HYDERABAD: While many of us dream of trips to foreign and exotic countries, only a few even think of visiting Antarctica and even a fewer number of people manage to accomplish this feat. However, Hyderabad-based Divya Nawale is no ordinary woman. A climate activist and eco-advocate, Divya has visited all seven continents on Earth to deliver talks on climate change.
Not just once, she has been to Antarctica twice with the 2041 ClimateForce team on a mission to inspire meaningful action to preserve the continent and the planet as a whole.
Speaking to TNIE, Divya says, “When I was 23, I participated in the expedition with the 2041 ClimateForce, which takes young people on this expedition to educate them about greenhouse emissions that are melting the Antarctic ice.”
Mentioning her learnings, she says the purpose of the trip was to experience the beauty of polar regions so that they are motivated to take action to preserve it. “It was only after returning from the trip that I decided to pursue a career in this field,” she adds.
Currently, she works with the UN Climate Change Secretariat to curb global warming. She has an impressive portfolio of work and has carried out projects on climate change in different parts of the world including the US and the UK.
Being a young woman meant she had additional challenges to go through. “The biggest challenge for me was when a lot of people questioned my knowledge just to check if I knew enough. Despite this, I developed a positive attitude and constantly educated myself not just on environmental issues but also on world affairs.”
She also works with Nirmaan Organisation in Hyderabad for environmental programmes, such as school kitchen gardening, lake conservation, seed- to- soil and tree plantations, among others.
She gives presentations about the importance of people and companies reducing their carbon footprint and encourages CSR initiatives to create more eco-champions at companies. “I have spoken to more than 5,000 students. I’ve given lectures at some of India’s most prestigious institutes and set up many kitchen gardens in KGBV schools.”
The major gap that she observed in combating climate change is people’s generally pessimistic perception that the damage has been done and cannot be reversed.
However, as an optimist, she believes that innovative ideas, mindful consumption, changing lifestyle habits and behaviour, and even something as simple as carrying a cloth bag, can make a significant impact.
She looks to continue to work with the UN apart from grassroots projects. “I think that children are the most positive beings. Hence, engaging young minds would help in making them good adults.” Divya also hopes to formulate better and stronger government policies across the world to avoid climate crises and global warming.