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This Year’s Global Climate Change Conference Has The Boldest Agenda Yet

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By Deepak John:

As of today, the Paris agreement has achieved a critical threshold with 86 parties representing 62 percent of the global emissions, ratifying the agreement. This political mass officially pushed the agreement into force. With the major parties on board with regard to the climate agenda and the Paris blueprint laid out, COP 22 at Marrakesh is all set to get the ball rolling towards climate action. The COP is rightly given the moniker of ‘action’ COP.

At COP 22, the task is to cut out, define and develop the finer actionable details into the broader framework of the Paris agreement. The transformative promises delivered at COP 21 needs to be shown as implementable road maps. The modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG) needs to be assessed and incorporated to meet the ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ set by the parties.

The new transparency mechanism with established guidelines to verify, measure and report the greenhouse emissions, is under consideration. This assumes even greater importance because the temperature will still rise by 2.7 degrees even if the countries deliver on their NDC promises. Hence, a proper accountability framework has to be built in and undoubtedly, this will be a tough task to meet.

Another sticky issue will be the mobilisation of funds by developed nations. As per Article 9 of Paris agreement, developed nations shall provide financial resources to assist developing countries. As per reports, the flow of climate funds has been dismal with roughly $10.3 billion.

This has been committed to the Global Climate Fund cumulatively in the past six years in contrast to the promised $100 billion annually. Despite the lack of political will, the technical inconsistencies and ambiguities involving the definition and scope of climate finance, are expected to be ironed out.

Also, the neglected area of adaptation efforts may also find place in the financial road map. The COP 22 has a multitude of contentious points to be discussed majorly revolving around technology transfers, global stock-take, clean energy, market mechanisms and trade issues. Unless these issues are rectified and appropriate course correction is taken, it will impede the momentum gained in Paris and slow down the progress towards climate action. Thus the COP gains critical importance and urgency. The successful settlement in these issues will be depending on the interplay of deft diplomacy, motivation levels and self-interest of member states.

India has always stood as the torchbearer of climate justice for developing countries. The recent press release by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, have reiterated its stance on climate justice and holding developed countries accountable for historical emissions. Being the fourth largest emitter, the efforts put in by India will have dramatic impact on climate change outcome. India has particularly embraced the path of renewable energy to mitigate climate change. It has put in a bold and ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 which was revised from its earlier target of 100 GW. India is now ranked among the top investment destinations for renewable power and fuels.

Manish Bapna, MD of World Resources Institute has said that India has one of the boldest renewable energy targets in the world, making it destined to be a major player in solar and wind markets. However, its efforts are sharply limited due to restricted means of implementation in the form of finance, technology and capacity-building support. India would achieve its target only if it receives financial support and discounted rates on cutting edge technologies from developed nations. The estimate says that it will require over $2.5tn to meet all its targets.  Hence it is crucial that India makes a pressing statement for a concrete road map towards climate finance and technology transfer in COP 22.

India has experienced erratic weather patterns in recent times which has spelt doom for this major rain-fed economy. The food security situation has worsened substantially. It has also seen increased intensity of climate disaster with 27 out of 35 states being disaster prone. This makes a solid case for reviewing the first year of loss and damage mechanisms. India needs to ensure that the loss and damage mechanisms provide tangible and concrete solutions and do not remain in ambiguity.  This is especially of concern for developing nation and island nations.

It is to be seen how the member states will carry forward the momentum generated in Paris and if the political will would materialise in Marrakesh. Although it is clear that the COP 22 will need to show real urgency and expediency to realise the fairy tale story of COP 21.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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