UN50 Change-makers roadshow

Focusing on socio-economic issues, the Thimphu Hub aims to drive change with design thinking processes that are innovative, relevant and action oriented

Sangay Rabten

The United Nation Bhutan had organised a UN50 Change-makers roadshows to provide a platform to students to experience and learn, through different forms of art and guide through how change can be achieved to empower the youth in becoming ‘action artists’ and ‘change-makers’ to contribute to building a better Bhutan.

The three-day event began yesterday at the College of Natural Resources (CNR) in Lobesa, Wangduephodrang.

The Resident Coordinator (RC) of UN Bhutan Gerald Daly during the event said that UN in Bhutan want to change, want to do better, respond to the aspirations and concerns of our youth.  He said, “We want the youth of Bhutan to have the opportunity to play the role that they must play in a modern world in which we live, and especially in the world we are trying to build. We are here to listen. I think there is a wave of optimism through this Change-makers Roadshow.”

The RC said that the pandemic has been difficult, especially for young people, because if young people can worry about ‘when this ends’ and ‘what happens in the future.’ However, he said that the future belongs to the youth and I believe that young people are the biggest changemakers. “So when we are remembering 50 years of UN membership here in Bhutan we don’t throw a party. The UN together with the Royal Government invests in young people. We organized roadshows for children and students to work with them on issues that matter for them,” he said.

Speaking about the roadshow, the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkage of CNR Dr Om Katel  said, “As future belongs to the youth, and they will have to make decisions in the future, and to do so, they should also be given the opportunity to learn about how the climate have been changing, and what has been done until now to address the impacts.”

He also said that it is very important for students to realize that climate would change differently decade after decade and such differential change will jave different level of impact in the future. Dr Om Katel said that the decision to engage the 1st year student is an excellent idea and as the students venture into the climate change science, adaptation and mitigation in the next four years during the course. He added that students would have relatively clear understanding on how they can raise their voices at appropriate forum and think about how they can contribute to nation building as responsible citizens. “On behalf of the college, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the UN for this very useful change maker,” the Dean thanked the organizer.

A  1st Year Climate and Environment Studies Year students who participated in the roadshow Bishnu Kumar Adhikari shares that it was just five days passed after reaching the college with ambition to make a difference in society about what climate change really is. It was very awesome to have UN team and Global Shapers with UN 50 Change makers Roadshow in CNR.

He said, “I am just beginning my studies and future with Climate and Environment Studies and getting this experience of program was very encouraging.”

 As all the vacillators are learned, the activities are interesting and informative and he said he learned a lot from the workshop. “This workshop is a big hope for me and future climate stories of every Bhutanese. I realized now that I can make difference and be a change maker,” he added.

The Road Show opened eyes regarding climate change according to the of the participants Rinchen Dema a 1st year Environmental and Climate Studies. “Climate change would turn into a bigger pandemic than the one we have all lived through, if we don’t act now,” she said.

She shares concerns that the governments are more interested in the ‘now’ instead of people’s futures. “Climate change would turn into disastrous. We are not late to prevent climate change and preserve this beautiful world,” Rinchen Dema said.

The press release from UN Bhutan states that the program is designed for tertiary level students, aiming to educate young people on issues regarding the environment and climate change and how, as youth, their voices can be amplified by encouraging them to become ‘environmental change-makers’ and to develop their artistic and communications skills as a means of expressing their individual thoughts and ideas.  

During the roadshow the presentations made on fundamental understanding of Climate Change, hands-on group work on discussing climate issues and ideas.

At the end of the three-day roadshow today, students will pitch ideas for projects they would like to undertake which are eco-friendly and creates a safer and sustainable environment.

The roadshow is designed by the United Nations in Bhutan in collaboration with Global Shapers Thimphu Hub- a group of socially active passionate young leaders from diverse backgrounds who meaningfully engage with the community for significant positive change. Focusing on socio-economic issues, the Thimphu Hub aims to drive change with design thinking processes that are innovative, relevant and action oriented.

A total of 35 students have participated in this roadshow from the Environment and Climate Studies Department of the College of Natural Resources.

The UN50 Change-makers Roadshow is a part of the year-long activities jointly organized by the United Nations and the Royal Government of Bhutan to commemorate Bhutan’s 50th anniversary as a member state to the United Nations.

United Nations Bhutan has organized the UN50 Change-makers Roadshow earlier this year at the Royal Thimphu College in Thimphu.