We are proud to announce that, in partnership with the University of Bremen, Germany and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore organized with great success the 2nd International Environmental Youth Conference "Greening with Goethe" - the interdisciplinary environmental project that has been awarded the UNESCO tag of "Project of the Decade" Award for 2012-2013.
This environmental project - a farsighted initiative by Dr. Anne Renate Schönhagen of the Language Department of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore - brought together students from Europe and South-Asia to discuss possible solutions for a greener and more sustainable living from December 1 to December 3, 2012.
"Greening with Goethe" is a part of the Year of Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities.
The highlight of the conference was also the participation of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India who consented to interact with the young delegates during the grand finale. Excited about the young students' commitment, Dr. Kalam delivered a Keynote Address and debated the role of politics in environmental protection with the delegates.
Report on the proceedings of the conference:
The first day of the conference saw a vibrant inauguration well attended by the heads of various organizations like the Pollution control board and so on who commended the effort made by the Goethe Institut in this direction in very rich words. This was followed by activities such as a Scientific Speed-Dating and a Poster Quiz that gave the 150 young students from 33 different schools and four nations the opportunity to get to know each other and learn about the other school projects.
The cluster meetings in the afternoons focused on the conferences' main topics waste, biodiversity, energy and mobility. During these meetings students were given the opportunity to present their projects among fellow delegates focusing on the same problems. Each presentation was then discussed within the cluster group, while environmental experts from the University of Bremen and the Indian Institute of Science gave valuable advice on how to pursue the projects to achieve their respective goals.
Student representatives from the clusters went on to discuss each issue in a senate or mock parliamentary setting. Students decided on policies and discussed an action plan to implement these policies.
The policy and action plan were discussed thoroughly and students worked hard throughout the workshop meetings to find and agree upon common measures for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, through the senate with elected representatives from each of the 5 clusters. This catalogue of measures "The 2nd Bangalore Youth Declaration" was then presented to Dr. Kalam on the final day of the conference.
The conference concluded with more commitment and enthusiasm from the students who are determined to make a difference in the world that they live in.