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Kathleen Rogers is the President of Earth Day Network. Kathleen has developed Earth Day Network into a year-round policy and activist organization. Now more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day in 192 countries.
Kathleen has been at the vanguard of developing innovative financial mechanisms to support green buildings and schools. Kathleen also founded Earth Day Network’s groundbreaking Billion Acts of Green program, which has now recorded close to 3 billion individual actions to improve the environment.
She is a frequent commentator on environmental issues in the media and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and NPR, as well as in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times and many other international and national newspapers and journals.
Prior to her work at Earth Day Network, Kathleen held senior positions with the National Audubon Society, the Environmental Law Institute, and two U.S. Olympic Organizing Committees. As Chief Wildlife Counsel for the National Audubon Society, she oversaw international trade, migratory species, and biodiversity programs, and was responsible for bringing the first citizen complaint before the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the tri-national agency created to oversee North American environmental issues.
Kathleen serves on various boards and as Regional Focal point for North America Region of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Network of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), now known as the GEF-CSO Network to serve a four-year term from June 30, 2018, to June 29, 2022.
She is a graduate of the University of California at Davis School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the law review and clerked in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Read More: How She Leads
Susan Bass, Senior Vice President, Programs and Operations, has worked for over 20 years as an environmental attorney and public interest lawyer, focusing on capacity-building, public participation, human rights, and international issues. Susan also worked for law firms in New York and Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate, banking and securities law. During her tenure as Director of the Inter-American Program at the Environmental Law Institute, Susan presented educational workshops and events for judges, prosecutors, congressional representatives and citizen activists in over a dozen countries in the region, produced research and policy reports on cutting-edge sustainable development issues and supervised a Visiting Scholars program. She also served as an Environmental Representative on the United States Delegation for the negotiation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Technical Advisor to the Organization of American States for the development of the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation, and Consultant to the International Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development project.
Susan worked as a volunteer attorney with the International Human Rights Law Group, receiving a Pro Bono Service Award in honor of her efforts and interned with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Susan graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, served on the Georgetown Law Journal and graduated cum laude from Yale University.
Kathryn Stoddard is an experienced environmental marketing, communications, and sponsorship leader who has served as Vice President of Marketing & Development and previously Vice President of Corporate Partnership for Earth Day Network since 2009. Her passion is helping to build the environmental movement worldwide. Her strengths are creating corporate partnerships, developing cause marketing campaigns around sustainability, producing Earth Day and other large scale global events, and bringing corporate partners into global environmental events and cause campaigns. She worked for many years in publishing and producing environmental and music events in NYC and nationwide. She also served as Development Manager for Friends of the United Nations for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
She has a Bachelors Degree from New York University and a Masters Degree in Media Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Linda joined the Earth Day Network organization as the Director of Operations in March 2018. She has a demonstrated history in operational management in a variety of industries. Linda has been the project management leader in developing many training and operational systems connecting team members through the efficient use of software and technology. A strong operations professional with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, with a focus in Human resources from Kaplan University.
Growing up in rural Western New York and experiencing life in close proximity to nature, Linda has developed a strong sense of environmental issues and leaving the earth as undamaged as possible. A personal health story lead to extensive research for a better way of life. Removing as many chemicals and other materials unnecessary in a long healthy lifestyle. Linda is very passionate about learning and growing knowledge through sharing experiences and stories with others.
Nick Nuttall, International Strategic Communications Director, has over 18 years of experience working with the United Nations (UN). Before joining Earth Day Network, Nick was the former Director of Communications, Spokesperson and Speechwriter for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.
Nick joined UNEP in 2001 and during his work at UNEP he developed, among many other strategies, the communications for UNEP’s Global Green New Deal/Green Economy Initiative. Nick joined the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in January 2014 where he was the spokesperson for securing the climate agreement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Nick was also Director of Communications and Spokesperson for the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, CA. Before his work at the UN, Nick was the award-winning Environment and Technology correspondent for The Times of London. Nick graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. His interests include tennis, music, theatre and supporting the English premier league team Burnley.
Tracey joined the Earth Day Network as the Director of Education in January 2018. Most recently she was adjunct faculty at the University of Florida and has held positions from Florida to North Carolina managing and facilitating Environmental Education programs ranging from sea turtle walks to birding adventures, and local green book clubs to statewide water education programs.
Tracey completed her PhD at the University of Florida in 2017. Her research focused on developing systems thinking skills in students and teachers to more effectively communicate about complex environmental issues such as climate change. Tracey has an extensive background in program development and evaluation, facilitating professional development for educators, social science research methodologies, and Environmental Education best practices.
She also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s degree from UF in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Tracey has been active in the field of Environmental Education for over 12 years and looks forward to working with the global network of educators through EDN to advance environmental and climate literacy worldwide. When Tracey is not in the office she can be found exploring DC with her dog, Dakota.
Art Edelstein, Consultant and Principle, Edelstein Consulting, LLC, has over 30 years of professional experience in fund development and project management for environmental organizations. He is the Development and Project Consultant for Earth Day Network, managing global tree planting projects. Art previously served for seven years as Vice President of Development for Earth Day Network. He was a co-founder of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental organization, serving on the organization’s board and later as its first Development Director. At HEC, Art established a diversified array of fundraising programs and managed events with the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. While at HEC, Art served as a member of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Advisory Board and the Indiana Ground Water Taskforce.
As a volunteer, Art was Vice Chair of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club and Chair of the chapter’s SCCOPE committee, the Sierra Club Committee on Political Education, a federal PAC. Art has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He has been awarded Certificates of Achievement from The Fund Raising School, San Rafael, California and the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jason Gooljar is the IT Director at Earth Day Network. He has 10 years of nonprofit technology experience and oversees the information technology and web infrastructure for the organization. In the past, he also has had the role of a field organizer on local campaigns. Jason is originally from Westchester County, NY and has been in the DC area for 10 years. He studied Multimedia Development and Management at the College of Westchester.
Damien is the Executive Assistant to the President at Earth Day Network. He joined Earth Day Network as an intern in August 2017. Damien holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics and Public Policy and two minors in Economics and Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. His environmentalist passion to protect the environment is driven by the need to empower the least well off who are most negatively affected by pollution and climate change. He lives in Arlington, VA and enjoys biking, weight training, and traveling.
Prior to joining Earth Day Network, Sebastian was the Summit Coordinator for Food Tank: The Think Tank for Food, helping organize sustainable food and agriculture conferences. He has also spent time in El Salvador, working with the community organizing group CRIPDES – the Association for the Development of El Salvador, on the issues of banning metal mining and strengthening a regional organic agriculture movement.
Sebastian has regularly written about environmental and social justice issues in Latin America. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy in Focus, HuffPost, TheNation.com, and Inter Press Service. He has a B.A. in Latin American Studies from McGill University and was a visiting student at la Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile.
David Ayer joined Earth Day Network since right after the 2016 election having interned with EDN two years before. He holds a B.S. in environmental policy analysis and planning with a focus on advanced policy analysis from the University of California, Davis. David creates a lot of the content generated by EDN including op-eds, press releases, and the widely lauded Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit. He is an avid cyclist and rides to work every day.
Helen Rose is EDN’s Religious Outreach Coordinator. She is a graduate of George Mason University’s New Century College and holds a Master’s in Education, and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Helen got her start in advocacy work as a public policy fellow with the National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS). In 2004, she joined EDN to manage a volunteer-driven, issue-based, Get Out the Vote effort, reaching thousands of new and infrequent voters. In 2007, Helen joined the National Recreation and Park Association as their Citizen Services Manager, working with association leadership, membership, and staff to create a vision and plan for citizen membership growth, activation, and mobilization in support of public parks, recreation, and environmental conservation. Helen is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, Virginia where she co-chairs their racial justice task force. She returns to EDN as Faith Outreach Coordinator, where she is helping to build, expand and support Earth Day Network’s global network of faith-based organizations.
Austin Downs is the Global Cleanup Coordinator at Earth Day Network. A California native, he received a master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and holds a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in Politics and Education. Before joining EDN, he has interned at two Washington, D.C. non-profits, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and Win Without War, as well as the UC Office of State Governmental Relations in Sacramento. Lastly, Austin is passionate about the international climate diplomacy of subnational actors and is always eager to inject puns when permittable.
Kaela joined Earth Day Network in 2019 and acts as its plastics pollution campaign manager and digital content creator. Prior to EDN, Kaela worked as a tech reporter in Washington DC. Additionally, she interned with the Greening Diplomacy Initiative at the US Department of State and at the US consulate in Chengdu, China where she started up the posts first “green team”. Kaela holds a B.S. in politics and international relations from Scripps College in Claremont, California and speaks Mandarin.
Macy joined Earth Day Network in 2019 and serves as the Protect Our Species Campaign Manager. In this role, Macy leads in policy development, research and messaging to build awareness, understanding, and action to protect species at home and around the world.
Prior to joining EDN, Macy held positions with the U.S. Senate and several conservation organizations focused on domestic and international wildlife conservation policy issues. Her passion to protect the voiceless takes on many forms including volunteering at local animal shelters to recently completing research about the demand for shark fins. Her work has been submitted for publication to the Journal of International Service at American University.
Macy Placide holds a Master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Wyoming. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Scott and their cat Poe.
Michelle Pawliger joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as the Food and Environment Campaign Manager. She is an environmental and animal welfare attorney. Prior to joining Earth Day Network, she was the Farm Animal Policy Associate at the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). While at AWI, she led campaigns to improve farm-animal welfare, ensure truthful labeling, and promote high-welfare and plant-based diets. Michelle was also a legal clerk for the Lewis and Clark Animal Law Clinic and Campaign Coordinator for Oregonians for Humane Farms, where she led a ballot initiative to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens.
She graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2013, where she was the Submissions and Associate Editor of the law review journal, Animal Law. Upon graduating she was the sole recipient of the Animal Law Award for her commitment to advancing animal law. She has worked and volunteered on several farms and animal sanctuaries, and has been an animal advocate for over 10 years.
Kira Heeschen joined the Earth Day Network as the Education Coordinator in February 2019. Kira earned her Bachelors degree from James Madison University where she studied Earth Science and Secondary Education. After supervising a team of young women in the VA State Parks with the Youth Conservation Corps, Kira discovered her love for environmental education and went on to pursue her Master’s degree at Antioch University New England where she concentrated her studies in Environmental Education and Climate Change Education. Kira has designed lessons for outdoor and classroom environmental programs and has also worked with climate resilience and adaptation organizations doing outreach and communications. She also spent a summer serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the Denali National Park and Preserve as a Science Communicator. Kira is passionate about providing her audiences with the information and skills they need to become environmental leaders in their community!
Will Callaway serves as the National Campaign Director for EDN. Will has spent a career in public service, working in the U.S. Senate and for non-profit organizations focused on conservation and public health. In addition to working for several national environmental groups, he served as the executive director for the Tennessee Environmental Council for five years.
Will received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan. Along the way, he found time to be a wildland firefighter, a high school soccer coach and to travel to more than 100 units of the national park system.
Nathan is the MobilizeU Campaign Manager at Earth Day Network where he builds partnerships and people power at Universities and Colleges across the country and around the world.Prior to joining Earth Day Network, Nathan worked as a campaign director for some of the nations leading environmental and public health organizations. He ran an office of enthusiastic students who built support for a number of issue-based campaigns.
As a campaign organizer in Washington, D.C. Nathan helped successfully coordinate efforts to petition McDonald’s and other major corporations to stop selling meat raised on the routine use of antibiotics, ban polystyrene in the state of Maryland, and stop the harmful use of weed killers on public lands.
Nathan has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in sustainability from the University of Maryland. While attending undergraduate studies at Maryland he was part of a small team of students who designed and implemented a composting plan for the City of College Park.
Katie joined the Earth Day Network as the Intern and Volunteer Coordinator in May 2019. She earned her BSc in Biology from Seattle University where she simultaneously worked as a Teaching Assistant and Tutor for the University as well as an organizer for many outreach and environmental events.
Katie also worked as an Education Program Associate for Coral Restoration Foundation in the Florida Keys, where she operated in a multifaceted role as an educator and project coordinator. While actively restoring coral reefs, she also worked with stakeholder groups to foster and establish key partnerships dedicated to saving Florida’s coral reefs.
Later she attended the University of Exeter in the U.K. where she earned her MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity. She focused on behavioral ecology in marine organisms while also coordinating with non-profits to foster environmental education programs. Her passion lies in linking communities with their environments, and encouraging conservation globally through research, advocacy, and education.
Karuna A. Singh, Country Director for Earth Day India, joined Earth Day Network in March 2010, after working for 24 years at the State Department’s US Consulate at Kolkata. A senior executive with them, Karuna’s major portfolio focus was on environmental affairs. She organized seminars with environmental experts, workshops, film screenings, and other events to build awareness about climate change and other environmental issues among a wide spectrum of audiences, from senior-level policymakers to grassroots NGOs. Karuna worked to inspire youth to work for the environment and organized special media events on environmental reporting. Her work area covered 12 states of eastern and northeastern India, a region with a population of around 300 million that borders several countries. Karuna also helped put together cross-border programs on subjects such as Coastal Zone Management. She is also one of a small group of select persons who was trained by former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore to make presentations on climate change issues.
Neela Majumdar is Manager Projects Development with Earth Day Network, India. The particular programs she has conceptualized and run include a ‘Go Organic’ movement that begun in Kolkata, which has now moved to other cities as well. The exclusiveness of the campaign has drawn much media hype as well as appreciation from the government. The initial program has had several follow-ups. Neela has worked with government officials, the general public, local hotels, schools on various Earth Day projects and environmental awareness campaigns.
Before joining Earth Day Network, Neela worked for the French diplomatic services at Ubifrance, French Trade Commission, Embassy of France New Delhi and the French Economic Mission, Consulate General of France in Kolkata where she did analytical economic surveys, organized B2B meetings, and visits from senatorial delegations to student ones. Neela has also worked with the TV Channels and was part of the launch of TV SouthAsia for cross border TV program content. Neela has corporate sector experience as PR and Communications Manager for L’Oréal in Mumbai. Having studied in France, she speaks French and Italian apart from Bengali and Hindi. Neela has an MBA from ESSEC, in Paris and a BA in English Literature from Calcutta University.
Debapriya reaches out to the corporate sector and to foundations in particular. Before joining Earth Day Network, Debapriya worked for several NGOs where she developed environmental education curricula for teachers. Debapriya holds a bachelor’s degree in English and in Education from Jadavpur University and a master’s degree in English from Calcutta University. She topped her master’s as well as her Bachelor of Education courses, securing a gold medal at each. Debapriya is the recipient of the President of India’s Gold Medal, awarded to a student in recognition for their all-around performance: academic excellence, brilliance in extra-curricular and contribution to society included. She was also the only Asian to have received the prestigious United Nations Erasmus Mundus Scholarship in ‘Media, Communication and Cultural Studies’ for the year 2009.
Sayantan Sengupta joins Earth Day Network India as Manager, Climate Change Programs. He is particularly committed to working on programs and campaigns that result in the reduction of use of carbon-emitting fuels. Sayanta’s previous assignment was with CUTS International where he helped put together a very successful ‘Solar for Education’ initiative. This provided administrators of academic institutions with a platform to learn more about the advantages of going solar, the techniques of doing so, and the possible avenues of funding. His career has also included work on sustainability, regional integration, livelihood creation, poverty alleviation, and grassroots’ development. Besides, programs, Sayantan has spent time researching parameters that facilitate the implementation of policies at the grassroots level. Sayantan has a vast network of contacts built with the continuous engagements he has made with officials of different central Indian and state governments, think tanks, and domestic and international donor agencies. Sayanta has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Energy Management.
Monodip is a financial analyst by profession. In addition to accounting work, he focuses on student-oriented programs such as ‘Backseat Buddies’ that helps bring about awareness among students about ways to conserve fuel. Monodip has an eye for design and puts this to use to create eye-catching material for Earth Day Network programs. He also manages Earth Day Network India’s social media outreach.
Anil Arora has 22 years of work experience with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where his primary focus was on the monitoring and implementation of climate change projects on the national (Indian), regional and global levels. Post the UNDP assignment, Anil Arora took on the position of Senior Project Coordinator for the Global Environment Facility-UNDP supported Small Grants Program in India. With a pan India charge, Anil Arora was provided opportunities to reach out to communities across the length and breadth of the country, at the grassroots level and others as well, to share his knowledge and many years of experience with them.
Mr Arora has to his credit, success in conducting energy-related projects. These include energy from different types of wastes, energy efficiency, small hydro projects, and the conversion of methane to energy. He has also worked on linking renewable energy to livelihoods and on projects that aim to make energy use more efficient. Anil Arora is a strong supporter of sustainable environmental practices that result in the reduction of greenhouse gases. His distinguished career has helped him build bridges of friendship with many sections of society: with major donor agencies, high-level Indian bureaucrats, local self-government officials, and representatives of Non-Government Organizations as well.
M Lokeswara Rao studied MSc Mphil from Sri Venkateswara University an AIFC form Indira Gandhi Forest Academy in Dehradun, India. Environment Education from Jordan college, Glasgow UK and from the International Centre for Conservation Education Guiting Power, Cheltenham, UK.
He has worked as a civil servant, belongs to 1983 batch of Indian Forest service and retired as principal chief conservator of forests and head of forest force, in Nagaland, India. He has held different positions in the Government of India, DCF, Ministry of Environment and forests, Director of Institute of Biodiversity, ICFRE, Hyderabad, India. Worked various projects Forest Development agencies, Green India Mission, Wildlife Habitat project, species recovery programme of Amur Falcon, CONSERVATION Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (Protection of Wildlife outside protected Areas) Amur Falcon. documentation of community conservation Areas and Policy in Nagaland and, He has organized much environmental awareness programme like the adaptation of Animals, Conservation of community areas in Nagaland, conducted awareness programme, Amur Falcon conservation, Project formulation of JICA project, GEF-Satayoma project in Sukhai village, People biodiversity Registers of Sukhai, Nagaland, India. Fostering Community Forest Management in PKR Village, Nagaland, REDD+ pilot project, UNESCO Consultant for identification of Biosphere Reserves in Nagaland. Consultant with Community Forestry International USA. Preparation of state profile of Community Forestry in Nagaland and preparation of a case study of Mopungchukit and Kongan village, Nagaland.
He is authored to different research papers and authored book “Biodiversity of World “based on Philately and “Conservation through Forest Conservation Act.
Involved in documentaries making namely “Nagaland is Changing.. But (Documentary on Community conservation in Nagaland which got 2016 best film in National science Film festival), Flying Free (Documentary on Amur Falcon conservation in Nagaland), Roam Free( Documentary on Man-Animal conflict, Elephant problem in Wokha district of Nagaland).
His hobbies Painting and Philately. He got lot of Awards for his exhibit in Philately” Orchids distribution, Habitat destruction and Conservation, Bronze Medal in Nation Exhibition in Mumbai, India, Silver Medal in National Exhibition in 2017, silver Medal Rocky Mountain Stamp show, Denver, Colorado, USA in 2018 and Bronze International Philatelic Exhibition, Macau China in 2018. Website: www. mlrao.com.
He can be reached at madirajul -at- gmail.com.
Rajyashree is a Program Manager with Contact Base, a social enterprise that works across India to foster inclusive and sustainable development through culture-based approaches. The organization and its sister concern are advisors to UNESCO. Rajyashree has been successful in promoting and finding markets for eco-friendly products produced by 15000 women, many of whose traditional skill in making handicrafts from natural products such as grass, leaves, bamboo earlier did not earn them much. With her leadership and mobilization skills, and through the well-organized village fairs her colleagues and she put together, many indigenous communities today find markets for their products. This helps them retain their traditional skills and earn enough to supplement incomes to enable a shift away from gathering free firewood from forest areas. Rajyashree works in multiple states. She represented India at the ‘Transform Trondheim Festival 2017’ in Norway to which she led a team of handicraft artists and folk tradition performers.
Major Responsibility: National Capital Region (NCR) and in the states of, Bihar, Goa, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal
Rajesh is the Chief Functionary and Secretary of Vikas Evam Shikshan Samiti. Under his leadership, this NGO works on several environmental issues: saving the endangered Gangetic River Dolphins (India’s National Aquatic species), promoting renewable energy, waste management, and increasing green cover in particular. Understanding that environmental concerns are best addressed if people have the economic capacity to opt for a change, the organization implements programs that help marginalized communities rise above the morass of extreme poverty. Rajesh has held many positions: Monitor, National Environment Awareness Campaign, Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Member, District Ganga Protection Committee, Varanasi, Committee Member, Dolphin Census included. Rajesh’s work has been well recognized. The most recent award he received was from the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh State for his work for the River Ganges.
Major Responsibility: Uttar Pradesh, in particular, the districts of Azamgarh, Meerut, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, and Varanasi.
Vinita is Founder/Director of Terre Policy Centre, an NGO that conducts several environment-related programs – those on increasing the green cover and on environmental-education in particular. Under her leadership, this year alone, Terre Policy Centre’s online quiz on environmental issues saw participation from over 2,00,000 students across India. Seeing its tremendous success, the Hon’ble Minister of Education announced support to open the quiz to most SAARAC countries. Vinita is a brilliant communicator. She has worked as a TV animator, cultural coordinator, and creative writer who regularly conducts training and awareness programs on environmental protection. Vinita is widely networked and is called upon to speak at prestigious occasions. Often heard speaking in India, Vinita has also presented papers at international seminars organized by the UN in Bangkok, Paris, Langkawi, Cairo, and Bali. On the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, she was awarded for the innovative implementation of public awareness for environmental protection and has actively launched several initiatives under the Safe Planet Campaigns of the United Nations in Geneva.
Major Responsibility: Over the contract period, conduct online Olympiads. In addition, conduct multiple other programs (specifically in and around Pune, and widely in other parts of India)
Nadeem says that ever since he can remember, he has marveled at the beauty of nature around him in his state – Jammu & Kashmir, where forests, waters, and wildlife combine to make for a unique ecology. Growing up, he realized the importance of preserving this wondrous environment. So were born several organizations he helped set up. Each included in its agenda the aim to work for a greener and cleaner Earth, a planet where species are protected. With the conviction that people must work together, and an inherent ability to inspire people to do their bit for our common home, he established Save Environment Club, South Asia Peoples’ Alliance, Law Students’ Forum, Youth Parliament of J&K and the Wildlife Conservation Fund to name just a few. Nadeem has also gone beyond to reach out to like-minded organizations to join hands with these organizations so that a concerted and widespread effort is made for a greener and cleaner planet. His latest achievement is the founding of the open air ‘Nature University’ in the saffron-growing region of Pampore. The rich biodiversity of the area – wetlands, reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries, water bodies, great geological features, including Permian and Triassic formations – serve as classrooms. When asked about his tireless efforts, Nadeem quotes a Kashmiri saying ‘Aan Poshe Tali, Yali Wan Poshe’ which translates to ‘food is subservient to the forests.’ It is no wonder that young advocate Nadeem has been invited to be a member of the Environment Policy Group for the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Major Responsibility Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and also Delhi
R Thangneisel is with NEDSSS, an organization that works in all the eight Northeastern States of India. NEDSS is the parent body that coordinates 16 Diocesan Social Work Centres in these states. Each Centre has several schools under it the aim of which is to build environmental stewardship among youth. NEDSS Centres cover both rural and urban populations. As a coordinator with them, R. Thangneisel has the responsibility to develop programs that are innovative, attention-catching tools that focus on why it is important to conserve and protect the environment. This is significant as many parts of Northeast India are local in Global Biodiversity Hotspots.
Major Responsibility: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura
Rhea is a Project Assistant at the Balipara Foundation, an organization that aims at the ecological protection and restoration of the Eastern
Himalayan Region through the concept of Naturenomics™. After years of research, her colleagues and she are successful in developing working prototypes and innovative project models for the conservation of botany through social mobility. The Baliapara Foundation also works across state and international borders. It is recognized for its annual flagship program that brings together naturalists and others from not just India, but across the globe. Rhea is a graduate in Social Work from the TATA Institute of Social Sciences with specialization in livelihoods and social entrepreneurship.
Major Responsibility: Assam, Meghalaya, and Sikkim
Shailaja is a musicologist and freelance journalist. She is member Expert Committee, Department of Language Art & Culture, Himachal Pradesh. She is also a music archivist with the Government of India’s Prasar Bharati and Sangeet Natak Akademi. Her reviews of Indian Classical Music concerts and interviews with celebrity artists regularly appear in widely read newspapers such as the Hindu, the Asian Age and The Tribune (Himachal Times) and in publications such as the Indian Perspectives which is the official journal of the Ministry of External Affairs, Culturama, a Chennai based magazine for expats, and Vihangana, the Journal of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Shailaja has had the good fortune to know many Indian classical music greats from a young age, coming as she does from a prestigious family that patronizes the arts. She is based out of Shimla and Delhi and is recognized for her wide outreach and network among all sections of society and for the many programs she curates such as the monthly theme-based concerts for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Major Responsibility: The classical arts and Himachal Pradesh
Shyamlal is the founder of LPSS, an organization born out of the tragedy of a devastating cloud-burst in the foothills of the Himalayas that resulted in the loss of many lives and tremendous destruction of property. Then just 21 years old, he resolved to dedicate all his efforts to bringing succor to the lives of the unfortunate and to work to ensure that anthropogenic activities such as the felling of trees are reduced and thus such tragedies minimized. In addition, LPSS helps the locals better understand ways to ensure eco-friendly agricultural practices. LPSS’s partners include the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Gandhinagar Centre for Environment Education Ahmedabad, the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, among others.
Major Responsibility: Uttarakhand
Lalhriat is a consultant to CARITAS India, the Caritas India, the official development of the Catholic Churches in India. Caritas India is a member of Caritas confederation of more than 160-member organizations working in nearly 200 countries, making it the second largest humanitarian network in the world. In India, they run over 26,000 schools, and several colleges and community centers. Lalhriat is a graduate of the Tata Institute of Social Science and from Miranda House, Delhi.
Major Responsibilities: Outreach to students and people at the grass-root levels
Ullash is a Research Associate with Eco-Watch. The organization, established by well-known filmmaker and environmentalist Suresh Heblikar aims at widening messages of environmental conservation through relevant, focused (yet diverse) programs and activities so that an eco-conscious culture to protect and improve existing ecological and environmental conditions in both urban and rural areas. Ullash himself is a dedicated naturalist who has been with Eco-Watch for the past 25 years. His favorite beat is the Global Biodiversity Hotspot of the Western Ghats where he assiduously works with local populations to make them aware of the need to protect the unique natural resources.
Major Responsibility: Areas of the Western Ghats and states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh.
Panu has single-handedly nurtured young minds to be guardians of the environment through his NGO, ‘Nature Bodies’ that encourages them to care for their surroundings in their school campuses. His innovative ways of teaching and relentless efforts are the sparks that ignited a sense of responsibility in them. His students have made it to speaker podiums at environment forums in Paris, traveled to Delhi to meet the President of India and also received a special mention on national broadcasts by the Prime Minister of India. His efforts of inspiring a ‘low-carbon lifestyles’ have yielded results leading to many students opting for these. Another major achievement is helping turn water-deficient areas into water-fed one by going back to Almost 30,000 students have taken the pledge to lead a greener life under his guidance. Recently, his initiatives drew the attention of the Honourable Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, who himself cycled, along with 10,000 others to raise awareness regarding green transportation. His belief moved 7,000 volunteers in depicting the largest canvas of effective communication about environmental issues that made its way to the Limca Book of Records. Not just the students, but people in Bilaspur now see him as the torchbearer of a green lifestyle.
Major Responsibility: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand
Surbhi Jaiswal is a Gold Medallist in M Sc Environmental Science. She is the Team Lead at the Green Vigil Foundation, an NGO that works broadly for Environment Protection and Sustainability. Her major outreach is to youth. With her peers, she has implemented environmental education programs that saw engagement with over 100,000 students from several schools and colleges. The community outreach initiatives engaged citizens through door-to-door mobilization, workshops, lectures, clean-up campaigns, street plays and educational events that encourage citizens to adopt green living practices and sustainable resource use. She has led over 200 environmental protection and sustainable development campaigns resulting in the conservation of lakes, wider environmental awareness among students and the general public, the stoppage of illegal felling of trees. A unique initiative she runs with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has helped restrict over 120000 kgs of carbon emission entering the atmosphere by conserving energy with the switching off of non-essential lights and electric gadgets on full moon days. Surbhi is a much-valued colleague at Green Vigil, an organization that has already received 47 awards – both national and international. On a personal level, Surbhi has is recognized with Vidarbha Bhushan, Maharashtra Jyoti Gaurav Puraskar, Nagpur Samman by News 18, Lokmat – all awarded for her contribution towards environment protection and sustainable development.
Major Responsibility: Maharashtra, in particular in the city of Nagpur and area around the city within the radius of 100 kilometers.
Parvish is Consultant Director for Natural History and Science at the prestigious publication, Sanctuary Asia. The magazine is recognized as the best-known environmental magazine in Asia. With a four-decade-long career in teaching zoology, Parvish is a well-recognized academic. He was earlier Vice Principal at Bhavan’s College, Mumbai and instrumental in designing the curriculum for the college’s M Sc program. Parvish has shaped and guided an uncounted number of naturalists. He is a bird expert, plant expert, mammal expert, reptile expert… and more! His greatest pleasure, he says is to share his love and knowledge of nature and spread conservation awareness to citizens groups, students and the public at large. Parvish has held training sessions for officers of the Armed Forces and academicians. He continues to criss-cross the country to conduct workshops for people at the grass-root level in often remote, but environmentally vulnerable areas. A field man, he believes that the best education is imparted in the forest. The quintessential teacher, his greatest pride he says is watching his students evolve into naturalists and rational conservationists with the courage to act. Parvish is a much sought-after resource person. His illustrated presentations, writings in print media, interviews on radio and TV have enthralled audiences, many of whom are inspired to follow his example and do their bit to conserve nature. Parvish is widely traveled in India and abroad.
Major Responsibility: Areas around wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal
Prerna is Co: Founder of Sustainable Green Initiative, an organization that aims to help stymie the effects of climate change by planting trees. SGI distributes, plants, and maintains fruit tree saplings for one-three years in community lands, homesteads of marginal farmers, government schools and campuses, orphanages, old-age homes, etc. Since its inception in 2013, the organization has planted more than 7,00,000 trees in eight states of India. Prerna began her career as a journalist and has held senior positions with several prestigious publications. She now prefers to free-lance. A brilliant student right through her academic years, Prerna topped the MA in English Literature, Delhi University, and her BA as well.
Major Responsibilities: Build awareness about the need to go green in Uttarakhand and in the areas around NCR.
Location: Dehra Dun
Prarthi is on a special assignment to the Gujarat Vidyapith, a deemed university that was begun by Mahatma Gandhi. This prestigious organization has over a thousand schools and colleges under it. Its aim is to promote education that is conducive to the grassroots levels. Its students regularly participate in community work and are encouraged to develop habits that are environment-friendly. Prarthi will focus on helping villages along the approximately 300 km, historic Salt March to eco-friendly. She will also reach environmental messages to students of the academic institutions run by the Vidyapith, and others connected to the several Gandhian organizations across the country. Prarthi has a Masters in Heritage Management from Ahmedabad University. From a young age, she has worked to improve Earth’s environment and has been associated with several youth groups (such as the Baroda Stickers of which she was president). She has also been an Assistant for the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
Major Responsibilities: Villages around the route of the Dandi March, and outreach to those in institutions run by the Vidyapith, as well as those connected to it.
Dashmeshbir is Country Coordinator, IHA Foundation. The Foundation actively works to mitigate climate change, reduce anthropogenic activities that could trigger natural disasters, increasing the green cover and community-led waste management. Dashmeshbir and his colleagues work at both ends of the spectrum – with people on the ground and also officials in positions of authority such those at municipal corporations and other such organizations. Amritsar is chosen for a special focus to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. IHA Foundation works relentlessly toward the Earth Day Network campaign #EndPlasticPollution. Their strong links at the highest levels to prominent religious organizations has seen success with the gurudwaras under the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee banning the entry of single-use plastic in their precincts. The Golden Temple leads the list of these gurudwaras. Schools and other academic institutions under the Committee will now follow.
Major Responsibility: Punjab (in particular, the cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, and Ludhiana) and also in the city of Kolkata. In addition, reach out to faith-based organizations so that they take the lead in adopting green practices in their precincts.
Locations: Amritsar, Kolkata
Pramod is Founder/Coordinator of Yuvsatta an NGO that is youth- focussed. Over the last two decades, Yuvsatta has done pioneering work to promote the efficient management of solid waste and use of eco- friendly transport (such as cycling), the adoption of solar power, and other such means that have youth lead environment-friendly lives, and inspire their elders to do so. Yuvsatta achieves this through the 140 Eco Clubs they run in schools and colleges, particularly in Chandigarh. Recently, Yuvsatta also filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court to stop the use of single-use plastic in the city. Pramod has a Masters and an M Phil in Gandhian and Peace Studies from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He is a senior official of the Global Youth Peace Fest.
Major Responsibility: Chandigarh
Rajesh head Swatantra Yuva shakti Santhan, an organization that operates in several rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. Rajesh has an M Sc in Botany. He is an expert in documenting biodiversity and has put together a diversity register. He believes that people must be given an opportunity to
experience it if we are calling upon them to save it. He is well recognized for the work he does with several prestigious awards.
Major Responsibilities: Rural Madhya Pradesh
Shiraz is President of the Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group. He has taught for several decades at Gorakhpur University. He is well-known in India and abroad, in particular for his success in working with those at the grassroots level from which has emerged a much-awarded model for an inclusive community-led bottom-up approach to resilience building. This engagement with communities is very successful, as is evidenced with locals opting not to sell land in peri-urban areas, protecting ecosystems, and safeguards green areas. In his words, ‘investment in communities, and community leadership pays rich evidence.’ Shiraz works relentlessly to broaden awareness and advocacy about environmental issues among small-marginal farmers, students, citizen groups, and media. He has held several prestigious posts. These include as Member of the IUCN’s Education Commission, Chairman, International Youth Foundation, Board Member, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (USA) and of Oxfam India among several committees of the Government of India. A prolific writer, Shiraz has authored over 100 research papers, articles, and reports. He the recipient of the Global 500 (UNEP) and Light House Activity (UNFCCC) Awards.
Major Responsibility: Parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
I am currently studying in Bachelors Second Year being Environmental Science as a major at Naya Ayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute, a college with British affiliation. I suppose to be a young leader who is also the believer of her actions. I had represented Nepal in Asian Science Camp 2015 in Thailand as a young scientist and brought Gold Poster Award for the first time in Nepal in this category. I had also represented Nepal in Global Entrepreneurship Boot camp 2017 as a young entrepreneur. Currently, I am working as a Country Head of SACHH Nepal, a branch organization of SACHH Foundation, India. I believe in networking and encountering new people and hearing their story as a part of her inspiration. I trust upon the fact that the progressive story spreads positivity and let the world to learn and generate something new. Being a part of Earth Day Network, I wish to give my every effort to not let any stone unturned.
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