- Date: 19 September 2015
The Kolamba Yathra is an actively engaged walking journey around the city of Colombo – the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. ECO-V is the organisation coordinating the journey, and has been conducting Yathras since 2011 to raise awareness, that leads to action and behavioral change, on climate change issues among the general public. It also serves to catalyze and support the creation of green youth leaders. The youth who are taking part in Yathras gain exposure to ‘green activities,’ serving as a gateway to personal and community behavioral change, while preparing the ground to become green youth leaders. After participating in the Yathra, these engaged youth will have an opportunity to conduct their own ‘green project’ to combat climate change within their own communities, through the facilitation and support of ECO-V.
This year, ECO-V will be conducting our 3rd Yathra,“The Kolamba Yathra: An Interfaith Journey for Sustainability,” as a one-day program with at least 100 youth of diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds.
The main objective of this Yathra is to raise awareness of climate change issues across the Colombo public, to engage religious and political leadership on climate change action, and most particularly to engage youth in modeling and action for eco-friendly, sustainable methods, climate change education and adaptation/mitigation and biodiversity restoration and conservation efforts. It is intended as well to support the global event, the “People’s Pilgrimage” which is gathering a global ‘critical mass’ of grassroots and spiritual leaders in an interlinked global ‘climate Yathra’ or pilgrimage, collecting climate stories, and gathering local voices and messaging to bring to the global leaders at the pinnacle inter-governmental climate talks, COP 21, in Paris this November and December 2015. This is done in concert with the Pan-Asian ICE Network, the African ‘We Have Faith’ climate caravan, and the Our Voices platform.
Kolamba Yathra will be the Sri Lankan voice for “Peoples Pilgrimage” taking place from Rome to Paris (COP 21), launching from Rome this past June, 2015. Through the ICE Network and the Our Voices platform, we will raise our concerns to the UNFCCC and global leaders at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 (Climate Talks) in Paris, regarding climate change. A focus is upon raising awareness among youth and the general public about the need for to develop eco-friendly practices along with sustainable energy systems and practices, towards environmental sustainability, as a way to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The Kolamba Yathra for Climate Change is the 3rd Yathra of Eco Friendly Volunteers (ECO-V), and is undertaken in concert with the Inter-Religious Climate & Ecology (ICE) Network, the People’s Pilgrimage, the African ‘We Have Faith’ climate caravan, and the Our Voices united platform, with support from Journeys for Climate Justice (JCJ) Australia, Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO), the Good Market Sri Lanka, Global Ecovillage Network Oceania & Asia (GENOA) and IUCN Sri Lanka. Previously, ECO-V has conducted two other Climate Yathras: the Kelani Nadee Yathra – a river journey for climate justice (2011), and Paapedi, a bicycle journey for climate justice (2013). The Kolamba Yathra takes place on 19thSeptember 2015.