Neelima Mishra, the only youth from Odisha who was an official participant for the Climate Force: Arctic 2019 Expedition, will attend the ‘Dharitri Youth Conclave 2022 on Climate Change: The Power of Youth’ as an expert panelist. Speaking to Orissa POST, Mishra stated that Climate change has the potential to derail growth and deepen poverty apart from causing large-scale devastations.

“Climate change has the potential to derail growth strategy and deepen poverty apart from causing large-scale destructions to lives, properties and livelihood,” said Neelima Mishra, who is an active campaigner involved in raising awareness about hazards of single-use plastics.

Neelima, who has graduated with an M. Phil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2022, on the Chevening Scholarship (funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said, “I have completed my post-graduation in Forestry Management, from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. This helped me gain sector specific knowledge about the environment and sustainable development. I have also worked in various capacities and positions as a consultant to the state government from 2013 to 2021.

Regarding her participation in Climate Force Arctic Expedition, 2019, organised by the 2041 Foundation, she said she was the only participant from Odisha among 80 people from all over the world to reach the Arctic, earning an accolade from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. This expedition, which was supported through crowd funding and various corporate sponsorships, was an opportunity to learn the intricacies of climate change by seeing them real time and directly from the sustainability experts.

She said that after her experiences at the Arctic, she registered herself with ‘Ceiba Green Solutions’, a social enterprise focusing on household solid waste management, in 2019. “We have reached out to nearly 100 organisations/apartments and approximately 5,000 citizens making them aware about waste and resource management,” said Neelima.

She has also been felicitated with the Young Sustainability Professional – Jury Appreciation Award by Wipro Foundation and School of Sustainability, XIM University in June 2022. She was a TedX speaker at XIMB in February 2020.

“Last month, I had also received a micro seed grant of $900 from the Pollination Project to develop a ‘compost café’ in Bhubaneswar which will act as a learning and demonstration centre for waste segregation and various types of composting like aerobic, pipe, stack, DIY, vermicomposting among others. The aim is to get citizens involved in the process of responsible waste management at homes, schools and communities,” she mentioned.

“Climate change has the potential to derail growth strategy and deepen poverty apart from causing large-scale destructions to lives, properties and livelihoods,” Neelima opined. Planting trees and then taking care of them is the best solution, she said adding that segregating waste and composting organic waste is another solution.