By Gauri Jagatap:
Heard of wwws and WWEs right? WWF is not far behind. WWF short for World Wide Fund for Nature, is an international NGO which aims at ‘conservation, research and restoration’ of the environment. An elaborate and colourful website for the same gives a clearer idea.
In an era of ever growing technology, we’ve seen a boom of electrical and electronic gadgets. The world energy consumption over the last two decades has shown a staggering growth of 27%. In India specifically, it grew by a whopping 91%.
India as a country, is facing severe ‘energy deficit’. On the plus side, there has been a rapid economic expansion. However, this very ray of light has led to a darkness of sorts, to protect from which, the country has had to import tons of crude oil as well as coal for electricity generation.
And so, comes to play, the role of WWF’s India chapter. With a hoard of innovative programmes for reducing ecological footprint, to incentives like their ‘Small Grants Program’, in which WWF offers up to Rs. 2,00,000 for carrying out conservation research, WWF has undertaken the responsibility for a better and secure energy and environment situation in India.
One of the most effective practices adopted by WWF is the ‘Earth Hour’. Millions across various cities across India and the world are urged every year to switch off all electrical appliances for an hour, saving a lot of energy. An interesting feature called the Earth Hour Champion was introduced this year, which focused on commending the city with the most energy saved, in India. The Earth Hour this year took place on the 31st of March.
Debt-for-nature swap was also conceived by WWF, formerly World Wildlife Fund, in 1984, in which a ‘portion of a developing nation’s foreign debt is forgiven in exchange for local investments in environmental conservation measures’. In such a way, developing nations have been encouraged to carry out eco-friendly activities.
In a way, WWF is right. The value-return for acts of environment conservation can only be partially reimbursed. In a scenario where the amount of energy utilized is 1.5 times the energy produced, such steps are a welcome change. Unless one is looking forward to the 2009 film Avatar-like situation, one may as well adopt the ways of ‘Green Living’ as suggested by WWF, instead of opting for an alienish-blue, a la Avatar.
Small things can lead to a big change. With a population of over a billion, every small effort by an individual gets magnified approximately 109 times. Switching off appliances when not in use, reducing usage of plastics, car-pooling, usage of public transport, are small ways in which one can contribute.
After all, energy is life. And the world may or may not end soon, but without energy, there isn’t much hope anyway. So save energy. Turn it off.