Indian Bishops laud tribal youth appointed to UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

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Indian Bishops laud tribal youth appointed to the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Bengaluru: The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), which is the national body of the 192 Latin Bishops in India, congratulates Ms Archana Soreng from Rourkela Diocese, Odisha Region, on her appointment to the United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on 27 July 2020.

She is one of the seven young global climate leaders – between the ages of 18 and 28 years – who will advise him regularly on accelerating global action and initiatives to tackle the worsening climate crisis as part of the UN Youth Strategy. “The announcement marks a new effort by the United Nations to bring more young leaders into decision-making and planning processes, as the UN works to mobilize climate action as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts. They will offer frank advice, perspectives and solutions on climate change, from science to community mobilization, from entrepreneurship to politics, and from industry to conservation,” said the United Nations communiqué.

Ms. Archana Soreng belongs to the Khadia Tribe and hails from Sundergarh District of Odisha. She is experienced in advocacy and research. She did her graduation in Political Science from the Patna Women’s College and completed her Masters of Arts in Regulatory Governance from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is currently working as
a Research Officer in Vasundhara, Odisha. She has been an active member of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) at the Diocesan and Regional levels and is also involved with indigenous youth groups to preserve, document and promote the traditional knowledge and practices of their communities.

She has participated in the 66th Session of the CESCR on 14th October 2019 at the UN Headquarters, Geneva, as an Indigenous Youth Representative from India. She is also a Member of YOUNGO (Youth Constituency of UNFCCC) and took part in the first ‘Global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land’ at the UNCCD COP 14, 2019; she was also part of ‘Youth Dialogue’ with Inger Andersen and Ibrahim Thiaw.

“Our ancestors have been protecting the forest and nature over the ages through their traditional knowledge and practices. Now it is on us to be the frontrunners in combating the climate crisis,” said Ms Soreng.

The seven young leaders appointed to the Advisory Body are: Archana Soreng (India), Nisreen Elsaim (Sudan), Ernest Gibson (Fiji), Vladislav Kaim, (Moldova), Sophia Kianni (United States), Nathan Metenier (France) and Paloma Costa Oliveira (Brazil).

In his address to the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, Pope Francis said, “While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. Let us not let it close. With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral, and capable of placing the economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.”

On 18 May 2020, the Pope dedicated the next one year to this cause, in commemoration of the five years of his encyclical “‘Laudato Si’: On the Care for Our Common Home”. He said “In these times of the pandemic, in which we are more aware of the importance of care for our common home, I hope that all the common reflection and commitment may help to create and strengthen constructive attitudes for the care of creation.”

“We are proud of Ms Archana Soreng and of the great contribution she makes to this prime global concern and we rejoice at the greater role bestowed upon her of helping preserve our common home by advising and guiding the United Nations, which are committed to this
cause,” said Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão, the President of the CCBI and Archbishop of Goa and Daman.

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