ROURKELA: The new member of UN's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change Archana Soreng wants to help include traditional knowledge of indigenous communities in policy action for protection of nature.
A native of Bihaband under Kutra block in Sundargarh district, 24-year-old Archana said the world vaguely acknowledges the traditional practices of different tribal and forest dwelling communities for protection of the environment and it’s time these invaluable knowledge and techniques are highlighted and practised widely.
She pointed out that the youths of tribal and other indigenous communities are unaware of the treasure trove of centuries-old traditional wisdom of their ancestors. "I aspire to create a platform where community elders can pass on the knowledge to the young generation," she said.
Archana was inducted to the seven-member UN group recently. She is currently based at Bhubaneswar and working as Research Officer for Vasundhara (Odisha), an action research and policy advocacy organisation working on Natural Resources Governance, Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods.
"The Youth Advisory Group is expected to give feedback for policy action. I would also bring youth groups for discussion to know about their collective perspectives on environment protection and send their views to the UN body," she said.
Archana said she is fortunate to get this opportunity of documenting traditional knowledge of different indigenous communities across the country which can be utilised on globally to save the environment.
She further informed that while pursuing Masters degree in Regulatory Governance at Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai, she developed an instant liking for Environment Regulation as the subject dealt with lessons she had experienced during her childhood. "My late father had acquired traditional knowledge of naturopathy from family elders. I realised that this traditional knowledge needs to be practised, preserved and promoted," she said.
Archana did her Plus II from Carmel School, Rourkela and graduation at Patna Women’s College. Her father Bijay Soreng was the Principal of Bachelor of Social Work College at Bihaband. He died of cancer in 2017. Her mother Usha Kerketta stays at Bihaband and only brother G Soreng is pursuing MPhil at TISS.