Odisha’s “Commons Climate Connect” to push COP26 to address conservation as means to combat climate change 

Bhubaneswar: In the first week of November, world governments will gather in Glasgow for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to identify climate change action targets and spearhead new projects to meet objectives under the Paris Climate Accords. Three Odisha-based organizations – The Water Initiatives, SWATI, and the Foundation for Ecological Security – have seized upon the occasion to launch “Commons Climate Connect.” With support from the U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad, Commons Climate Connect will mount a social media campaign that will push COP26 to address conservation as a means to combat climate change.


“This initiative will call on the negotiating parties at COP26 to emphasize the conservation of ecosystems such as natural forests, rivers, and water bodies that are the common resources on which millions depend for their lives, cultures,  and livelihoods,” said Ranjan Panda, noted water and climate expert, and Convenor of Water Initiatives.  “We are happy that the U.S. Consulate at Hyderabad has agreed to support this campaign,” he said further.


Commons Climate Connect will feature community members, including those from the indigenous communities, and everyday citizens from Odisha whose day-to-day lives have been affected by climate change and environmental degradation. Videos and other social media content will show how the conservation of forests and wetlands can empower indigenous communities to use local know-how to combat climate change. The campaign will urge the negotiating parties in Glasgow to concretize their 100 Billon USD climate fund pledge and make climate finance easier to access for developing countries.


“While world leaders meet in Glasgow, some of the solutions they seek can be found in places like Odisha,” said Joel Reifman, Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad. “Indigenous communities have a special interest in the preservation of natural resources. Commons Climate Connect will showcase just how communities in Odisha can contribute to the fight against climate change.”


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