Wildlife Institute of India P. O. Box #18, Chandrabani Dehradun 248 001, Uttarakhand, India
Myristica Ecological Fiesta- Invoking the green spirit of the youngsters
Myristica Ecological Fiesta is Kerala’s biggest students’ ecological festival which seeks to invoke the green spirit of the youngsters in the state and thereby reinstate Kerala's glorious past. It also offers a unique experience rooted in contemporary visual art and technological marvels, and a platform to showcase and debate the latest scientific and artistic experiences of international relevance by promoting discussions among environmentalists, students, and the public. The festival seeks to be a project in appreciation of, and education about, nature and its relationship with society. It seeks to be a new space and a fresh voice that protects and projects the importance of nature, to constantly reinvent
the world we live in that celebrates a lot of other things, but not yet the reality. We were intensively engaged in the conversation of technology, culture, science and life. As part of the festival, we organized three editions of ‘The Big Quiz’ infotainment show, ‘Aranya Art Expo’ in which the students collected trash materials and made installations which engaging people with loss of biodiversity, ‘Darppana’ Online Photography Contest, Film Festivals, Debates, and Discussion. The programme was spread across the state with the participation of students from 8th standard to postgraduate level.
Even though a lot of programmes happening regarding environmental awareness and biodiversity conservation in our state, We were feeling a gap in student community’s participation in organizing events and spreading conservation values. The idea of Myristica conceived in 2016. We could pioneer ‘Myristica – Ecological Fiesta’ in our college, which later transformed into the Biggest Students’ Ecological Festival in Kerala. Through various events (Infotainment Show, Photography, Debates, Discussions, Exhibitions with trash materials etc.) organized as part of the green event, in 3 editions (2017-19), we could reach out to 12 out of 14 districts of our state with 150+ participants and 45+ institutions; with a record of 900+ ‘knowledge capsules’ disseminated.
Volunteering for a big event, such as Myristica made students confident to communicate conservation to youth, especially peers from various backgrounds. Participation of large number of students from various institutions across Kerala and involvement of NGO like Malabar Natural History Society made the event an amazing experience. Starting from the planning, fund-raising, human resource management, research, communication, and successful execution of all these background work was a new experience for most of the students who were part of the organizing team.
Coalition with organizations like Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)– Kannur Kandal Project, Resource mobilization from sponsors like Apollo Tyres and Amana Toyota, Creative inputs for exhibition and event management, Utilization of digital platforms (technological support by students using FOSS) for various multimedia extensions etc. empowered the entire team. Our targets were Aichi Targets No.1, 2, 8, 19, 20 (Awareness of biodiversity values, Integration of biodiversity values, Pollution, Biodiversity knowledge, and Resource mobilization) and CBD subject areas such as Outreach and Education, Youth, Communication, Education and Public Awareness. Each year, one Institution/ Team is conferred with prestigious Prof. John C Jacob Award for their performance in the festival. The event is listed in UN CBD’s Global Action Map recently (See https://www.myristicafarookcollege.com/ and UN CBD's Global Action Map: https://www.cbd.int/2011-2020/actions/247415). Making students aware of biodiversity around and plant seeds of conservation ideas in their mind is not a simple task – this is what we learned from the whole preparation period of Myristica. When Faheem (Participant of our debate event in 2018) declared after the event that he will not use any single-use plastic in future, we were happier than ever!
We believe that environmental communication is a key part of conservation and other issues regarding biodiversity. Join us in this upcoming editions!
Feel free to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org