On 21 March 2021, a virtual dialogue session was held with Mrs.Ouided Bouchamaoui, co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize 2015, Mr. Saurabh Gupta, CEO of Earth5R, Mr. Anssi Mikola, founder of River Recycle and a senior entrepreneur from Finland and Earth5R team leaders and citizen volunteers.
The event was hosted by Earth5R founder, Saurabh Gupta and facilitated by Ms. Aishani Raghav, citizen volunteer at Earth5R.
Mrs. Bouchamaoui at Earth5R is the Board Member and Advisor for global, social and economic development, helping communities develop new programs for inclusive sustainable development (Pic Credit: UN Organization)
Mrs. Ouided Bouchamaoui was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for the key role played by her in starting the Tunisian Revolution (Pic credit: World Economic Forum)
The Nobel Prize committee’s decision for Mrs. Ouided Bouchamaoui has been described as “rewarding hope rather than a finished product”. She is the leader of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and a staunch supporter of women empowerment.
Mrs. Bouchamaoui spoke to Earth5R team leaders about a new “Global Climate Change and Circular Economy Revolution” focussing on women empowerment, circular economy and leadership traits
Initiating Community Dialogue and Forwarding the Agenda of the Meet
The dialogue was commenced by Saurabh Gupta, who firstly introduced the Earth5R team leaders and citizen volunteers, the real frontline change-makers. A brief overview about their ongoing work regarding climate change, leading communities towards sustainable lifestyles, engaging with the slum communities with Solid Waste Management and Circular Economy for Livelihood Training Program was highlighted.
He also presented the agenda of the dialogue session as follows:
“Transitioning from local to global community such as African nations, South America, South-East Asia and the Arab world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and create a resilient world community to address the challenges of climate change, gender equality, education, health, poverty and waste menace.”
In the concept note delivery, a brief overview about the Earth5R organization, how it started, the Earth5R values in their order i.e. Respect, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore, business-oriented model solutions, incentivization of sustainability were elaborated.
The Earth5R team leaders in dialogue session with Mrs. Ouided Bouchamaoui
Flagship Community Projects under Earth5R
The upcycling program under the Earth value “Reuse” is where majorly women-empowerment aimed work under Earth5R’s Livelihood, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Training for Women comes into play. Here, huge opportunities can be availed where handicrafts and sustainable products can be made from waste that can help generate revenue and empower the local community women.
In community programs under the Earth value “Recycle”, citizens are paid in exchange for the waste which is then collected and recycled by the Earth5R team – business model oriented solutions such as Circular Economy- Waste to Livelihood Program, sustainability has to be incentivized since charity can’t be sustained for long periods of time.
Insights on following major projects of Earth5R were further discussed:
- HOME EQUALS PLANET PROJECT- The main objective of this project is to mobilize a large group of youth, citizens, businesses and government organizations to collaborate and work together to create resilient, safe and sustainable local communities. In line with the 17 interlinked SDGs, this program focuses on 15 tangible actions that make a difference in an individual’s lifestyle choices and create lasting impact on the environment.
- TECHNOLOGY FOR A GREEN FUTURE- Here, the focus lies on clean sustainable technology i.e. solar-based through which the waste can be recycled. Currently, Earth5R in partnership with United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL), Huhtamäki Oyj, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and RiverRecycle is cleaning up the Mithi River in Mumbai with innovative tools while raising conscious awareness on waste management with a circular economy and livelihood based model.
Earth5R’s Flagship Projects
Other than that, the Earth5R team under Solid Waste Management and Circular Economy for Livelihood Training intends to translate the community training material into the local language of other nations to spread their flagship community training program.
Earth5R has been selected to present its model to heads of 84 nations at Paris Peace Summit 2018.
With the help of well structured and a functioning framework of Earth5R flagship Programs, the focus now will be to envisage the global presence of these community action programs to create lasting impact
A Case for Small Steps
Mrs. Bouchamaoui emphasized on the fact that ‘change’ starts from various small steps and with the current Earth5R flagship projects that initiate change from homes, we need to come forward to further educate and expand in other countries, participating and collaborating with various stakeholders in this endeavour. More people, particularly women, need to be trained in the transformation of waste into resources such that different sources of income get generated for them.
Reinforcing the Community Dialogue Commitment towards a Sustainable Future for All
The way forward lies in fostering the Earth5R projects and training on a global scale through the involvement of various stakeholders such as social media, government, global citizens, international organizations, schools and educational institutions, industries and authorities.
Overall, these models need to be replicated in other civil societies so that productive and efficient handling of waste creates a better future for the coming generations. The dialogue concluded with an outlook on possible further developments for the coming months.
Just as Ms. Bouchamaoui transitioned her country Tunisia into a democratic nation, Earth5R firmly believes that her guidance and collaboration in tackling the global challenges of climate change and sustainability will soon bring about another ‘revolution’ at a global level.
Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office in Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across India.
-Reported by Trisha Garg