The commercialisation of ‘green’
by PRANAY TENGA RAI
The developing world, and in this specific case Nepal, has been a haven for the development aid arena. Turned into a beggar's Diaspora, the scenario has produced a whole spectrum of people, personalities and indeed perceptions. One in particular is the 'begging bowl' syndrome- a culture in the making, like the carbon foot print we talk of, the avid competition to look for issues that might score more donations, has created a corroboree of actors, all camouflaged with the best intentions and know-how of how to 'mitigate', 'build capacity' and create 'alternate' 'sustainable' answers, leaving a new foot print – the Donor Deceiving Foot (adorably acronymed DDF) print.
NGAWANG TARA GHALE
Let's elaborate this further: Human Rights, Children's rights, Women's rights, etcetera have gained enough momentum and the early symptoms of diagnosis via 'awareness raising' and 'sensitisation' programs are becoming a wee redundant as the general perception is that it does not score well with donor agencies – after all, the common denominator is the new mobile phone or camera or laptop that development aid workers must have in order to capture the 'inhuman torture' and 'reproachable disaster' that they are working to eliminate. So, creativity is enhanced – a new term comes into limelight and is aptly called 'opportunity gazing' (again adorably acronymed OG). It can be both a behavior and/or an acquired skill…but more so the latter in Nepal's context. It is also what was traditionally defined as 'outside the box' but that definition had its lingua-politico barrier – it still had the word box.
The real victim: Genuine efforts to curb or adapt to climate change is slowed and hindered. It is understandable that climate change affects all but one must also be careful of treading into other people's expertise or area of work. This statement is raised in the light of organizations registered to work for 'other' issues, for e.g. Human Rights, HIV/AIDS etc, are now soliciting/applying for funding, via networks and contacts built through other projects for climate change/environmental issues. So what really gets affected by this unnecessary greed is the mediocre response to 'real' work regarding the issue of climate change disaster management/mitigation and we all suffer for the cause of a few.
The challenge: We should all be active actors – let us not necessarily put undue pressure and expectations on NGOs and wait for them to do all the hard work for us – all is an ambitious word when sometimes up to seventy percent and beyond have been known to 'vanish under cryptic sounding budget lines…an example, also called 'salary' with a silent 'overpaid' before it. Climate change management/mitigation can be initiated at the personal level; it does not require donor money or the involvement of strangely dubious organizations who claim expertise in everything. It is a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle that we must incorporate that will make the real difference and by simultaneously adopting confidence we say to these 'thugs' – Stop this nonsense… I'm in charge now!!
After you read this, please do justice to the new empowerment you feel – go and plant a tree!