Emphasising the necessity of sensitising youths about climate change, the EMK Center organised a three-day-long Environment Day campaign that ended on 7 June.
The campaign started on 5 June with the opening ceremony of a virtual exhibition at the EMK Center's website. It also included a series of panel discussions and music programmes attended by hundreds of participants.
"When we are talking about climate change to the students and youth, we are reaching out to them with scientific terms. If we cannot explain it to them clearly in our country's context, it will be very difficult to get an action from them," said Asif Uddin Ahmed, acting director of the EMK Center, at the launching ceremony of the virtual exhibition.
The virtual exhibition will be live throughout the month with a series of artworks and photographs by renowned photographers and artists.
Most notable among the artworks at the exhibition are a painting series by US-based artist Louis Nuyens, photojournalist Abir Abdullah's photography series "Climate Refugees in Bangladesh," Mohammad Rakibul Hasan's "Park life" and Shehab Rahmania's work on river and nature.
The virtual exhibition opening ceremony was followed by a virtual discussion of climate change and development.
The chief guest at the programme was former Bangladesh Bank governor and prominent economist Dr Atiur Rahman, who pointed out three simultaneous problems that we are facing as a nation: challenges of climate change, the ongoing pandemic and the challenges of preserving biodiversity.
"This pandemic and the lockdown have shown how we have mistreated nature for a long time," the former Bangladesh Bank governor opined.
On the second day of the campaign, the EMK Center hosted a youth-led panel discussion on the role of youth in tackling climate change, in partnership with Youth Policy Forum and ARA.
Youth Policy Forum's Environment Network Lead Afsara Mirza said, "According to a UNICEF study, 94% of youth in Bangladesh want to take part in tackling climate change."
An expert of sustainable energy, Shafiqul Alam said, "Renewable energy and energy efficiency are two major levers in mitigating greenhouse gas and tackling climate change globally."
He claimed that, due to the innovations that took place in the last three to four decades, renewable energy mechanisms have been made much cheaper.
"Youth at the local level, even if many of them are not familiar with the terms we use, realise the adverse effects of climate change," said Tanvir Ahmed Haroon, an academician from Independent University, Bangladesh. "But they are facing challenges to educate the older generation who do not understand the long-term effects of climate change," he added.
With the EMK Center as the strategic partner, The Earth Society organised the two-day-long Climate Camp 2021 to create a platform to recreate, reimagine and restore nature through the participation of youth.
"We need to go deeper for mitigation, to protect our people from getting inundated due to the sea level rise and river erosion, and from becoming climate migrants," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen who attended the opening ceremony of the camp as the chief guest.
In the two-day-long camp, 50 organisers and 454 participants joined the Climate Camp and collaborated with the Earth Society from all the corners of Bangladesh to organise programmes in their local communities.
The camp ended with a closing ceremony on 6 June, attended by the Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen and Acting Director of EMK Center Asif Uddin Ahmed.
As a part of the campaign, the EMK Center's Education USA hosted a virtual discussion session to address how studying environmental science and related subjects, such as social sciences, geo-sciences, environmental chemistry, ecology, and atmospheric sciences can help students to learn about protecting the planet's resources.