• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Aaranyak’s environmental scientist was awarded the ‘Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship in Climate Change’ by the Department of State, the United States

The prestigious Distinguished Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program (DHFP) promotes leadership among the international professionals who work together to address challenges and foster change for the betterment of our collective future. This growing global network shares best practices and builds expertise in fields of vital importance to society and institutions, promote human rights, ensure environmental sustainability, and build thriving

We are delighted to share that a senior scientist of Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org), Dr Partha Jyoti
Das, who heads the organisation’s Water, Climate, and Hazards (WATCH) division has been awarded the ‘Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship in Climate Change. This three week-long fellowship program entails visits to and knowledge sharing with various institutions in the USA.

Dr. Das, who was the only Indian to be selected in this program in this year’s cohort, has successfully completed the said program during August 5-23, 2022.

As part of this program, Dr. Das took part in orientation sessions in the Bloomington campus of Indiana University and the Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) during the first leg of the program. Interactive sessions undertaken by Dr. Das and his colleagues in the climate cohort included discussions on emerging frontiers of climate science; polices, planning and practices on climate resilience and sustainability in the US; local climate action through partnership of academia, local governments, non-government agencies and community; leadership building in a climate management, international negotiations, and the COP process etc.

The resource persons represented academia, local environmental activists, city administration and researchers.

In the second phase of the program, Dr. Das worked for a week with ‘Green Umbrella’, a reputed environmental organisation based in Cincinnati city, Ohio as part of a Strategic Networking Engagement (SNE). Dr. Das used this opportunity to observe, learn and understand how environmental organizations in the US are working effectively for sustainability and climate resilience by creating alliances and coalitions with local communities, city governments, non- profits, private sector, and the academia. He also contributed to the development of planning and policy documents of the Green Umbrella by providing critical review and suggestions. He interacted with high officials of the Green Umbrella and exchanged information on views on institutional governance and policy framework on climate change mitigation and adaptation in India and the USA. The Humphrey Fellow also delivered a presentation on the pioneering work being done by Aaranyak on climate resilience through climate education, advocacy, and action.

In the last leg of the DHFP Dr. Das along with the entire cohort of Distinguished Humphrey Fellows participated in several panel discussions and a policy round tablet Washington DC on August 23, 2022. During these high-level meetings, Dr. Das interacted with officials of the State Department, US Department of Energy, Private sector representatives and development agencies like the USAID and the World Bank.

The Humphrey Fellowship Program has been funded by the US Congress as a Fulbright exchange activity to honour the public service career of the late Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey since 1978. For many years, Humphrey served as a US Senator from Minnesota and was a long-time advocate of international cooperation and understanding. Since its inception, more than 6,400 fellows have taken part in the program from 163 different countries. The ‘Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Program’ is an especially conceived short-term ‘Humphrey Fellowship’, for senior fellows. It consists of intensive schedule, including executive level training in leadership or an approved foreign policy topic and an individualized placement.

Dr. Das is a well-known expert on water-climate-hazard-development nexus. He has worked in this field for more than two decades through research, education, advocacy, and field interventions. His work has significantly contributed to development of knowledge and policy perspectives in risk mitigation of hydrometeorological disasters, climate resilience and water management in the geographical contexts of northeast India in particular,and South Asia in general. Interdisciplinary perspective and science-policy-community connect are hall marks of Dr. Das and his work.

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