 2K20’ was the 7th Edition of the event celebrated by UPES on the occasion of the World Ozone Day. “The day commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; the year 2020 marks its 33rd anniversary,” Dhand shared. Delivering his inaugural speech, Joshi shared his thoughts on ‘Development Vs Prosperity’ emphasizing that conservation & protection of natural resources should be among our top priorities. “Natural resources in India contribute to 50% of the nation’s GDP. The worldwide damage caused by Covid-19 has proven that we have to redefine our approach towards nature and come out of our ‘human centric development’ mindsets. We need to align ourselves with nature rather than try to fight it. As consumers of natural resources we also need to contribute towards its conservation & replenishment as well, the noted environmentalist said. Among the other prominent speakers, Dr. RBS Rawat – Chairman, Biodiversity PBR Monitoring V Committee – North, Government of India shared the hard-facts on the impact of climate changes. “The current decade 2011-20 recorded itself as the hottest decade ever witnessed by mankind and the year 2019 featured as the second hottest year on record. The climate change has resulted in a loss of over a million species in our planet earth. The more we disrupt our climate, the more we risk severe, pervasive and irreversible impact,” he said. Dr. Sunil Nautiyal, Prof. & Head – Centre for Ecological Economics & Natural Resources, Bangalore shared his insights on climate change and the driving force behind it. “The changes the world is witnessing are driven by economic factors rather than the climatic factors,” Dr. Nautiyal said citing his personal experiences. Dr. Deeksha Katyal from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Delhi highlighted ‘Water Quality Management & Consequences of Climate Change’ while Mr. Deepak Singh Bisht – Scientist ‘B’, National institute of Hydrology Jammu focused on several issues related to climate change, components of climate system, their processes and interactions.
The panel discussion saw participation of noted Plastic Surgeon, Padma Shri Dr. Yogi Aeron who explained how our origin depended on climate. “Climate is the deciding factor of our life and continuous increase in Earth’s temperature will lead to a rise in number of diseases viz. dengue, malaria and infant mortality,” he stated. Dr. Laxmi Prasad Pant – State Editor, Dainik Bhaskar Rajasthan shared experiences of his Kedarnath visit during the flashfloods in 2013. Dr. Rohit Joshi – Senior Scientist IHBT Palampur enlightened the audience on climate change referring to ‘UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report 2007’. Dr. Anant Pande – Wildlife Institute of India discussed on ‘Threats to Marine life from Climate Change’ while Senior Journalist Amit Bhanot urged the youth to work towards saving humanity from the effects of climate change.
Thanking the faculty members of the HSE Department, the Chief Coordinator Abhishek Nandan praised his colleagues Dr. Madhuben Sharma, Prasenjit Mondal, Dr. Bikarama Prasad Yadav, Arun P.A, Akshi K. Singh, Valluru Venkata Krishnakanth, Tabassum Abbasi, V Surendar, Dr. Kanchan Deoli Bahukhandi and Dr. SM Tauseef – Head, HSE & Civil Engg. for conducting the event successfully.