Sabhanaz Rashid Diya & 10:10 Bangladesh Team
This year, the world observed something phenomenal. 10/10/10 is a date that comes once in the lifetime and on this day, the world decided to stand up and do something important. At the obvious brink of an unforgivable climate crisis, people from every region across the globe joined forces to send out a message to world leaders “if we can get to work, so can you”.
On October 10, 2010, people at 7347 events in 188 countries got to work to celebrate climate solutions. This worldwide event, known as Global Work Party was coordinated by an organisation known as 350.org and was put to motion by organisations and individuals throughout the globe.
What's the Big Fuss?
The Earth as we know it is fundamentally changing. Until about 300 years ago, the earth's atmosphere contained 275 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide. That was a useful amount, but soon humans began burning coal and oil to produce energy. The amount of carbon began to rise and currently stands at 390 ppm and this number rises by 2 ppm every year.
The changing world is experiencing drastic weather changes, cyclones and droughts, melting glaciers, rising sea level and more mosquitoes. Scientists believe this to be only the beginning and as carbon level rises, the effects of global warming will be beyond our control and imagination.
350.org began as an international grassroots campaign to mobilize a global climate movement triggered by a common call of action. On October 24th 2009, they coordinated what CNN claimed as the most widespread day of climate action in history with over 5000 events worldwide.
This year, 350.org with 10:10 Global picked 10/10/10 as the Global Day of Doing to celebrate climate solutions from all parts of the world and pledge to governments to step up towards climate actions.
Bangladesh became an official participant of the Global Climate Change Campaign in mid-August, 2010. TERM Magazine a concern of Bangladesh Information Gateway Limited (BIG) was assigned as the Country Hub to represent 10:10 Global with an aim to assist individuals, organisations and businesses to cut down their carbon emission by 10%.
Since August, the 10:10 Bangladesh team began contacting individuals, businesses and organisations to convince them to join the campaign and pledge for a 10% deduction of carbon emission. By organising 'climate hangouts', discussions amongst students at universities and participating at environment fairs, the hub began establishing its presence and promoting its mission.
Momentum was building towards the big day, 10th October 2010.
10/10/10 Global Day of Doing
As anticipated, Dhaka broke into a frantic array of activities on the big day.
Pronounced One Degree Initiative, the nonprofit youth organization arranged an exciting Dhaka-wide campaign to celebrate 10/10/10. The project, known as “Degrees of Wheels” consisted of bicycle rallies on different routes all over Dhaka city.
Forty volunteers from the organization cycled around the city, stopping in front of schools and colleges to encourage students to start riding bicycles. By distributing leaflets printed on environmentally friendly paper and arranging focus group discussions at the institutions, they brought to focus climate change and its solutions. They also replaced the incandescent bulbs of some roadside shops to CFL.
1° Initiative believes cycling instead of using motorized transportation is imperative, especially for short journeys. It hopes to work to compel the government to build bicycled-friendly lanes.
Bangladesh Youth Environment Initiative
BYEI organised a daylong awareness campaign in different universities across Dhaka. The awareness campaign comprised of distributing three distinctly different leaflets which were presented information highlighting the 10 steps that we individuals can take to reduce carbon emission, the impact of global warming and finally a forewarning of the future that lies ahead with the rising level of carbon emission.
US Bangladesh Foundation
The U.S. Bangladesh Foundation organized a seminar held at the Open Square of Dhaka University Teacher Student Centre. Presided over by Mr. Zafar Hossain Khan, the discussion meeting was attended by many students and focused on “Climatic Action Plan for Bangladesh”. The honourable Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor A A M S Arefin Siddique inaugurated the meeting as Chief Guest. Mr. Mohammad Zahurul Haque, Chief Executive Officer of U. S. Bangladesh Foundation delivered the key note presentation on how we can help Bangladesh in facing the challenges created through climate change.
A team of Actioneers in Bogra assisted around 350 students of a local school in the village of Gopalpur Khaduli into creating kitchen gardens, thus going green and at the same time providing the participants with a motivation on the vegetables that they could grow.
JAAGO Foundation, Architecture for Humanity and BRAC University Architecture Department
JAAGO Foundation partnered with Architecture for Humanity and aspiring architects from BRAC University to build a creative miniature playground from eco-friendly, recyclable materials for the JAAGO children to play.
Ishita Mouri Rahman, Activity Coordinator of 10:10 Bangladesh played a key role in collaborating this campaign workshop with the support of Zihad Zaman (General Secretary, JAAGO Foundation) and Architecture for Humanity in Dhaka. Special thanks to Naquib Hossain (AFH, Dhaka Coordinator) and Sarita Rahman (AFH, Dhaka Design Fellow) for their support at the event.
Youth Society of Art
Youth Society of Art, run by Mohammad Zakir Hossain, decorated the entrance way to the 10/10/10 Global Work Party organised by the country hub of 10:10 Global in Bangladesh at Hotel Pan Pacific. Emphasizing the vision of 10:10 campaign, Youth Society of Art produced an artificial tree with recycled newspaper and colourful kites hanging from its branches. It ignited a festive spirit in the visitors to the fair alongside sending an underlying message to plant more trees and consider recycling important.
The country hub, TERM Magazine arranged a seminar and a day long fair at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, highlighting the organisations that were making an impact on building a better environment. Meanwhile, it did its part by sending invitations to people via email rather than sending out printed invitations to people, keeping its carbon footprint as low as it could.
At the fair, the 10:10 Bangladesh team along with kids and members from JAAGO Foundation and 1º Initiative built a huge 10:10 logo in the middle of the ballroom with recycled plastic bottles and newspaper cuttings, thus bringing in a fresh vibe of positive energy!
The hub is truly grateful to its sponsor RST & Co. for its immense support in organizing such an event at Hotel Pan Pacific.
10:10 is about highlighting small successes rather than failures. With this spirit, the 10:10 team moves forward. As part of the campaign, the country hub in Bangladesh will continue its activities till the end of 2011 until it receives further notification from 10:10 Global. It will be signing up people, businesses, organisations and education, the four stakeholders that are concerned in this campaign.
Goes without mentioning, the unity of minds alike in a cross-section of diverse youth organizations stepping up to combat climate change crisis in Bangladesh was inspirational indeed!
If you had an event on October 10th 2010 that was not covered here, drop a mail regarding your activity at email@example.com.
For more information, please visit the websites below.
10:10 Bangladesh Website - www.1010global.org/bd
10:10 Facebook Page -
10:10 Global - www.1010global.org
10:10 HQ - www.1010uk.org
(The writer is a sophomore at the Department of Media and Communication at Independent University Bangladesh.)