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Monday, July 4, 2011

young bhutanese and americans to bike for climate change

A group of young Bhutanese and Americans will take a journey to find out what climate change really means from a farmer to a hydropower engineer

Around 15 youth from Bhutan and the United States will set out on a biking expedition from Bumthang to Thimphu this month, learning on the way different aspects of climate change from the experiences of common people.
The 15-day “Bike to the Climate Summit” will have different themes each day exposing the bikers to harsh realities of climate change faced by a common farmer to a hydropower engineer.
The program officer of Bhutan Foundation, Jamyang Tashi, said the ride is an opportunity for the youth to learn about how climate change affects the lives of many different people in the country. “We are focusing on the youth because they will be inheriting the affects of climate change in future,” he said.
Based on their experiences, the participants will prepare recommendations that will be presented to political leaders at the regional Climate Change Summit to be held in November in Bhutan. The youth will also identify and adopt a community project to keep them connected even after the summit.
“They (youth participants) will capture their experiences on video along the way and will be screened during the Bhutan Climate Summit,” said Jamyang Tashi.
The executive secretary of Bhutan Climate Secretariat, Tashi Jamtsho, said the program is also aimed at creating an opportunity for youth from different cultures and countries to interact with and learn from each other.
He said that the event, a run-up to the summit, will help youth understand what climate change is really about. “We can get in experts on climate change but we also need firsthand experiences of people on the effects of climate change,” said Tashi Jamtsho.
Nicky Phear, instructor and program director of the University of Montana’s Climate Change Studies program, who will be participating in the event was quoted as saying in,: “This year, the big purpose of the trip is to prepare students to have a voice in the climate change summit,”
She said that she would be going back with more global awareness on climate change as a global issue and the effects felt by other parts of the world.
The event is organized by Bhutan Foundation and Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation.

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