Crawford goes to Paris

25 November 2015

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A Crawford School student is determined to bring university engagement in climate change to the world stage at the upcoming decisive climate meeting in Paris: COP21.

Master of Environmental Management and Development student Olivia D Purba has developed an innovative project to be presented at the Global University Climate Forum workshop – hosted in conjunction with the Paris summit.

The theme of the forum is to ‘think global, act local’ by designing and implementing campus based solutions to further environmental awareness among students. The project, which was among a selected 50, will be presented at the forum in Paris.

Olivia’s project, the Youth Ecopreneurship (YEP) Camp aims to promote environmentally sustainable business/social ideas that would be implemented at The Australian National University.

“To start the project we will ask students to submit their ideas, in which 15 will be selected for an intensive two-day camp at the ANU Kioloa Costal Campus,’ she said.

“At the camp students will learn how to implement their ideas with the help of mentors, trainers and practitioners in the field.”

After an intensive few days of discussing innovative ideas about reducing the impact of climate change three students will get the option to participate in a three-month professional internship.

The project is the brain-child of Purba, who has been working on environmental policy issues in various roles for the last five years.

She is a founder and project director of Indonesia’s Youth Ecopreneurship (YEP) Camp, a similar initiative first implemented in 2013, which aimed to reduce the unemployment number in Indonesia while raising environmental awareness.

“I received an email from ANU Sustainability about an opportunity to get involved in COP21 and I thought it is a good chance to re-implement the project that I conducted back in Indonesia before I came to Australia and adjust it to ANU scale.”

Olivia then teamed up with two other Crawford students - Tatiana Abarca Alvarez and Bishal Chalise - and enlisted some help from the University’s many climate change experts.

“Overcoming climate change hinges on the determination and innovation of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders, in collectively reshaping the unsustainable path we are currently on.

“To get there students need to be encouraged and empowered to use their intellects and entrepreneurial ideas in the university space.

“At Crawford we have the opportunity, as part of the one of the world’s most reputable universities, to make a difference.”

Olivia is also a representative of PARSA for ANU College of Asia & the Pacific and an executive of the Crawford School Student Association.

Olivia’s story goes to show that you don’t have to wait until you graduate to make a difference, you can do it right here at Crawford.

Apply to study at Crawford School of Public Policy today.

By Kelly Hayward

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