Students attend inaugural Aga Khan Schools Climate and Environment Conference | Aga Khan Academies

Students attend inaugural Aga Khan Schools Climate and Environment Conference

04 November 2022

From 28-29 October 2022, the Aga Khan Schools (AKS) held its inaugural Climate and Environment Conference. The conference was attended by more than 50 students from the Aga Khan Academies in Hyderabad, Maputo and Mombasa, the Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi, The Aga Khan School, Dhaka, the Aga Khan Mzizima Secondary School, Dar es Salaam, and the Aga Khan High School, Kampala. 

The theme of the virtual conference was “Collaborative Solutions for Sustainable Change”. During the two-day event, students from Grades 8 through Diploma Programme (DP) 2 presented their research projects on innovative solutions to combat climate change within their local context and beyond and engaged in discussions with global experts and their peers across AKS.

“Throughout the conference, I connected with people who are working towards making the world a better place,” said Amaad Rafi Zaidi, a DP2 student from the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad. “The enthusiasm for making a difference in the environment that I saw in the attendees and the guest presenters was out of this world!”

The conference hosted a few prominent guest speakers, such as Feven Tsehay, the founder and CEO of Tchakka Origins, a plant-based lifestyle company that sustainably sources indigenous plants from Ethiopia. In addition, filmmaker and environmental activists Iskender Aliev and Bermet Borubaeva were present, along with Andrew Tkach, executive producer of Voices from the Roof of the World, an environmental documentary series sponsored by the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, the Aga Khan Foundation and the University of Central Asia. 

“I was able to discuss with Ms Tsehaye how to manage a business with the goal of creating both revenue and environmentally sustainable products,” said Giordano di Gloria, a DP1 student at the Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi. “It was also stunning to understand the purpose behind Mr Tkach's documentaries, which illustrate how climate change is impacting the people and the wildlife in Asia's highest mountain region.”

Students also presented their artwork during the conference, depicting their perspectives on climate change and other environmental issues, such as Aleesa Riyaah Azim’s artwork titled, “The Price We Pay”. Alessa, a DP1 student at The Aga Khan School, Dhaka, created a digital art piece showcasing modern day consumerism and its impact on the environment. Speaking about the conference, Alessa said it sparked important conversations between her and her peers across AKS.

“It is crucial that the younger generation is aware of what we can do to sustain life on Earth in the future,” she added.

Environmental stewardship is an integral part of AKS, with students and staff members leading environmentally-sustainable initiatives across their schools and local communities. This inaugural conference is one of the many initiatives students across AKS have participated in to promote environmental responsibility. Moving forward, we hope to support, share and encourage more of these endeavours led by our leaders of tomorrow. 

Click here to view the students' artwork this year for the AKS Climate and Environment Conference.