Tavush climate challenges in the focus of the EcoThon at UWC Dilijan

12-11-2019 12:46:01   | Armenia  |  Press release
 The “EcoThon Tavush” organized by Women in Climate and Energy (WICE) NGO in the frame of EcoQuest and in partnership with United World College Dilijan took place at the College campus on November 8. The event was supported by GIZ and UNDP Climate change programme. Nikolai Grigoryan, RA Tavush Governor’s Advisor, represented the government of the region. The aim of the EcoThon was to bring together interested stakeholders, grassroots and community members to jointly define climate challenges that Tavush region faces and develop solutions that could have a positive impact.

The EcoThon consisted of the
matic sessions, round tables, UWC Sustainability Group project presentations and working with mentors. Technical sessions covered topics such as deforestation, climate change, renewable energy and waste management. The participants brainstormed on challenges that Tavush region faces and practical, doable steps communities can implement to mitigate those. 
"We at UWC Dilijan believe that education is a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. With students from 82 countries under our roof, we have brought the world to the doorstep of the larger community of Tavush. Now is the time to open our doors to work together for a sustainable future. Engagement is the keyword to our success. Our education would remain incomplete without it," said Gautam Banerji, Sustainability Coordinator at UWC Dilijan.
“Children and youth are the least responsible for climate change, but they will bear the greatest burden of its impact. We have engaged youth to participate in solving issues that their communities have. Small solutions can have a great impact if we involve all the groups of our society, including youth and women. Today we have more than 50 participants from different communities of Tavush region, we have here governor’s advisor, high-level professionals from UNDP, GIZ, UWC Dilijan, AUA Acopian Center for the environment, representatives of NGOs and the private sector, today we are united for a brighter future,” said Nune Sakanyan, founder and president of Women in Climate and Energy NGO.
"Armenia is among countries vulnerable to climate change. Steps towards mitigation as well as adaptation to conditions resulting from climate change have become a prerequisite for the country's sustainable development. The course of actions needs to be systematised on the national level through a National Adaptation Plan covering all vulnerable sectors, however active participation at the community level is necessary to ensure proper implementation of the 
defined actions," said Gohar  Hovhannisyan, National Adaptation Plan in Armenia UNDP-GCF Project Coordinator.
UWC Dilijan met with EcoQuest, the prime mover of EcoThon Tavush, in October as a part of College’s engagement with the larger community and through the initiative of the newly created Sustainable Development Group in the College. The idea of an EcoThon originated at this meeting in the presence of representatives of the local municipality, the local high school, GIZ organisation and many other community representatives from Dilijan, including the local Forest Ranger. Challenges facing the province under an expanding urban development, often at the cost of denuding a fragile physical environment and the increasing demands on limited civic amenities were discussed. Commitment towards working together for sustainable development of the urban community arose there. The “EcoThon Tavush” is the first step in planning towards that effort.  
  -   Press release
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