Dubai: An Indian expat student Sagarika Sriram, 17, participated in a panel discussion held in the e prestigious COP27 – the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference being held until November 18 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Sriram, on November 10, gave the closing remarks on climate education where she highlighted the need for youth to be heard when it comes to their dynamic views on sustainability.
“I am here at COP27 to provide a youth’s perspective on sustainability and how youngsters can have their voice heard. One of the things I stressed on is how awareness must be raised in schools. My closing remarks pushed for the youth around the world to be heard when it comes to their sustainable goals,” she said.
Sriram, a Year 13 student of Jumeirah College, was invited by Child Rights International Network (the UK based NGO she works with) and Terre de hommes (who facilitate the UN Child Rights Committee discussions) to attend COP27.
How it all started
Sriram started her environmental activism at the age of 11. Currently she holds the position of UN climate advisor. Her website Kids for a Better World has been updated and now has a CO2 calculator.
“My niche is getting people to engage in eco-activities. I have spent a lot of time supporting other like-minded people from all over the world as they lead their projects.”
Sriram founded Kids4abetterworld a ”Kids for Kids” technology platform that connects young children to drive sustainability projects in their communities.
At the age of 10, Sriram’s love for animals and nature sparked her passion for environmentalism , when she watched a NatGEO video on whales which had washed up onshore as a result of an oil spill and turtles founds dead with plastic in their belly. “I could not understand how our actions as humans were causing so much harm to the environment,” she said.
That set the base for her to begin chasing her sustainable goals.
K4Bworld conducts awareness workshops on sustainability, recycling and waste management, beach and desert clean-ups and projects related to marine conservation. It aims to educate, motivate and activate children to conserve natural resources, protect biodiversity and positively impact climate change.
Through a unique incentive system called the Green Cart, children who are K4BWorld members earn points for their eco-friendly activities such as recycling, reducing single use plastic, saving water and energy at home and planting trees in order to redeem instant rewards. This system motivates children and rewards behavioural change as they track their progress against defined goals and reduce their individual carbon footprint.
K4B World also recently launched a carbon calculator in partnership with AQ Green TeC to enable children to become aware of their own carbon footprint in order to drive sustainable behaviour.
Sriram, who is finishing high school, said she has opted to take a gap year to fulfil her commitment towards sustainable living. “It is a lifestyle and I want to spread awareness among youth. That is my goal for next year.”