Indian groups to vie for Rs.4 mn green award

April 3rd, 2008 - 4:49 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 3 (IANS) Sierra Club, the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organisation in the US, has announced a new Rs.4 million ($100,000) Green Energy and Green Livelihoods Achievement Award to honour an outstanding environmental project carried out successfully. Sierra Club’s executive director, Carl Pope, said Thursday that the honour is to recognise the environmental endeavour of civil society organisations be they NGOs, small businesses or labour unions working at the grassroots level in India.

The winner of the first Green Energy and Green Livelihoods Achievement Award will be announced early next year.

The primary aim behind the award is to build public support for community organisations in India that are helping the nation “in leapfrogging past polluting and inefficient technologies in order to create not just a green economy but also creating green livelihoods”.

Apart from the award, Pope also said the Sierra Club plans to establish a centre for “Green Livelihoods” in India, in collaboration with other civil society organizations.

Founding member of Sierra Club’s India Advisory Council Sunil Deshmukh criticised the western model of day-to-day societal functioning, saying: “Western lifestyles, typified by a wasteful and inefficient use of polluting energy resources, have set a poor example for citizens in developing economies. It is time that both India and America realise that dependence on carbon fuel takes a heavy price in the long run.”

Pritipal Singh Kochhar, another founder member of Sierra Club’s India Advisory Council, added that the award will be for organisations “who have decided to work at the grassroots to cut carbon emissions in novel and innovative ways”.

Stephen Mills, Sierra Club, director of international programmes, said that industrialisation in America and Europe created a climate crisis and the impact of this global warming is going to be felt more forcefully in India. “It is important that we collaborate on both economic and environmental solutions,” he added.

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