“Green Day”: An Evening Dedicated to Environmental Innovation
The Embassy of France in India, in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Fellows of Nature (an initiative of Kumaon Lit Fest), presented “Green Day: An Evening Dedicated to Environmental Innovation”, a side-event of the World Sustainable Development Summit.
New Delhi, 8 October 2016
The event featured a dialogue between environmental experts and artists committed to environmental protection and the fight against climate change, with the participation of Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director-General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Ms Miniya Chatterji, founder of a sustainability incubator in Sciences Po Paris, eminent French writer Mr. Jean Echenoz, and Dr. Vandana Shiva, founder of Navdanya.
The conversation was followed by the award of “Fellows of Nature” literary prize, a creative writing contest for the best short story on Nature. The award was announced earlier this year by Mr. Sumant Batra, founder of the Kumaon Literary Festival, and open to contestants across 8 countries in South Asia.
H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, opened the event, which took place on Saturday, 8th October 2016 at the Embassy of France.
Ajay Mathur is Director General of TERI, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He was Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the Government of India from 2006 till February, 2016, and responsible for bringing energy efficiency into homes, offices, and factories. Dr. Mathur was earlier with TERI from 1986 to 2000, and then headed the Climate Change Team of World Bank in Washington DC. He was President of Suzlon Energy Limited, also headed the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund.
He has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was also the Indian spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. He is a global leader on technological approaches to address climate change; recently, he joined the global group of industrial, financial and think-tank leaders to co-chair an Energy Transitions Commission which will suggest ways for companies and countries to move towards climate-friendly energy futures.
Miniya Chatterji is Chief Sustainability Officer for the Jindal Steel and Power Group of Companies, a business conglomerate whose main interests are in steel, power and infrastructure. Ms Chatterji works closely with the CEO to ensure long term, holistic, and strategic growth of the group of companies.
She is on the Steering Group for Sustainability United Nations Global Compact India, and the World Steel Sustainability Expert Group. She is on the team of the Social Credits initiative, member of the Board of The Economic Times Global Green initiative, and a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. She has won numerous awards. On an individual level, she has been awarded by the Navoothan Foundation for her personal social commitment. She has also been awarded the prestigious CSR India award 2016 for corporate social responsibility. Miniya is a Jury Member for The Circulars award at Davos. She is currently creating Sustain Labs Paris, embedded within Sciences-po Paris. Sustain Labs Paris will be the world’s first sustainability incubator.
Born in 1947, Jean Echenoz is a distinguished French novelist. He is the recipient of the prestigious French literary prize Prix Goncourt, awarded for his novel I’m Gone. He was also awarded Prix Médicis for his novel Cherookee in 1983. He is the author of 17 novels and his writings have often been compared with those of Joseph Conrad and Laurence Sterne.
Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a physicist and later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy. In 1982, she founded an institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to independent research on significant ecological and social issues, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For the last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organizations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Ensuring the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, the organization has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.
Mr. Sumant Batra is the founder and convenor of Kumaon Literary Festival, a not-for-profit annual literary festival held at Te Aroha in Dhanachuli in Uttarakhand. An accomplished lawyer, Sumant Batra is also the author of The Indians: Interesting Aspects, Extraordinary Facets, and other columns and publications.
Fellows of Nature has been founded to build a community of nature writers and revive interest in nature writing and reading, and through this form of literature, build awareness and develop respect for nature, and eventually help in conservation. The initiatives of Fellows of Nature will help put the spotlight on critical environment issues through literature.
Fellows of Nature have initiated an International Short Story Contest on nature writing. On the occasion of Green Day, the winner will be presented the FON South Asia Short Story Award, in collaboration with Kumaon Literary Festival.