People Too Should Fight Global Warming: Vice President

03 Dec 2007

December 3, 2007 New Delhi: Not just governments but individuals too will have to look for appropriate solutions to confront the global challenge of climate change, said Vice President of India, H.E. Mr. M. Hamid Ansari. Since there is very little awareness of the problem, governments should ensure that people are aware of the dangers of global warming. Presenting the awards to the winners of the South Asia round of the Dr. Mahbub ul Haq Memorial Inter-school Debate Completion at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Mr. Ansari congratulated the students on reaching the regional finals and asked them reaffirm their commitment by keeping the issue alive.

The topic of the debate was Unchecked consumerism and industrialization has led to global warming, which affects the poor. The rich are responsible. The debate raised a range of issues about the effects of climate change on the lives of the people of South Asia on their livelihoods, food security and health. They also focused on issues like disappearing ecosystems, melting glaciers and resulting water shortages and the possible displacement of millions of people due to rising sea levels.

In her keynote address UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Maxine Olson urged the students to take action and said, I believe that you represent hope and are capable of informed action that is necessary to fight climate change. You have an enormous capacity to influence the future. The Human development report 2007-08 captures the sense of urgency of action that is required now and calls for immediate action to protect people especially the poorest, who have the fewest resources to cope from the climate change that is already unavoidable Â… because, given the current carbon load in the atmosphere, we now know that the world will continue to warm.

The annual debating competition is organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies (RGCIS). The debate is in memory of Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, the father of the UNDP commissioned Human Development Reports and the Human Development Index on which countries are ranked based on their progress on three indicators of human development education, health and income.

Winning teams from six South Asian countries participated in the South Asia round of the debate on 3rd December 2007 in New Delhi. The poor suffer the most, whereas the rich use their money to adapt to rising temperatures and its impact on daily lives said Hina Iftikhar, a student from Pakistan and a member of the winning team.

In the team category, the Pakistan team was declared winners, and India took the runners-up trophy. In the individual category, Prerak Pradhan from Nepal was adjudged the winner in favour of the motion and Mohammad Aseel Hasan from Maldives was the winner against the motion.

The members of the jury included, Mr, Saeed Naqvi, veteran journalist, Mrs. Sushma Seth, noted theatre and film personality, Mrs. Surekha Subarwal, Regional Communications Adviser, UNDP, and Mr. K.N. Goswami, a well-known environmentalist.

The teams also met Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

World Environment Day [5 June 2007]
http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/2007/june/world-environment-day--20070605.en

MDG Carbon Facility launch [5 June 2007]
http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/2007/june/mdg-carbon-facility-launch.en