A feat of Notre Dame Nature Study Club

First-ever international climate conclave for BD high school students

Notre Dame Nature Study Club team on the premises of Little Angels' School, Nepal
Notre Dame Nature Study Club team on the premises of Little Angels' School, Nepal

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In this modern world, with a definitive gradual change in climate, it is indispensable to discuss climate issues collectively and take the proper steps to keep ourselves safe from calamities. Various worldwide organisations have been organising climate conclaves, intending to achieve that. Notre Dame Nature Study Club is the first one to do so among Bangladeshi high school clubs or organisations.

In a conversation with the Financial Express, three organising team members, Shouhardyo Kundu, Abrar Sadeque, and Mehedi Hasan of the South Asian Climate Conclave 2023 by Notre Dame Nature Study Club, shared in details their experiences.

While the Nature Study Club organised the Climate Conclave, three high schools from Nepal hosted the three-day-long conclave (December 27-29), which allowed the team to have a marvellous tour for this invigorating conclave. In this journey, Notre Dame's Principal, Dr Father Hemanta Pius Rozario, and Nature Study Club's Moderator, Biplob Kumar Deb, led the team.

Mehedi Hasan shared, "We had the opportunity to learn the perspectives of a different country on the issues of climate change. Also, I believe our generation is also concerned about social issues as we have experienced a wholesome learning experience. In addition, we learnt how climate calamities affect historical heritages and how we should take steps to protect them."

The preparation from Bangladesh was remarkable as the team had the flight scheduled on December 26, on the weekends for Christmas. Several members of the club arranged the sponsors within these rush hours. As for the visa procedure, Abrar Sadeque shared, "It was a difficult situation when the team of 36 people (28 club members and six teachers and fathers of Notre Dame College). Since it was impossible to get on-arrival visas for such a big team, we applied for visas through the Nepal Embassy; they were very helpful as they confirmed our visas within a day."

On December 26, 2023, the team landed in Kathmandu and visited Monkey Temple. The next day, they were fascinated by Annal Jyoti Boarding School's welcoming nature and enjoyed their cultural programmes; they visited Little Angels' School and College later. On Little Angels' School premises, the team participated in a public speaking on climate change and then a climate olympiad. They also visited Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square to experience the heritage values of Nepal.

Later, on the 28th, the Nature Study Club's team had a day of travelling by bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara; in the meantime, they visited Chandragiri Hills in between a marvellous journey where they had received several instructions for the conclave. As the three members recall the memory of the journey, they feel gratitude for Baman Sir, who is the moderator of the Innovation Club and English Instructor of Motherland School; he travelled from Pokhara to Kathmandu to escort the team to Pokhara at Motherland School.

The team visited Motherland Secondary School; they had seminars and shared speeches at Motherland School, where Pokhra's City counsellor and Nepal's USA Embassy Envoy, Mr Andres, joined from California.

Shouhardyo Kundu describes the helpful nature of the host school's students. Prashil Lamichhane and Sarun, two members of the Innovation Club of Motherland School, the school prefects of the Motherland School, offered a school tour to the team and provided insights about their school curriculum and cultures. So, both schools bonded over similar issues on climate.

Although Bangladesh faces climate calamities every year, Nepal has recently faced a severe flood for the first time, which raised concerns. This shows why countries should share their concerns and work together to take the proper steps. Abrar Sadeque says, "This type of experience will create the brotherhood between nations and understand the real deal of global village."

"In 2024, we are planning to organise a bigger Climate Conclave and include other South Asian countries that we missed this time. It would be an even greater experience to share multicultural experiences on climate issues and work thereby," Shouhardyo concluded.

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