The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tata Steel Foundation launched Phase IV of the Green School Project at a virtual event that saw the participation of all stakeholders including students, teachers, and schools involved in the project. Beginning its fourth phase, the project has been extended to include Sukinda, a town in Odisha which is part of Tata Steel Limited’s operational area, to further its efforts around creating awareness among students on climate change, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
The new phase of the project was launched virtually in the presence of Mr R R Satpathy, General Manager – Corporate Services, Tata Steel Kalinganagar and Ms Anna Kujur, Eco-Revolutionist, Athkosia Adivasi Sangathan.
The new phase, aims to encourage teachers of partner schools to become peer planners and develop yearly plan of activities for their schools under the themes of climate action and SDGs.
Additionally, the project is introducing a new programme called the ‘Green Buddy Programme’ to help students become future change makers. The programme will see students associated with the project since its inception and who have developed their capacities on various aspects of sustainability, conduct and lead school activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Satpathy said, “Restoration of ecosystems is our key focus in Phase IV of the Green School Project. While our generation can help initiate this process of restoration, it is the students who have to work on imbibing these qualities in them and become change makers of tomorrow. We need to start from the basics and help them understand the value of resources and generate awareness around environmental degradation.”
Addressing the students further, he said, “Your generation needs to innovate and develop technologies to protect and restore the planet for a better future. The Green School Project has been performing well and with restoration being the new area of focus the scope of this initiative has grown exponentially.”
Addressing a session on Climate Change and SDGs, Ms Suruchi Bhadwal, Senior Fellow, Earth Sciences and Climate Change, TERI, said, “Reducing the use of fossil fuels and our interference with the environment while increasing the application of cleaner energies will help us mitigate the impacts of climate change. Sustainable development and the 17 SDGs thus hope to steer the global economies on a climate friendly pathway”.
The Green School Project was formally launched in April 2017 to help students across Tata Steel’s operational areas in Jharkhand and Odisha improve their critical, interdisciplinary, and holistic thinking. The focus of the project is to create awareness and enable the student and teacher fraternity to better understand their relationship with nature and make concerted efforts to conserve it through resource management initiatives at local levels.